The first five courses described below comprise a series called “Advanced Grades.” They should be taken in the order listed. The remainder are “Elective Courses” and may be taken in any order.
Course list updated January 2017. Dates subject to change based on enrollment and instructor availability.
- Precise time determination
- Use of the Nautical Almanac
- Taking sextant sights of the sun
- Reducing sights to establish lines of position
- Special charts and plotting sheets for offshore navigation
- Offshore navigational routines for recreational craft
Electives (may be taken in any order)
Marine Electrical Systems – (starts 19 Sep 2017) Member - $55; Non-Member - $95
This course starts with an explanation of what electricity is, followed by discussions on boat electrical wiring, DC and AC electrical systems, galvanic and stray current corrosion, lightning protection, and ends with troubleshooting of boat electrical problems. It also includes detailed instructions on how to use a multimeter, how to solder and crimp electrical wiring circuits, and how to read electrical wiring diagrams.
Marine Communications Systems – Member - $55; Non-Member - $95
This course is an in-depth review of those systems available to the recreational boater, including radio history, spectrum definitions, definitions of radio circuits, discussions of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), FCC Rules and regulations, radiotelephone operating procedures (both voice and digital messaging), High Seas radio (MF/HF and satellite communications), Family Radio Service transceivers and troubleshooting of radio installations.
Electronic Navigation Systems –Member - $70; Non-Member - $110
This course consists of discussions about electronic navigation instruments (depth sounders, radar, GPS, and LORAN), display systems including chart plotters and personal computers and the interfacing of these systems (bridge integration).
Certification at each level requires successful completion of all prescribed elements including several USPS courses, several USPS seminars and skill demonstrations on the water and ashore which must be signed-off by a USPS trained certifier.
USPS currently has two levels of Boat Operator Certification:
1. Inland Navigator (IN): Inland & protected waters, fair weather & daylight, < 23’ outboard power boat.
2. Coastal Navigator (CN): Local coastal water < 20nm offshore, fair weather & daylight, <39’ sail or power boat with compass & GPS. You must complete IN before participation in CN.
For detailed requirements, contact the SPSPS Squadron Education Officer using the form on this page.