Upcoming Education Classes

Knowledge + Skills = Confidence


Marine Navigation (Formerly Piloting)

Materials Fee: Determined by Local Squadron 
Dates: Wednesdays, April 12 through June 7 (nine weeks)
Time: 7:00 to 9:00
Location: Bayport Marina Clubhouse (200 5th Ave So, Bayport, Bayport MN) or Online via your computer
Hosted by: St. Paul Sail and Power Squadron


Marine Navigation, formerly Piloting, is the first course in the sequence of USPS courses on navigation, covering the basics of coastal and inland navigation. This course focuses on navigation as it is done on recreational boats today and embraces GPS as a primary navigation tool while covering enough of traditional techniques so the student will be able to find his/her way even if their GPS fails. The course includes many in-class exercises, developing the student’s skills through hands-on practice and learning. Nine classes of two hours each normally are scheduled for presentation of this course. In addition the students have seven days to complete the open book, take home exam.

Upon course completion, which includes passing the take home exam, members are granted the advanced grade of "Pilot."

Topics covered include:

Charts and their interpretation
Navigation aids and how they point to safe water
Plotting courses and determining direction and distance
The mariner’s compass and converting between True and Magnetic
Use of GPS – typical GPS displays and information they provide, setting up waypoints and routes, staying on a GPS route.
Pre-planning safe courses and entering them into the GPS
Monitoring progress and determining position by both GPS and traditional techniques such as bearings and dead reckoning
The “Seaman’s Eye” – simple skills for checking that one is on course

For more information, please contact the St. Paul Squadron Education Officer: education@stpaulsquadron.com

To Register for this class:
*  Email education@stpaulsquadron.com to confirm your participation in the class; include your contact information.
*  Copy your Squadron Educational Officer - or send a separate message - to be contacted regarding cost and process for ordering materials.  (Note: This is an important step. Your course materials must be ordered by your own squadron!)

America's Boating Course

America's Boating Course

Materials Fee: TBD
Dates: TBD
Location: TBD

If you are interested in an exciting, in-depth boating safety course, check out America's Boating Course. You can take this course as a classroom course (find a local course here) or as an interactive, PC-based home study course for people whose schedule and obligations would make it difficult to attend a classroom course.

Many boat insurance companies will offer discounts on boating insurance to boaters who successfully complete America's Boating Course. And, this beginner boating class will give you the knowledge needed to obtain a boat license or safety certification in many states.

Learn the fundamentals of safe boat handling and operation plus basic piloting in this comprehensive classroom course. This newly-revised course will give you the basics of line throwing, knot tying, boat handling, anchoring, navigation rules and aids, emergencies on the water, and more. Instructors have many years of boating experience shared between inland waters.

This course is recommended because of its detailed course study. With successful completion of our ABC course, you receive a certificate of safe boating from the State.

Topics include:

  • Required Safety Equipment
  • Navigation Rules & Aids
  • Finding Your Way
  • Marlinspike (knots!)
  • State Vessel Registration & Regulations
  • Trailering
  • Anchoring
  • Communications Afloat
  • Lights and Sound signals

Contact wkoplitz@aol.com to register for this class.