Advanced Courses

To enroll for a course that is scheduled please click on the Registration link in the 'Offerings' column.

If you are interested in a course that is not currently scheduled

please CLICK HERE and fill out the information form.  A District 4 Education Officer  will contact you shortly.


Description Offerings
Seamanship (Boat Handling):

Figure Eight KnotCourse Covers:

  • What to know before you go
  • Hull and Propulsion System Charecteristics
  • Slow Speed Maneuvering
  • Boat Handling at Sea
  • Rules of the Road
  • Anchoring / Mooring / Rafting
  • Emergencies on the Water
  • Marilinspike / Line Handling

Includes 16 - 18 class hours of instruction plus course materials


Piloting (Basic Inland & Coastal Navigation):

Piloting Manual Cover Course Covers:

  • Charts & Their Interpretation
  • Navigational Aids
  • Plotting Courses
  • The Compass
  • Using GPS
  • Preplanning Safe Courses

Incl. 20 class-hours of instruction ,USPS Piloting Course Student Guide, “Weekend Navigator”

Prerequisite: SEAMANSHIP

Junior Navigation:

Course Covers:

  • Precise time determination
  • Use of the Nautical Almanac
  • Taking sextant sights of the sun
  • Reducing sights to establish lines of position
  • Use of charts and plotting sheets for offshore navigation
  • Offshore navigational routines for recreational craft

Includes approximately 29 class-hours of instruction and student manual  


Operations Training:

Operations Training is a NO COST class focusing on the USPS History and structure, Squadron Committee Work, Squadron Bridge Officer Role and navigating the National USPS website. This is the course to take if you are interested in our many volunteering opportunities, including serving as a Member at Large or on the Command Bridge.

Training will take place at Headquarters on Monday, November 2nd from 6:30-9pm. A great class to take to learn the workings of the District 4 squadrons!

Register online today!


Course Covers:

  • Overview of the celestial bodies in the sky
  • Find local mean time of solar and lunar phenomena and convert to zone time
  • Taking sights and finding observed altitude, local hour, angle and declination
  • Sight Reduction and Plotting by Law of Cosines
  • Sight Reduction and Plotting by the Nautical Almanac
  • Sight Reduction Method Sight Planning
  • Emergency Navigation
  • Electronics and Software for Offshore Navigation
  • Plan an offshore voyage using both electronic and celestial positioning

Includes approximately 33 class-hours of instruction and student manual  

                                                                       Prerequisite: JUNIOR NAVIGATION

Cruise Planning:

Course Covers:

  • Criuse Preperation and Planning
  • Boat & Needed Equipment
  • Chartering
  • Outside the United States
  • Crew Selection; Provisions
  • Voyage Managment; Navigation
  • Weather; Emergencies

Includes 18-20 class-hours of instruction, USPS Cruise Planning Course Student Guide


Engine Maintenance:

Course Covers:

  • Basic Engine Principles
  • Spark Ignition & Diesel Engine Components & Routine Maintenance
  • Inboard Engine Drive Systems
  • Outboard Engines and Stern Drives
  • Contols, Instruments, Alarms
  • Emergency Repairs Afloat

Incl. 20 Class-hours of Instruction plus USPS Engine Maintenance Course Student Manual plus Handouts.

Marine Communication Systems:

Course Covers:

  • Radio History and Frequency Spectrum
  • Definitions of Radio Circuits
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety Systems (GMDSS)
  • FCC Rules and Regulations
  • High Seas Radio (MF / HF and Satellite Communications)
  • Troubleshooting of Radio Systems

Incl. 20-22 Class-hours of Instruction plus USPS Marine Electronics Course Student Guide plus Handouts.

Marine Electrical Systems:

Course Covers:

  • Boat Power (AC & DC)
  • Galvanic Corrosion
  • Lightning Protection
  • Radio Waves and Equipment
  • FCC Frequency Plan
  • Radiotelephone Usage
  • Radar, Loran, Sounders
  • GPS and Electronic Charts

Incl. 20-22 Class-hours of Instruction plus USPS Marine Electronics Course Student Guide plus Handouts.


Course Covers:

  • Effects of Heat and Cold
  • Wind and Pressure
  • Storms & Fronts
  • Rain, Humidity, Fog
  • Hydrological Cycles
  • Thunderstorms and Tornados
  • Tropical Weather
  • Weather Data Analysis
  • Forecasting
  • Climatic Variables and Data

Incl. 20-22 Class-hours of Instruction, USPS Weather Course Student Manual, Cloud Chart, Weather Maps


Course Covers:

  • Sailboat Rigs & Sail Plans
  • Boat Design & Hull Types
  • Standing / Running Rigging
  • Sail Applications
  • Sailboat Helmsmanship
  • Stability, Balance, Tuning
  • Sailing Saftey, Man Overboard
  • Marlinespike / Line Handling
  • Navigation Rules
  • Introduction to Heavy Weather Sailing

Incl. 18-20 Class-hours of Instruction and both USPS Basic Sail & Advanced Sail Student Guides.

Instructor Development:

-- Recertification class for current instructors --

Don't let the title scare you.  This course is not only meant to prepare our members for classroom and meeting presentations, but will also help you in your professional career.

Our educational program is highly regarded in the recreational boating community.  

In cooperation with the State Boating Law Administrators, USPS has developed this course to prepare our members to be certified instructors in safe boating education.

It's emphasis is on enhancing your presentational skills and is designed to demonstrate interactive teaching methods focused in adult learning.


Vessel Safety Examiner :

  Become a Vessel Safety Examiner:

    This course offered to members only will prepare you for taking the VSC Exam and become a certified Vessel Safety Examiner.  The exam is offered online through the National Website.

    To download the current matariels off of the USPS National Website, click here:


    For questions please contact John Pruitt at:


Advanced Piloting (Advanced Inland & Coastal Navigation):

Course Covers:

  • Electronic Navigational; GPS
  • Digital Charts; Plotters
  • Collision Avoidence; Radar
  • Positioning; Bearings
  • When Electronics Fail
  • Piloting with Tides, Winds & Currents

Incl. 20 class-hours of instruction, USPS Advanced Piloting Course Student Guide, “Weekend Navigator” 

Prerequisite: PILOTING



Americas Boating Course (ABC):

 America's Boating Course (ABC)

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 

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
New York
Date and Time: 4 Sessions - Monday Nights, Beginning Monday April 17, 2017, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: Isidor & Ida Straus School, 1700 Third Avenue, (between 95 & 96th Streets), New
Public cost: $95.00
Register for this class

Date and Time: Sunday, March 25, 2018 Event Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM RSVP by: Sunday, March 25, 2018 Note: This is a one day course with exam.
Location: Waterfront Alliance 217 Water St, 3rd Fl (elevator: 133 Beekman St.) New York, N
Public cost: $65.00
Register for this class

New Jersey
Date and Time: 4/6, 4/13, 4/27, 5/4 at 7 PM
Location: Ft. Lee Recreation Center, Stillwell Avenue & 8th St, Fort Lee NJ
Public cost: $65.00
Register for this class

Date and Time: 2/21, 2/22, 2/28, 3/1 7PM-9PM
Location: Kearny High School, Kearney NJ Email for details

Register for this class

Date and Time: Tuesday evenings beginning 3/7 at 7 PM for 8 weeks. Call 973-228-2092 after 6PM to register. Cost is $98
Location: James Caldwell HS, 265 Westville Ave, West Caldwell, NJ 07006

Register for this class

Basic Weather & Forecasting Seminar:

 Weather Seminar Materials

“A veering wind will clear the sky;
A backing wind says storms are nigh.”

All boaters have heard this mariners’ proverb or similar ones. They have a salty flavor that takes us back to the era of sailing ships. In this seminar students will learn the meteorological basis for them.

The safety and comfort of those who venture out-on-the-water have always been weather dependent. This seminar is a must for boaters who have never taken a weather course or would like to brush up on their forecasting. The complex subject of weather is presented in a way that is both understandable and useful. Topics include:

  • Air Masses and Fronts;
  • Winds;
  • Storms;
  • Clouds and Thunderstorms;
  • Fog; and
  • Forecasting

Each participant also receives a Student Guide with slide images and complete notes written especially for the seminar.

Seminar - Using VHF & VHF/DSC Marine Radio:

VHF Materials

Using VHF & VHF/DSC Marine Radio

VHF radio is the mainstay of coastal communication and essential for emergency communications. Digital Selective Calling (DSC) is rapidly becoming a reality as more Coast Guard Rescue 21 System operations go live. Currently, the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts are operational with DSC and all USCG vessels are DSC equipped. The Great Lakes and OCONUS islands (stations San Juan, Honolulu and Guam) will be complete by early 2012 and the western rivers will be active by 2014. Alaskan stations will come on line in 2017.


DSC vastly simplifies and improves rescue and routine call signaling - making it easier to make a call while the system frees up Channel 16 for essential communications. However, you need to know how to use it. This seminar answers those needs and explains basic VHF operation. A CD is included with a DSC Simulator that allows you to practice on your computer at home. A handy waterproof McGraw-Hill Captain's Quick Guide Using VHF is included with essential information that you should have aboard, which will explain to anyone on your crew how to use the radio.

See the trifold brochure (960KB, PDF) for more information.

Locate a Seminar near you.

Marine Electronic Navigation:

Course Covers:

  • Navigating by establishing waypoints and routes
  • Running the planned courses
  • Electronic charting software for the desktop computer
  • Tablet and smartphone apps that provide the electronic navigation function at the helm
  • Hands-on exercises on a PC that simulates GPS functions
  • Using charting software and a chart plotter emulator
  • Overview of the Automatic Identification System (AIS)

Incl. 16-18 Class-hours of Instruction plus USPS Electronics Navigation Course Student Guide. 

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