The non-profit boating education organization, Seattle Sailing & Power Squadron, has a great lineup for boating classes this March. If you’re new to the on-water lifestyle, learn a few things from the get-go at their America’s Boating Course. This two-day course on March 2 and March 9 walks you through the basics. From boat handling, safety considerations, federal and state requirements to nautical rules of the road, this class covers it all to ensure you have a smooth and safe introduction to boating. The completion of this course also gets you a Washington State Boater Education Card, which is now required for most boaters. Win, win! It’s $55 per student.
If you’re a boater wanting to venture into new waters or a non-boater looking to acquire some useful on-water skills, consider taking the Boat Handling Course. This course will offer you the know how to handle your vessel safely in unpredictable situations onboard and allow you to confidently pilot any boat. It’s a replacement for the Seamanship course.
Two 6-hour sessions will cover the Rules of the Road, Confidence in Docking and Undocking, Slow Speed Maneuvering, Boating with Confidence, Handling Your Boat Underway, Anchoring with Assurance, Don’t Get Carried Away, Emergencies on Board, Preparation for Handling Common Problems, Knots and Line Handling, and the Knots You Need to Know. Classes start on March 19 and continue every Tuesday from 1800 to 2000 hours for six weeks at $60 a person for Squadron members and $110 for non-members.
Lastly, the Piloting Course, beginning March 21, is the first sequence of USPS courses on navigation. This piloting course covers inland and coastal navigation, focusing heavily on recreational navigation with GPS as well as traditional navigation techniques in the event a GPS fails. Expect to participate in hands-on learning and in-class exercises.
Participants will learn charting, navigation aids, plotting courses and determining direction and distance, converting between True and Magnetic on a mariner’s compass, GPS, pre-planning safe courses, monitoring progress and determining position, and developing the “Seaman’s Eye.” Two-hour sessions from 1800 to 2000 hours will take place every Thursday for ten total Piloting Course classes. It costs $75 for the text for squadron members, plus $6 for the plotter and $11 for the dividers if needed. Non-members will add an additional $50 to the total cost. All classes will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Oak Harbor.