Lake Pontchartrain Sail & Power Squadron
A Unit of The United States Power Squadron

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America's Boating Course

America's Boating Course is the latest public boating course offered by USPS to the general boating community. You may be familiar with our prior courses such as The Squadron Boating Course, Boat Smart, the original America's Boating Course, or Chart Smart.

America's Boating Course - 3rd Edition is all new with a completely updated manual, outstanding graphics, and two bonus CDs. The course manual is divided into five chapters. The first four cover the required topics that all recreational boaters must know. In addition to the rules of the road, the four chapters cover the various types of boats, required safety equipment, navigation aids, lights and sounds, anchoring, communications afloat, adverse conditions, water sports safety, trailering, personal water craft safety, and knots and lines. The fifth chapter provides an introduction to digital charts and GPS waypoint navigation, a key skill for boating on larger lakes and rivers and coastal waters. This optional fifth chapter provides the background for more advanced piloting courses.

When you take the course you receive two bonus CDs. The CD utilizes guided instruction and numerous video and audio clips to provide basic boating safety information. In addition to the Courseware CD, the second CD, from Maptech, Inc., provides software and sample digital charts so the techniques involved with waypoint and route planning may be learned. Up to date, free digital charts are now available from a number of sources, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. By downloading the latest digital charts for your area and by using Maptech’s Chart Navigator software, waypoints and routes may be created at home, then uploaded to your GPS prior to getting aboard.

To sign up for America's Boating Course call or email either Doug Brooks (985)845-3309 dbrooks@gulfla.com or Bill Dietrich (985)626-9730 billd1@bellsouth.net.  This course is recognized by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), and by the United States Coast Guard.  It is accepted by most states as meeting their requirements for getting a safety certificate, required in most states for operation of a water craft.