Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-24-2017, 08:37 AM   #1
Veteran Member
 
Eddie's Avatar
 
City: North Carolina
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Into the Mystic
Vessel Model: Silverton 43
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 84
Boating Courses

I am new to boating recently purchasing our first boat, at Silverton 43. My wife and I signed up for the Seamanship course offered by the USPS and started it a few weeks ago. We like it so far, especially being able to ask questions and hear stories.

We are told the next course would be Piloting. Here is the course description.

Piloting is the first and most basic navigation course, covering chart reading, course plotting, and basic coastal or inland navigation, including basic GPS usage. This course goes into more detail than the charting information covered in the public courses.

One problem is that we would like to take the course in Greensboro NC near our home but it may not be offered unless there are 4-5 students. It is offered in starting October 10.

My questions are, 1) Is this course recommended and 2) Any ideas how to help find 3-4 more people so they have the course?
__________________
Advertisement

Eddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 09:41 AM   #2
Guru
 
Bigsfish's Avatar
 
City: Miami River
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Gotcha
Vessel Model: Grand Banks. Heritage. 54
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,237
Congrats of you decision.

Yes piloting and advanced piloting are recommended even when using GPS.

Best was to spread the news is word of mouth. You can print some flyers and go to the public ramps and pass them out or put under wiper arms on vehicles with trailers. Most local radio stations will give air time to promote public service advice. Have any friends?
__________________

Bigsfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 10:19 AM   #3
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: ACIW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 19,118
Be careful about stories and things heard not in print.

Good luck with the instruction, hope it helps.

I am not familiar with power squadron instruction personally, but have heard less horror stories than from USCGAUX instruction.

While both organizations do an unbelievable amount of good.....

Look at the actual qualifications of the instructor. Boating for 50 years or so doesn't make you an expert instructor or subject matter expert...

While you may learn quite a bit, verify what isn't written into the course as I have seen way too much bad info passed along through these courses....even private ones for that matter.

While not the same, a huge amount can be learned from even the free on line courses and then asking around with other boaters or on line for specific questions. The pay courses on line probably allow back and forth contact.

Again, good luck.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 10:39 AM   #4
Guru
 
Bigsfish's Avatar
 
City: Miami River
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Gotcha
Vessel Model: Grand Banks. Heritage. 54
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,237
Actually the instructor follows the book and the exams are already developed. Instructors main purpose is to help students over parts they don't understand, it's pretty easy.
Bigsfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 10:47 AM   #5
Guru
 
City: gulf coast
Country: pinellas
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,714
After decades of boating and studying boating I took the USPS courses through AP and found them reasonably well done and fortunately had good instructors. The weather course was also good.
However you will also need real on the water instruction to drive that boat so I would find a good local teaching captain and spend some time getting comfortable with basic maneuvering and boat systems.
bayview is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 10:49 AM   #6
Guru
 
ranger42c's Avatar
 
City: Maryland
Country: USA
Vessel Model: 42' Sportfish
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 4,352
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie View Post
We are told the next course would be Piloting.

My questions are, 1) Is this course recommended
Yes.

-Chris
__________________
South River, Chesapeake Bay
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 10:51 AM   #7
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 7,690
Eddie, taking the piloting course would be a great idea. Actually, taking most any course would be a good idea.

I've never had a formal course in boating. Everything I've learned has been from my parents as a kid and what I've picked up over the last 54 years of boating. I know LOTS of stuff! Even so, I think I would benefit a lot from any of the USPS courses.
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 11:12 AM   #8
Guru
 
alormaria's Avatar
 
City: Trenton
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,104
The quality of the instructor makes the course more enjoyable. The book, the study guides and the lesson plans make the course. Take a look at the materials and ask around to find a personable and knowledgeable instructor. Traditional piloting is a great subject no matter which organization teaches it. It gives you the background of what the electronics are doing for you.

Computers should work, people should think.
__________________
Al Johnson
34' Marine Trader
"Angelina"
alormaria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 11:55 AM   #9
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: ACIW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 19,118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigsfish View Post
Actually the instructor follows the book and the exams are already developed. Instructors main purpose is to help students over parts they don't understand, it's pretty easy.
Thats the way it should work, but we all know that instructors can embellish beyond the course.

When they are well experienced and smart enough to note the diffetence between established standards and oersonal exoerience...then all is well.

As a newbie, I just caution everyone to make dang sure the instructor's certification and resume is more than a title, uniform, organizational position, etc.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 11:56 AM   #10
Guru
 
boomerang's Avatar
 
City: Kilmarnock VA
Country: united states
Vessel Name: YellowBird MMSI 367769170
Vessel Model: 1978 Mainship m1 #149
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Be careful about stories and things heard not in print.

Good luck with the instruction, hope it helps.

I am not familiar with power squadron instruction personally, but have heard less horror stories than from USCGAUX instruction.

While both organizations do an unbelievable amount of good.....

Look at the actual qualifications of the instructor. Boating for 50 years or so doesn't make you an expert instructor or subject matter expert...

While you may learn quite a bit, verify what isn't written into the course as I have seen way too much bad info passed along through these courses....even private ones for that matter.

While not the same, a huge amount can be learned from even the free on line courses and then asking around with other boaters or on line for specific questions. The pay courses on line probably allow back and forth contact.

Again, good luck.
Why the negativity towards the power squadron/USCG aux? I'm a member of neither but these guys are out there willing to share their wisdom & yes, 50 years of experience boating does tend to make you qualified! One doesn't have to take everything they pass along in a boating class as the only way to do things, but as in the case of someone with minimal experience such as the OP, it's a good point in the right direction.
__________________
-Shawn-
boomerang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 12:04 PM   #11
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: ACIW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 19,118
Having been in charge of many USCGAUX flotillas when a senior USCG officer and having taught boating safety courses for 15 years with students that dropped out of USCGAUX courses due to loss of confidence...and so many other inputs I could list....

Just like advice here on TF, if you dont absolutely trust the advice, double check it.

How many old timers at marinas have opinios that are so far off base it is near criminal? Remember, some of them may wear uniforms and teach.

Me included, but most who hire me have checked my credentials.

Plus, if you think 50 years of boating means crap, teach captains licensing like I did and realize how little they really know that makes them qualified to be an instructor.

This week I have been screening captains to be an assistance towing captain....even licensed captains can know so little.

You dont have to be an unlimited master to run a boat, but as an instructor, you have to know what is right and wrong, speculation doesnt count as too many USCGAUX captain wannabes have done in my experience.

As I said, wonderful organizations overall, just make sure the instructor YOU have, has the credentials to back his off syllabus comments.

Plus it is the newbies that are most vulnerable to bad advice...think about that.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 02:44 PM   #12
Guru
 
alormaria's Avatar
 
City: Trenton
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,104
"Why the negativity towards the power squadron/USCG aux? I'm a member of neither but these guys are out there willing to share their wisdom & yes, 50 years of experience boating does tend to make you qualified!"

No. They are qualified instructors because they have studied the training material, passed the instructor exam, practice taught in front of a qualified instructor or examiner and now have enough hours and experience to stand in front of a class and teach what is in the book.
__________________
Al Johnson
34' Marine Trader
"Angelina"
alormaria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 03:35 PM   #13
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: ACIW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 19,118
Thus is my rub when some long time but relatively inexperienced boaters try to teach outside the course material.

Some instructors certainly are more than qualified...but the newbie has to make sure of the source and not just believe any instructor because they are up front.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 03:55 PM   #14
Guru
 
Bigsfish's Avatar
 
City: Miami River
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Gotcha
Vessel Model: Grand Banks. Heritage. 54
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,237
Instructors need to stay in their lane!
Bigsfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 06:06 PM   #15
Veteran Member
 
Eddie's Avatar
 
City: North Carolina
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Into the Mystic
Vessel Model: Silverton 43
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 84
Thanks to everyone for your input.

Here are my takeaways...

1. Take the Piloting course and others offered.
2. Ask my friends to sign up so the class will have enough students.
3. Read the material, listen to the instructor and form my own decisions based on my experience and good judgement.

I do have a question for Psneeld. You mentored free online courses. Can you point me in the direction to find those? Also, looks like you are retired USCG. Our daughter and son-in-law are both in the CG and relocated from Norfolk to San Diego this week. Thank you for your service.

Again, thanks to all of you for your comments!
Eddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 06:18 PM   #16
Master and Commander
 
markpierce's Avatar
 
City: Vallejo CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Carquinez Coot
Vessel Model: penultimate Seahorse Marine Coot hull #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 11,212
Read relevant texts. If taken to heart, that will get you ninety-percent there. The other part is knowing how to handle your boat in tight situations. Docking: do it slowly. A 43-foot boat is a large "jump" for a first boat.
__________________
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2017, 07:47 PM   #17
Guru
 
koliver's Avatar
 
City: Saltspring Island
Country: BC, canada
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,945
2) f you can't find enough students, pay the tuition for the empty seats. Then you get more of a private lesson.
__________________
Keith
koliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2017, 03:29 AM   #18
TF Site Team
 
Bay Pelican's Avatar
 
City: Chicago, IL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bay Pelican
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,994
Quote:
Originally Posted by koliver View Post
2) f you can't find enough students, pay the tuition for the empty seats. Then you get more of a private lesson.
Keith

I don't think either the US or Canadian Power Squadron charges tuition for taking a course. The minimum number of students requirement is just to justify the large amount of time devoted by the volunteers who teach the course.

Piloting is a fairly popular course so an active squadron should not have much trouble filling the seats.
__________________
Marty
Bay Pelican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2017, 08:03 AM   #19
Veteran Member
 
Eddie's Avatar
 
City: North Carolina
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Into the Mystic
Vessel Model: Silverton 43
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay Pelican View Post
Keith



I don't think either the US or Canadian Power Squadron charges tuition for taking a course. The minimum number of students requirement is just to justify the large amount of time devoted by the volunteers who teach the course.



Piloting is a fairly popular course so an active squadron should not have much trouble filling the seats.


Actually the courses seem to be $70 for non members and $50 for members, at least in my area. Which in my opinion is very reasonable for an 8-10 week course and materials.

I imagine if we were closer to the coast there would be less of a problem getting enough students to have the courses.

Here is a link to the electrical course in Greensboro NC - https://www.usps.org/cgi-bin-nat/edd...mx.cgi?L-14577
Eddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2017, 08:11 AM   #20
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: ACIW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 19,118
When I taught certification courses, it wasn't uncommon for people to pay for a full class minimum if they wanted the class at their convenience....time, location, schedule, etc.

Then again, much of my clientele was affluent.
__________________

psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012