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"Marathon Sail and Power Squadron"
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MARATHON SAIL & POWER SQUADRON
Boating The Florida Keys ...
ADVANCED GRADES, ELECTIVE COURSES, and SEMINARS

Five Advanced Grade courses are offered by USPS.  They are designed to be taken in sequence because each builds on skills taught in the previous course. Learn how to become a member of USPS and take any or all of these courses at a discount.

The Advanced Grades are a series of in-depth navigational courses, and completion of the highest level course determines a member's "grade". Letter grades may appear in USPS printed materials while insignia appear on a member's uniform. Descriptions of these courses, as well as the letter grades and insignia, and course offering details are given in the tables below.

Please note: To assure that course material will be on hand, paid registration must be made with the Instructor at least two weeks prior to class start date. Those registering late or at class beginning will have to start without their student manuals.  All active and family members are eligible to attend these USPS courses. Marathon Yacht Club (MYC) members may take Squadron courses on a space available basis with a course cost One and a Half the (members) cost, and Non-Members at twice the (members) cost.

Because these courses are based upon DEMAND - Please call or email the Squadron Educational Officer (SEO) to express your interest in these advanced grade classes. When we have several individuals expressing the interest we'll get a course scheduled. Because of the "Snowbird" nature of our membership here in the Florida Keys, these courses may be offered partly in person but primarily as online or webinar sessions to access from your home computer.

These Advanced Grades consist of the following:  (See below these for Electives/Seminars)

SEAMANSHIP (S) 9 Sessions. $60 members
Building on the basics taught in the public boating course, Seamanship is the recommended first course for both power boaters and sailors. Students learn practical marlinespike, navigation rules, hull design and performance, responsibilities of the skipper, boat care, operating a boat under normal and abnormal conditions, what to do in various emergencies and weather conditions, nautical customs and common courtesy on the water. This course provides a needed introduction to the USPS Educational Program and a strong foundation for students going on to other Advanced Grades courses and/or Cruise Planning or Sail. >>>>>>> See the USPS Description

PILOTING (P) 10 Sessions. $75 members, plus dividers and plotter if needed
Piloting is the first of the advanced navigational classes focusing on techniques for piloting a boat in coastal and inland conditions. The course emphasizes planning and checking along with the use of GPS for determining position, and introduces digital charting along with traditional charting, compass and dead reckoning skills. Plotting, labeling, use of the compass, aids to navigation and a host of related topics are included in this all-new approach to coastal and inland piloting. The insignia is shown on the right. * Seamanship course is advisable but not mandatory before taking Piloting and Sail courses.
>>>>>>> See the USPS Description

ADVANCED PILOTING (AP) 14 Sessions. $70 members.
Advanced Piloting is the final part of the inland and coastal navigation series. This material continues to build on the base developed in Piloting, and includes practical use of additional electronic navigation systems and other advanced techniques for finding position. Among topics covered are: finding position using bearings and angles, collision avoidance using GPS and RADAR, what to do when the electronics fail, tides, currents and wind and their effect on piloting, and electronic navigation with GPS, chart plotters, RADAR, autopilots, etc. Application of course lectures takes place through practical in-class and at-home exercises. >>>>>>> See the USPS Description

NOTE THAT JN AND N ARE NOT CURRENTLY OFFERED LOCALLY IN OUR MARATHON SQUADRON, BUT ARE AVAILABLE FROM NATIONAL USPS

JUNIOR NAVIGATOR (JN) 12 Sessions.
Junior Navigation is the first of a two-part program of study in offshore (open coast) navigation. It is designed as a practical, how-to course using GPS for offshore navigation with sun sight taking using a sextant as a backup technique. The more advanced techniques for other celestial bodies and sights are for study in the subsequent Navigation Course. JN subject matter includes: basic concepts of celestial navigation; how to use the marinerís sextant to take sights of the sun; the importance and techniques of accurate time determination; use of the Nautical Almanac; how to reduce sights to establish lines of position (LOPs); and the use of GPS, special charts, plotting sheets and other navigational data for offshore positioning and passage planning. 
>>>>>>> See the USPS Description

NAVIGATOR (N) 22 Sessions.
This is the second part of the study of offshore navigation. It further develops the studentís skills and understanding of celestial theory. The student is introduced to additional sight reduction techniques for bodies other than the sun. The student develops greater skill and precision in sight taking, positioning and the orderly methods of carrying on the dayís work of a navigator at sea. Of particular interest and importance is the navigation software that is explained and used in practices for planning and navigating in the offshore environment with the included software. Offshore navigation using minimal data and/or equipment, such as when on a disabled vessel or lifeboat is also studied.
>>>>>>> See the USPS Description

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ELECTIVE COURSES

Because these courses are based upon DEMAND - Please call or email the Squadron Educational Officer (SEO) to express your interest in these advanced grade classes. When we have several individuals expressing the interest we'll get a course scheduled. Because of the "Snowbird" nature of our membership here in the Florida Keys, these courses may be offered partly in person but primarily as online or webinar sessions to access from your home computer.

Six Elective Courses are offered by USPS.  They cover separate and independent topics and therefore may be taken in any order according to a personís interests and time.  Learn how to become a member of USPS and take any or all of these courses at a discount.

Descriptions of these courses are available on the USPS website by clicking the link.

Please note: To assure that course material will be on hand, paid registration must be made with the Instructor at least two weeks prior to class start date. Those registering late or at class beginning will have to start without their student manuals. All active and family members are eligible to attend these USPS courses. Marathon Yacht Club (MYC) members may take Squadron courses on a space available basis with a course cost One and a Half the (members) cost, and Non-Members at twice the (members) cost.  Call or Email for Pricing.

* Engine Maintenance (EM) 
* Marine Electronics--Electrical Systems 
* Marine Electronics--Marine Communications 
* Cruise Planning (CP) 
* Weather (WE) 
* Sail* (Sa) 

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SEMINARS

USPS has a series of short seminars open to the public on a variety of boating related topics, such as Global Positioning System (GPS), weather, and marine radio. The materials included with each two hour seminar include a Student Note Book and other take-away guides related to that particular topic.

Because these Seminars are based upon DEMAND - Please call or email the Squadron Educational Officer (SEO) to express your interest in these Seminars. When we have several individuals expressing the interest we'll get a course scheduled. Because of the "Snowbird" nature of our membership here in the Florida Keys, these courses may be offered partly in person but primarily as online or webinar sessions to access from your home computer.

The Seminars offered by USPS are listed below. CLICK them for more info from USPS.

* Boat Handling Under Power
* Partners in Command
* Anchoring
* How to Read A Chart
* Basic Weather and Forecasting 
* Advanced Powerboat Handling
* Boating on Rivers, Locks and Lakes
* Knots, Bends and Hitches  
* Mastering the Rules of the Road
* Tides & Currents 
* GPS
* VHF/Radio with Digital Selective Calling 
* Marine Radar
* Hurricane Boat Preparedness (FREE)
* Sail Trim & Rig Tuning  
* Crossing Borders 







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