Course Descriptions—Piloting

Piloting Course Description


The Piloting course is the first in the sequence of USPS courses on navigation, covering the basics of coastal and inland navigation. This all-new course focuses on navigation as it is done on recreational boats today and embraces GPS as a primary navigation tool while covering enough of traditional techniques so the student will be able to find his/her way even if their GPS fails. The course includes many in-class exercises, developing the student’s skills through hands-on practice and learning. Topics covered include:


· Charts and their interpretation

· Navigation aids and how they point to safe water

· Plotting courses and determining direction and distance

· The mariner’s compass and converting between True and Magnetic

· Use of GPS – typical GPS displays and information they provide, setting up waypoints and routes,       staying on a GPS route.

· Pre-planning safe courses and entering them into the GPS

· Monitoring progress and determining position by both GPS and traditional techniques such as       bearings and dead reckoning

· The “Seaman’s Eye” – simple skills for checking that one is on course.

United States Power Squadrons®

For Boaters, By Boaters

Manatee Sail & Power Squadron