Boating Education

Improve your boating skills and knowledge. CLSPS offers a full range of educational experiences for both novice and experienced boaters. We teach a variety of comprehensive courses and short seminars to advance your know-how of seamanship and boat handling.

Get your boating education your way. You have flexibility in scheduling your education through classroom instruction, on-line courses, and on-the-water skills training.

Learn as much as you want. CLSPS offers in-depth courses (usually 6-8 weeks), focused two-hour seminars, and skills certification in inland, coastal, and offshore navigation and boat operation. Mix and match to suit your boating education needs. Click below tabs to learn more …

  • Start
  • Introductory
  • Advanced
  • Electives
  • Seminars
  • USPS

Where Do I Start?

Since we offer a wide range of courses and seminars, you have lots of choices. You can take advantage of any course or seminar you want.

If you are a beginning boater, you might want to start with America's Boating Course (ABC) or Seamanship. ABC will also fulfill your state's requirement for an approved boating course so you can legally operate a boat. Seamanship goes further, and gives you a fuller understanding of boating knowledge and techniques.

If you are interested in getting around on longer trips, then you'll want to take our in-depth piloting and navigation courses. You should take them in order: Piloting and then Advanced Piloting for making your way in charted waters like large sounds, near shore, and ocean boating. Also you may be interested in electronic navigation tools with our Electronic Navigation course. If you want even more, then learn celestial navigation with our Junior Navigation and Navigation courses, aimed at offshore long-distance boating.

If you have a boat, or if you are thinking of getting one, you'll want one of our operations and maintenance courses: Engine Maintenance, Marine Electrical Systems, or Marine Communication Systems.

Want to know more about Weather, Sail boating, or Cruise Planning? We have those, too. Check out all our courses, on the left.

Want your education in short, quick hits? Take some of our many seminars in a wide range of topics. Categories include boat handling, navigation, facing the environment, safety, techniques, and hands-on training.

America's Boating Course

This course meets North Carolina specific and National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) requirements for certification. Our Basic Safe Boating Course fulfills North Carolina boat licensing law and is taught by many experienced volunteers who have a tremendous amount of on the water personal experience. This is a multi-week course. It will meet one or two days per week, based on student preference.

After completion of this boating course, you will be able to:

  • Legally operate a boat with 10+ hp under the age of 26
  • Take Advanced Courses:

Our Basic Safe Boating Course topics include:
  • Boat terminology
  • Boat Handling
  • Basic Knots
  • VHF Marine Radio
  • Piloting
  • Charts and Electronic Navigation
  • Course Plotting
  • Navigation Aids (buoys and day markers)
  • Navigation Rules
  • Light and Sound signals
  • Adverse Conditions and Emergencies
  • Personal Watercraft Operation
  • North Carolina and Federal boating laws and regulations
Comments from students who took the Public Boating course:
"I thought it was an excellent informative course with good instructors."
"I enjoyed hearing about actual events. Great class! Thank You."
"Very informative! We had no prior knowledge of boating and have certainly learned the basic skills of boating."
"The course was very helpful and informative on boating. It was very fun and I learned a lot more than I thought I would!"
"I thought the course was well taught and explained. Overall I thought it was a good and fun experience."

Advanced Courses

These are core USPS courses. They last multiple weeks, meeting one or two days per week, based on student preference.

Course Information Link Course Code Member Cost* Nonmember Cost*
Seamanship S-101 $47.00 $54.00
Piloting P $51.00 $59.00
Advanced Piloting AP $40.00 $46.00
Junior Navigation JN $70.00 $80.00
Navigation N $130.00 $150.00
*Pricing representative, actual prices fixed at enrollment.

Elective Courses

Elective Courses are offered by USPS. They cover separate and independent topics and therefore may be taken in any order according to a person’s interests and time. Elective courses are generally multi-week. They meet one or two days per week, based on student preference.

Course Information Link Course Code Member Cost* Nonmember Cost*
Cruise Planning CP $37.50 $43.00
Engine Maintenance EM $45.00 $52.00
Instructor Development ID None NA
Marine Electrical Systems MES $45.00 $52.00
Marine Communication Systems MCS $35.00 $40.00
Marine Navigation Systems MNS NA NA
Sail Sa $45.00 $52.00
Weather Wx $54.00 $62.00
*Pricing representative, actual prices fixed at enrollment.


Seminar courses are generally a single 2 hour Saturday session.

Course Information Link Seminar Cost*
Advanced Powerboat Handling $48.00
Anchoring $26.00
Basic Coastal Navigation $38.00
Basic Weather & Forecasting $30.00
Boat Handling Under Power $26.00
Boating on Rivers, Locks & Lakes $30.00
Emergencies on Board $22.00
Fuel & Boating  
How to use a Chart $31.00
Hurricanes and Boats $15.00
Knots, Bends and Hitches $34.00
Mariner's Compass $26.00
Marine Radar $35.00
Mastering the Rules of the Road $33.00
Paddle Smart $22.00
Partner in Command $25.00
Practical On The Water Training  
Sail Trim & Rig Tuning $26.00
Tides & Currents  
Trailering Your Boat 30.00
Using GPS $32.00
VHF & VHF/DSC Marine Radios $24.00
*Pricing representative, actual prices fixed at enrollment.

USPS Education

There is a wealth of information available on the USPS website. To access click on this link.




If you wish a course that is not scheduled, contact the Squadron Education Officer SEO.

Courses will be offered based on interest and requests.