The Sarasota Power and Sail Squadron (SPSS) was founded in 1952 and today is one of the largest of the USPS Squadrons, with close to 350 local members. We are a totally volunteer organization.

The Sarasota Power & Sail Squadron is located along Florida’s southwest coast and only a few minutes from the Gulf of Mexico. We all share interests in sail & power boating to further the principles of safety on the water, community service, and life-long friendships. Here are just a few of our highlights:

As a unit of the United States Power Squadrons®, we are one of the largest with approximately 400 members. Take a tour while you’re here – see for yourself why SPSS is the premier boating organization – for education – for civic service – for boating FUN.

Our Many Educational Opportunities

ABC Boating Course

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America’s Boating Course gives you the knowledge to decide what type and size boat you need, what to do when meeting another boat in a crowded waterway, and how to recognize and handle hazards.  Become a more competent boater, learn from the best, take America’s Boating Course today.
This course can be taken as a classroom course at our headquarters in Sarasota.

Many boat insurance companies will offer discounts on boating insurance to boaters who successfully complete America’s Boating Course. And, this beginner boating class will give you the knowledge needed to obtain a boat license or safety certificate in many states. More Info…

Instructor Development

$ 0.00

Instructor Development

Unlike other USPS courses, the Instructor Development course is not designed to enhance boating skills. Rather, its emphasis is on enhancing presentation techniques and instructor skills. The course has been designed to demonstrate interactive teaching methods focused on adult learning. Students are required to prepare lesson plans and give three presentations to their peers utilizing a variety of teaching aids and presentation skills.

Next Instructor Development Class

October 22, 2018 at SPSS Headquarters (1900-2100)

Will run for 4 consecutive Mondays

Cruise Planning

$ 75.00$ 125.00

CRUISE PLANNING

Want to take a “road trip” on the water?  Gain the confidence and practical skills needed to explore ports and coves for a weekend or weeks at a time.  Take Cruising and Cruise Planning and join your fellow boaters for raft-ups and rendezvous up the river, down the bay, and along the coast.

Start Date: TBD, 10 weeks

Engine Maintenance

$ 75.00$ 125.00

Engine Maintenance

Every skipper needs to understand the fundamentals of gas and diesel engines to perform basic maintenance and diagnose problems under way.  Learn about transmissions, propellers, and steering.  Get the knowledge you need to keep your boat in tiptop shape.

Start Date: TBD, 7 weeks

Weather

$ 75.00$ 125.00

WEATHER

For boaters, knowing the forecast isn’t enough; you need to understand its impact on you and your boat.  Gain the knowledge and confidence to venture out on the water.  Be a responsible skipper, protect your friends and family and take this course today.

Start Date: October 22, 2018

Sail

$ 75.00$ 125.00

Sail

Learn about basic sailboat designs and nomenclature, rigging, and safety from experienced USPS sailors.  Then tackle the physical aspects of sailing forces and techniques, sail applications, marlinespike, helmsmanship, and handling of difficult sailing conditions.  This course will benefit non-sailors as well as novice and experienced sailors.

Start Date: TBD, 10 weeks

Marine Communication Systems

$ 75.00$ 125.00

Marine Communication Systems

Become a better boater by mastering your radio in the digital age.  Learn voice communications and the use of digital selective calling (DSC), and get the skills you need for a day sail or offshore adventure.  Learn from experienced instructors in an interactive classroom environment.

Next Marine Communication Systems Class

TBD 7 weeks

Electronic Navigation

$ 75.00$ 125.00

Electronic Navigation

Learn the ins and outs of your boat’s navigation systems.  Gain the confidence in understanding Global Positioning Systems (GPS),  chart plotters, programming, using computers and tablets, and readily available software on the market today. There is also a section devoted to the Automatic Identification System (AIS). Enroll in this course today.

Next Electronic Navigation Class

October 17, 2018 at SPSS Headquarters (1700-1900), 7 weeks

Marine Electrical Systems

$ 75.00$ 125.00

Marine Electrical Systems

Learn the ins and outs of your boat’s electrical systems.  Gain the confidence to tackle direct current, shore power and communications installations.  Ensure the safety and reliability of your vessel; enroll in this course today.

This course is usually completed in nine two-hour sessions, followed by an exam.

Next Marine Electrical Systems Class

October 9th, 2018 at SPSS Headquarters (1700-1900)

Boat Handling – Seamanship

$ 75.00$ 125.00

Boat Handling – Seamanship

Build boating confidence and competence for safe and fun on-the-water adventures. Boat Handling provides a foundation of knowledge and skills in boat handling and maneuvering, boat operation, skipper’s responsibilities, and boating techniques that will advance your boating enjoyment.

This course is normally completed in 8 two-hour sessions: six sessions of study, one session of review and one session for the exam.

Next Boat Handling Class is August 22, 2018 at SPSS Headquarters, 7 sessions, 1830-2100

Marine Navigation – Piloting

$ 100.00$ 150.00

Marine Navigation – Piloting

Learn the essentials of safe coastal and inland navigation using basic GPS in conjunction with charts and other marine data.  The Marine Navigation course teaches you how to use the GPS along with traditional dead reckoning techniques for planning and laying out safe routes, as well as ensuring that you are on-course while underway.

Start Date: October 8, 2018, 10 sessions, 1830-2100

Advanced Marine Navigation – Advanced Piloting

$ 100.00$ 150.00

Advanced Marine Navigation – Advanced Piloting

Do you want to navigate unfamiliar waters in limited visibility or take an extended cruise with confidence?  Learn to use radar, chartplotters, AIS and other electronic tools to supplement basic GPS navigation.  Obtain a thorough understanding of piloting techniques in a variety of coastal tide, current and wind conditions.

Advanced Marine Navigation 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. This course includes many in-class exercises, developing the student’s skills through hands-on practice.

  • Classes will begin at 1830 (6:30 PM) and will be held each Thursday for approximately 10 weeks.
  • The cost is $80.00 for SPSS members, $109 for Partner Organizations and $120 for non-members.
  • If you are interested, please call me at (941) 400-6467 or e-mail me at albur103a@gmail.com to register.
  • Registration and First Class Meeting: 1800 (6:00 PM) on Thursday, January 21, 2016

Start Date: TBD, 10 weeks

Offshore Navigation

$ 100.00$ 150.00

Offshore Navigation

What happens when your GPS fails? Have fun and satisfy your curiosity about boating in the days before electronics in the Offshore Navigation course.  Learn to use a marine sextant to take sights on celestial objects such as the sun.  Even if you are not traveling long distances offshore, remember that GPS is not infallible, nor always available.  Be confident when no aids to navigation or land objects are in sight.

In Offshore Navigation, you will continue to use GPS as the primary position sensor as you learned in Marine Navigation and Advanced Marine Navigation, but with celestial navigation as your backup technique. Because terrestrial landmarks are no longer visible to the offshore navigator, you will learn to use a marine sextant and the sun as your reference point, derive a line of position, and develop a running fix. You will also learn to calculate your latitude from a noon sight on the sun.

This interesting and challenging course emphasizes the practical aspects of daytime celestial navigation. You will also learn to prepare a sight folder that documents your positioning skills using sights taken on the sun. The course will take approximately 13 weeks to complete and you will have two additional weeks to complete an open book exam.

Course Requirements- Prior Completion of Marine Navigation and Advanced Marine Navigation

Start Date: TBD

Radar

$ 50.00$ 70.00

Radar

This seminar covers RADAR functions, RADAR selection, and operation of RADAR under various conditions including setting of controls, display interpretation, basic navigation, and collision avoidance using RADAR.

Using VHF & VHF/DSC Radio

$ 50.00$ 70.00

Using VHF & VHF/DSC Radio

Get familiar with your boat’s VHF marine radio in just two hours.  Experienced instructors teach you how to use VHF radio like a pro, including the new digital selective calling (DSC) rescue feature.  You’ll also get tips on purchasing and installing VHF to get the most out of your investment. A handy waterproof McGraw-Hill Captain’s QuickGuide Using VHF is included with essential information that you should have aboard. This QuickGuide explains to anyone on your crew how to use the radio, a real benefit if you’re unable to help in an emergency.

Next Using VHF/DSC Radio Seminar – TBD

Sail Trim

$ 50.00$ 70.00

Sail Trim

Are you getting the most out of your sailboat?  Learn how to set up your boat’s rigging and how to use and adjust your sails for optimum performance under a wide range of conditions.  You’ll sail like a pro using the tips from this seminar.  The seminar includes a copy of the waterproof Captain’s Quick Guide Sail Trim and Rig Tuning by Bill Gladstone and North Sails, as well as a copy of the seminar Student Notes.

Next Sail Trim Seminar – TBD at SPSS Headquarters (1900-2100)

Mastering the Rules of the Road

$ 50.00$ 70.00

Mastering the Rules of the Road

Don’t leave the dock without knowing the rules of the road.  This seminar simplifies the sometimes complex U.S. Inland Rules and International Rules, or COLREGS, for the recreational boater. Through examples, you’ll discover how to avoid collisions in various situations, the differences between power and sailboat rules, and the special rules for fishing vessel. This seminar includes McGraw-Hill’s The One Minute Guide to the Nautical Rules of the Road by Charlie Wing, as well as Student Notes with slides. This seminar is also a starting point for study preparation for the USCG License examination.

Next Rules of the Road Seminar – June 7th, 2018 at SPSS Headquarters (1900-2100)

Partner in Command

$ 50.00$ 70.00

Partner in Command

Are you a crew member or passenger who has no idea what’s going on during a boat trip?  Learn the essential skills you will need to help the skipper safely operate a recreational boat, including how to respond in an emergency.  You’ll become an asset on board with Partner in Command.

The Partner in Command seminar includes an introduction to boating, understanding anchoring, docking, and navigation, preparing for bad weather, first aid and on-board emergencies, and more.

Partner in Command may be taken in a squadron-run session or as a fully interactive online learning experience.  Either way, this comprehensive seminar can be completed in 2-4 hours and comes with a full color Student Guide for the seminar.

Next Partner in Command Seminar – May 8th, 2018 at SPSS Headquarters (1900-2100)

Paddle Smart

$ 50.00$ 70.00

Paddle Smart

Encompassing everything from canoes, kayaks and paddle boats make boating affordable and accessible for everyone.  USPS training helps you do it safely.  Based on a compendium of information from the paddling community, this seminar prepares you to boat safely on small lakes, streams, and rivers. The seminar kit includes an attendee workbook for note-taking and reference and “The Complete Sea Kayaker’s Handbook” by Shelly Johnson. Included as a bonus is“Introduction to Paddling – canoeing basics for lakes and rivers” by the American Canoe Association.

Next Paddle Smart Seminar – December 6th, 2018 at SPSS Headquarters (1900-2100)

Hurricanes & Boats

$ 50.00$ 70.00

Hurricanes & Boats

When a named storm threatens, you need to be prepared and protect your boat.  In this short seminar, you’ll learn how to select a location from which to weather the storm and prepare your boat for a hurricane. The kit includes Student Notes with copies of the slides.

Start Date: May 10th, 2018 at SPSS Headquarters (1900-2100)

How to Use a Chart

$ 50.00$ 70.00

How to Use a Chart

Whether you’re planning a cruise, going fishing, or traveling to a local marina, knowing how to read and use nautical charts is essential to safe boating.  Charts include must-have information, including bottom contours, hazards, and aids to navigation, to help you travel safely. Each student receives a waterproof flip-fold Chart Symbols and On-the-Water Guide to take along on the boat with you, as well as a Student Guide for the seminar.

Next How to Use a Chart Seminar – September 27th, 2018 at SPSS Headquarters (1900-2100)

Introduction to Navigation Seminar

$ 50.00$ 70.00

Introduction to Navigation

Today, electronics have radically changed navigation, but understanding the basics helps you gain confidence in your equipment and your own skills.

In this seminar you’ll learn practical techniques to plan, navigate, and check your progress on the water. You will develop situational awareness skills using your eyes and navigation tools to quickly point to your position on a chart, and be able to use backup techniques when the electronics become suspect. This seminar will help both captain and crew to navigate safely and comfortably.

The seminar kit contains The Weekend Navigator textbook, a Seminar Notes booklet, and Maptech’s Chart Navigator Training CD, which includes software and digital charts to gain familiarity with this new technology.

Next Introduction to Navigation Seminar – October 18th, 2018 (0900-1100)

Basic Weather

$ 50.00$ 70.00

Basic Weather

Are the winds too strong?  What is a small craft advisory?  The safety and comfort of those who venture out on the water have always been weather dependent.  This seminar, a must for boaters who have never taken a weather course, will help you answer these questions and gain an understanding of the forces acting on your boat.  Understand the forecast and know what to expect, whether you’re in a kayak, trawler, sailboat, or schooner.  This seminar presents a complex subject in a way that is both understandable and useful.

Each seminar participant receives a waterproof McGraw Hill Captain’s QuickGuide – Onboard Weather Forecasting – designed for onboard and field use, along with a Student Guide with slide images and complete notes written especially for the seminar.

Basic Weather and Forecasting may be taken in a squadron-run session or as a fully interactive online learning experience titled Weather for Boaters.  Either way, this comprehensive seminar can be completed in 2-4 hours.

Next Basic Weather Seminar – TBD

Celestial Navigation – Navigation

$ 195.00$ 245.00

Celestial Navigation – Navigation

Learn navigation using all the celestial bodies! Use navigational software tools to plan and execute an offshore voyage. In the event of a loss of electronics on board, you’ll be glad you took this course and developed the necessary backup skills for an offshore voyage. Even if you have no plans to travel offshore, you will be able to impress your boating friends with your depth of celestial knowledge.

The Celestial Navigation course will teach you how to use the moon, planets, and stars to determine your position at morning and evening twilight to supplement daytime sights on the sun, moon, and bright planets. You will also get access to and use navigational software tools that can be used to plan and execute any voyage.

Course Requirements- Prior Completion of Costal Navigation – Junior Navigation

Start Date: January 2019

Advanced Registration Required

Anchoring

$ 50.00$ 70.00

Anchoring

Don’t drift!  Understand the issues and problems involving anchoring, such as anchor types and sizes.  Learn proper anchoring techniques for your area.  By understanding anchoring conditions and situations, you’ll protect your boat and get a good night’s sleep on the water. The kit includes the Anchoring Quick Guide and Anchoring Seminar booklet.

Next Anchoring Seminar – TBD at SPSS Headquarters

Small Boat Maneuvering Course

$ 125.00$ 175.00

Small Boat Maneuvering Course

Sarasota Power & Sail Squadron in partnership with Freedom Boat Club has developed an on the water small boat maneuvering course. We put you behind the helm of a 20’ -23’ outboard and instruct you in the basic maneuvers-docking & undocking, pivot turns, close quarter boat handling, throttle control, engine control, planning, crossing wakes and anchoring. 2 1/2 hours of classroom to brush up on the regulations and review what maneuvers we will do on the water. 15-20 minutes on the only virtual boat maneuvering simulator in the state of Florida then 4 hours of on the water, hands on training. $125 member price, $175 non-member price.

Completion  certificate of a classroom course ( sorry no on-line course completion certificates are accepted for this course) of a  United States Power Squadron or United States Coast Guard Auxiliary safe boating course is required to take this course.Open to persons 21 years and older.

2018 Small Boat Maneuvering Course Schedules, by RSVP Only

 

June 6, 2018

July 25, 2018

September 5, 2018

October 17, 2018

November 28, 2018

Like us on our SPSS Facebook page and see the exciting things that are happening in our Squadron. Or better yet – Join the Sarasota Power & Sail Squadron today and be part of a great tradition in the Sarasota area!

Click Here For Online Application   Click Here For Paper Application