Serving Our Community
America’s Boating Club offers several boating safety courses to members and to the public throughout the year. These courses benefit the beginner to the experienced boater.
Our members cooperate with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to keep nautical charts accurate and in doing so have saved taxpayers millions of dollars each year by reporting chart corrections.
Our members also participate with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary in conducting free vessel safety inspections.
The United States Power Squadrons have been honored by three US presidents for its civic contributions and for educating more than 4 million boaters in the last half century.
The Cooperative Charting Program
- Humans and nature make continuous changes in the information shown on nautical charts. It is those changes that our Cooperative Charting Program reports to the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Coast Guard and NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey Division (NGSD). The Program is a major public service of USPS. Members supply important information to the above agencies so updates can be made to nautical charts and the National Survey Marker databases. Co-op Charting is a very popular activity of the Sarasota Club. We do surveys nearly every month and often do so with neighboring Squadrons.
- Nautical depth surveys of the ICW, entrances to facilities & marinas, and Big Pass, New Pass, Longboat Pass, and the Venice Inlet.
- Small-craft facility inspections – to verify listed services and minimum depth approaches.
- Coast Pilot studies.
- Accurate position finding using portable Differential GPS equipment.
- Special projects as assigned by NOS.
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Vessel Safety Check
A vessel safety check is a courtesy examination of your boat (vessel) to verify the present condition of certain safety equipment required by State and the Federal regulations. Our member Vessel Examiners are trained specialists who will make recommendations. They will also make certain recommendations and discuss certain safety issues that will make you a safer boater.This is not boarding or a law enforcement issue. Getting a Vessel Safety Check for your boat is not a law enforcement boarding, no citations will be given as a result of this encounter.
We will supply you with a copy of our evaluation so that you may follow the suggestions given. Vessels that pass will be able to display our distinctive VSC decal. Displaying our decal does not exempt you from law enforcement boarding, but may lesson the changes of it occurring.
The vessel examiners performing this service have been trained to look for some of the more common problems, which might occur in your boat or its associated safety equipment. Some of the items we check are;
- Proper display of numbers
- Personal Flotation Devices; Life Jackets
- Visual Distress Signals
- Fire extinguishers
- Backfire flame control
- Sound producing devices
- Navigation lights
- State requirements
- Overall vessel condition.
If a vessel meets all of the Vessel Safety Check (VSC) requirements it is awarded a VSC decal.
VSC Training & Qualification Requirements
- All members of USPS, 17 years of age or older, are eligible to participate.
- Pass an open-book exam with at least 90%. The manual is 193 pages.
- Perform 5 vessel safety checks under supervision of a currently certified vessel examiner.
- After certification, complete a total of at least 5 vessel safety checks in a calendar year.
Angel Tree Program
The America’s Boating Club of Sarasota participates annually in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program where our members donate toys and clothing to children in need. Many members contribute to this successful program every year.
The Salvation Army Kettle Bell Ringers
Replace paragraph with: Every year our members give many hours of their time to participate with the Salvation Army by ringing the bell at the Publix downtown Sarasota store. We are happy to help with this wonderful cause.