Building a Legacy for America’s Boating Club

United States Power Squadrons, America’s Boating Club, has been a major force in educating boaters and helping keep our waterways safe for 106 years. To advance our tradition of boater education and safety, we must look beyond member dues to fuel the continued growth of America’s Boating Club.

With these goals in mind, the USPS Endowment Fund Inc. was established in Sept. 2017. Since its inception, the fund has grown, with assets totaling more than $2.1 million. Income from the fund, over $400,000, has gone to support projects crucial to the growth and promotion of America’s Boating Club, including leadership development, expanded outreach to the Hispanic community, web development, and advertising.

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Youth gets hands on training from United States Power Squadrons

Better on the Water

By Robert Anderson, Chuck Wells and Shawn Goit

America’s Boating Club’s on the water training and certification programs include both on-water training and boating skills certification. On-the-water training provides hands-on skill development for new boaters and a practical extension of our classroom instruction. Our Boat Operator Certification program provides credentials certifying the boating skills and educational achievements of members.

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Top view of Nao Santa Maria in Beaufort

Piloting a Historic Replica

By Howard Heckrotte with Douglas Nelson

Photos by Bob Corso

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources 25-foot twin-engine fast boat propelled us through rain and 3- to 4-foot seas at over 35 knots for a rendezvous with the Santa Maria. The North Atlantic waves pitched and yawed the two vessels. When a higher wave materialized, the 25-footer went into thin air, engines over-revving before thudding back into a trough, testing knee and shoulder sinews as white knuckles gripped the center-console grab rail.

The DNR officer smiled thinly and throttled back a bit, continuing a course to our rendezvous point, unseen in the rain and light fog but somewhere a few miles ahead. I was wondering how the boarding would take place when the ship’s profile appeared out of the sea mist, looking daunting.

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Montauk Point Lighthouse

Sailors face tough choices during Around Long Island Regatta

By Jeff Taylor

We were just past the halfway point in the 2016 Around Long Island Regatta when Steve Kornspun woke me up in the wee hours of the morning and said, “Jeff, c’mon, we need you on deck.”

I joined a tense conference in the cockpit. The night was eerily quiet and very dark. Something strange was happening. There was almost no wind. In fact, the wind was so light you couldn’t tell what direction it was coming from.

According to the compass, we were headed southwest, just as we should be, but with a strong current in so light a wind, we were actually going slowly but steadily backward!

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Gary Rogers steers his boat as Doug Sherman instructs.

On-the-water training boosts squadron membership

By Doug Sherman

Located in central California with a thousand miles of waterways, San Joaquin Delta Power Squadron/25 offers several options to help boaters become safer and more proficient on the water. The squadron has earned a reputation from local boaters as well as local marinas, marine supply stores, brokers and insurance carriers for providing valuable training, helping train more knowledgeable boaters and creating safer waterways for everyone.

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Photo of boats transiting the Swinomish Channel

Transiting the Swinomish Channel

By Michael Guelker-Cone

Most of us have a bucket list of things we want to accomplish or places we want to go before heading off to that great marina in the sky. My list of places to visit has expanded along with my experience and the confidence that came with it. Many places on my list are close to home, including Washington’s Swinomish Channel. I kept putting it off because of the horror stories I’d heard of boaters running aground in the channel. In Seamanship and Piloting, I’d been warned that it wasn’t a matter of whether you’d ever run aground but when.

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Photo of 2018 Charles F. Chapman Award Recipients

2018 Charles F. Chapman Award Recipients Honored

By Yvonne Hill with photos by Art Dodd

Each year, we recognize the top educators in United States Power Squadrons, America’s Boating Club, with the Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching. These volunteer instructors have devoted themselves to teaching boating and boater safety courses to prepare our members to become the best trained, most prepared boaters on the water.

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Spring 2019 Photo Contest winners


Members submitted and voted on their favorite boating photos

Via an online poll, USPS members voted for their favorite photo in The Ensign’s Spring 2019 Photo Contest, in which we invited photographers to submit their best boating photos.

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Fishing Boats in Angelmo, Puerto Montt, Chile

Rounding the Horn

By Rafael Belliard

When my first mate Linda, the perennial travel opportunities researcher, found the perfect way to round the cape, we decided to make it happen. We would take the trip with back-to-back cruises from Miami, Florida, to Valparaiso, Chile, and on to Buenos Aires, Argentina, which included the much sought-after “rounding of the Horn.”

In the Winter 2019 issue, we detailed our trip from Miami to Chile. Here, we complete our cruise around Cape Horn.

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