Honoring the 2016 Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching winners

By Yvonne Hill

You don’t become a Charles F. Chapman Award winner by remaining safely in port; you must chart new educational ground and expand the limits of your teaching skills. The 2016 winners, sailors all, exemplify this Chapman spirit. They share a wealth of boating knowledge and experience, a love of teaching, a dedication to their students, and a desire to make the water a better place through education.

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An Enduring Legacy

USPS Honors the 2015 Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching Winners

By Yvonne Hill

In February, at the 2016 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, USPS honored five top volunteer instructors with the 2015 Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching.

These educators share several traits including a wealth of experience, a love of teaching, a dedication to their students and a desire to make the water a better place.

Each district can nominate one instructor for this award each year. A national committee selects the top five educators from this pool of nominees.

Each winner receives a plaque honoring the achievement, a four-year USPS-certified instructor card and a gold Chapman Award lapel pin. The winners’ squadrons receive a high-quality sextant in a presentation case engraved with the winner’s name and squadron. A permanent log of all winners and nominees resides in the USPS Memorial Library in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Please join us in congratulating these dedicated volunteer educators and honoring their service to USPS and boating education.

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The Mission Continues

Rite of Passage

New boater plugs experience gap

By Michael G. D’Aversa

These days, most people know me as an avid touring motorcyclist. But long before I became a biker, I was a boater. Before I became a boater, I was just a guy who wanted a boat. All that changed on 4 July 1990 when I was thrust into the world of recreational boating by the makers of Royal Crown Cola.

It had been a typical Fourth of July in Bensenville, Illinois, where my wife and I lived at the time. While grilling outside, I’d been drinking copious amounts of Diet RC Cola. I’d been drinking Diet RC for weeks because of a contest the company had  been running. Specially marked cases proclaimed, “Win A Boat Instantly!”

While doing dishes in my kitchen, I drained another can of Diet RC and was about to toss it into the trash when I remembered the contest. I stopped mid-toss, brought the empty can to my right eye and peered inside. The winning code was printed across the bottom.

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Recruiting new members with Junior Sailing

Recruiting new members with Junior Sailing

Part 2 of Becoming Sustainable

By Thomas Alley & others

In part one of this two-part series, we looked at how New York’s Seneca Sail & Power Squadron/6 began teaching America’s Boating Course for youth as a way to attract younger members and their families. In part two, we will
look at how the squadron plans to retain these members.

Seneca Sail & Power Squadron’s America’s Boating Course for youth has the potential to draw in family memberships and flatten out the age distribution of our membership, but how do we retain our new, younger members?

As we wrapped up our pilot class, we learned that a local high school senior wanted to organize a sailing club. His vision was to rescue abandoned sailboats, fix them up and make them available for club members to sign out and take sailing. Squadron members met the student when he started looking for people who could teach the members how to fix, equip and sail the boats.

Although this sounded like a neat idea on the surface, the squadron had to address several issues and challenges. We’ll cover two of the more significant ones.

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Earn your boat operator certification

Earn your boat operator certification

By Joellyn Jackson & Lloyd Richmond

What is BOC?


The Boat Operator Certification program allows you to demonstrate your proficiency and knowledge of a specific set of boating skills.

How many certification levels are there?


The four levels are Inland Navigator, Coastal Navigator, Advanced Coastal Navigator and Offshore Navigator. With IN, you can get endorsements for sail, inland waterways and paddle craft.

Why did USPS develop this program?


USPS responded to a United Nations resolution asking countries to develop boater certification programs that met specific requirements. USPS pioneered the program in the United States.

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Charting new youth course with ABC for kids

Charting new course with ABC for kids

Part 1 of Becoming Sustainable

By Thomas Alley & others

For nearly two decades, squadrons around the country have been discussing the problem of organizational sustainability.

Two years ago, New York’s Seneca Sail & Power Squadron/6 decided to stop talking and start doing. In two parts, this article describes what happened when we followed one of our ideas from inception to execution.

Identifying the (Real) Problem
“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”

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File marine insurance claim

Filing a marine insurance claim

By Tim Akpinar

When we think of marine insurance, we tend to think largely in terms of coverage. This means reviewing a boat policy on a regular basis to make sure it provides adequate coverage for things that can go wrong on the water. Prudent vessel owners want to know the dollar limits they’re covered for in the event of an accident. They want to know if they’re covered for full replacement value if a boat is destroyed by fire. Are salvage claims covered? Will a policy provide coverage for environmental damage to a delicate ecosystem or wreck removal from a busy channel?

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2015 Chapman award winners

USPS honors 2014 Chapman award winners

By Yvonne Hill

At the 2015 Annual Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, in January, USPS honored five top volunteer instructors with the 2014 Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching.

These educators share several traits including a wealth of experience, a love of teaching, a dedication to their students and a desire to make the water a better place.

Each district can nominate one instructor for this award each year. A national committee selects the top five educators from this pool of nominees.

Each winner receives a plaque honoring the achievement, a four-year USPS-certified instructor card and a gold Chapman Award lapel pin. The winners’ squadrons receive a high-quality sextant in a presentation case engraved with the winner’s name and squadron. A permanent log of all winners and nominees resides in the USPS Memorial Library in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Please join us in congratulating these dedicated educators and honoring their service to USPS and boating education.

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USPS sails tall with Tall Ships

USPS sails tall with Tall Ships

By Don Stark and others

At the 2014 Annual Meeting, USPS signed a memorandum of understanding with Tall Ships America, agreeing to support its operational and educational mission. During the year, squadrons on the West Coast took the lead in furthering this agreement and the relationship between USPS and Tall Ships America. Through this developing partnership, USPS hopes to forge one-on-one relationships between ships and individual squadrons and districts.
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Learn from others' boating mistakes

Learn from others’ boating mistakes

By Larry MacDonald

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done while boating? I’ve been asking fellow boaters that question this past year. About half reported some real doozies, while the rest reported minor mishaps such as running out of gas in their dingy or losing their winch handle overboard.

Let’s face it—accidents happen to the best of us. The key to happy boating is to learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others so we don’t repeat them; it’s a whole lot cheaper!

From the boating incidents reported to me, I chose 10 and ranked them on a scale from dumb to dumbest, 10-1, with number one being most deserving of the Boating Oops Award.

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