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 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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Alternate brand identity America's Boating Club

USPS embraces alternate brand identity with America’s Boating Club

By Paul Mermelstein

How many times have you talked about the United States Power Squadrons to friends and gotten a blank look? As Chief Commander Gary Cheney explained in the Spring 2018 issue (“Name recognition,” page 4), we now have a way to talk about our organization that helps connect us better to the boating public. United States Power Squadrons is America’s Boating Club.

In February 2017 we announced the America’s Boating Club brand to our squadrons. Through our collaboration with Rushton Gregory Communications the past year, we have created a comprehensive advertising campaign to promote our organization, improve name recognition and develop a modern image.

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A picture of a captain's hat and a steering wheel on a boat

The Rewards of Teaching

Honoring the 2017 Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching recipients

By Yvonne Hill

To a one, the 2017 Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching recipients find teaching to be its own reward. Their joy comes from the success and skill their students enjoy as well as the act of teaching itself.

This year’s recipients, Frank Kemp, Vic Stewart and Larry Byrd, received the 2017 Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. Named after Charles F. Chapman, a founding member, former chief commander and noted educator, the award honors talented instructors who share their boating knowledge with exceptional passion and skill.

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Seavester with past chief commanders

Sea Vester: The life and times of an animatronic teaching aid

By Drex Bradshaw

The story of Sea Vester as an educational tool for District 5 began when I saw Seamoor the Sea Serpent astride a land-based personal watercraft at the International Boating and Water Safety Summit in Panama City, Florida, in 2003. The Army Corps of Engineers called it a training aid. I immediately said, “We need one.”

I spoke with Robotronics, who built the ACE unit, and asked if District 5 could borrow Seamoor with the possibility of buying this kind of unit later on. Several District 5 squadrons taught boating safety in middle schools, and a training aid like this would be an outstanding asset.

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Photo of father helping daughter secure her life jacket.

Educational Horizons

Charting the future of United States Power Squadrons boating education

By the USPS Educational Department

The strength of United States Power Squadrons lies in its talented members and the strength of its boating educational program. To survive and thrive, we must update our courses and expand the delivery and range of our educational portfolio. Educational Department volunteers are hard at work ensuring that our curriculum responds to the wants and needs of the boating public, our members and their families. Take a look at the future of United States Power Squadrons education.
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Sailing through the fear

Offshore sailing course teaches sailor to trust herself and her skills

By Libby Cross

My husband, David, had always been into boating. After taking a United States Power Squadrons boating course, he joined Greenville Power Squadron (now Lake Hartwell Sail & Power Squadron), bought an 18-foot bowrider and later moved up to a 26-foot cabin cruiser. He took all the courses for a full certificate. I joined the squadron a few years later and made it to Advanced Pilot.

After we retired, we planned to move onto a trawler and do the Great Loop while visiting friends in the eastern U.S. and Canada. At some point, David started talking about sailing the Caribbean. It sounded like a wonderful dream, but I didn’t think of it as a reality.

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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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