Boating Club The club, created in 1914, is a volunteer organization providing educational opportunities to boaters throughout the United States
NATIONWIDE一 The United States Power Squadron, a nationwide boating education organization, is undergoing the process of rebranding as America’s Boating Club. The club is nationally recognized and has over 300 clubs around the country with about 30,000 members nationwide.
“We are a boating education organization,” said Robert Gibbs, public relations officer for America’s Boating Club. “Totally non-profit non-governmental volunteer organization our annual dues are about $140 for a family and about $100 per individual and there is a wide assortment of classes that can be taken.”
The club offers educational courses for boaters of varying experience levels, there is even a 12 to 14-week course teaching boaters how to chart using paper, a sextant (a double reflecting navigation device that measures the angular distance between two visible objects), and celestial navigation, in case a boater’s GPS goes down.
“The most basic is the ABC course, which if you take that and pass the test at the end of the course you qualify for the California Boating Certificate,” said Gibbs. “And there are further courses you can take after that. Some of them are seamanship piloting and celestial navigation, marine weather, engine maintenance, cruise planning, all the ins and outs of sailing both basic and advanced.”
The club was created in early 20th century Boston by a man named Robert Upton. Upton was a sailing member of the Boston Yacht Club in 1909 who became fascinated with powerboats and wanted to learn more.
Upton became Rear Commodore of the Boston Yacht Club in 1912 where he created an unofficial Power Boat Division and in 1913 the Executive Committee officially established the Power Squadron and the first inkling of the United States Power Squadron was born.
Since that time the club has shared in ups and downs but continues to provide education for boaters and work with other government organizations like the United States Coast Guard. The club works with the USCG to provide free vessel safety checks for sailboats and powerboats up to 65 feet.
“We have a checklist from the Coast Guard,” said Gibbs. “We are the only other organization authorized aside from the Coast Guard to be able to do vessel safety checks. We do that free of charge there is no reporting it is just a checklist of things we go over with the vessel’s owner if they pass, they get a triangular coast guard sticker or decal and they put it on the port side of their boat somewhere where it is visible.”
The decal lets the Coast Guard know that the boat has been checked and passes the safety requirements for that year, decals are changed every year.
Through the individual sections of the club, there are raft-ups and sail fleet races as well as on-the-water training.
According to the press release from America’s Boating Club Southern California has squadrons in San Diego, Oceanside, Newport Beach. There are also clubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas areas and up to Oregon and Washington.
To find a local club or get more information see https://americasboatingclub.org/.