ASPS Advanced Grade Courses
Advanced Grade courses are offered, at cost and to members only, on every aspect of boating, piloting and navigation. Courses include:
This course provides an introduction to the USPS Educational Program and a strong foundation for members going on to other Advanced Grade and/or Elective Courses.
Seamanship is taught in two modules. S101, Seamanship, builds on the basics taught in Boatsmart and is a first course for new members, both power boaters and sailors. Students learn practical marlinespike; navigation rules; responsibilities of the skipper; what to do in various emergencies and weather conditions; nautical customs and courtesy on the water. S102, Boat Handling, contains information on hull design and performance; boat handling under normal and abnormal conditions; boat care; anchoring; towing; locking through; and trailer boating.
Piloting is the first of a two-part program studying inland and coastal navigation. It focusses on the fundamentals of piloting - keeping track of a boat’s movement, determining your position at any time, and laying out courses to a planned destination. This program has been updated to place emphasis, now, on electronic navigation usinf electronic charts and gps receivers; and including the capability to use traditional charting in the event electronic systems fail. It includes charts and their use; aids to navigation; the mariner’s compass; variation and deviation of the compass; plotting and steering courses; dead reckoning; plotting and labeling charts.
Advanced Piloting (AP)
This is the final part of the inland and coastal navigation series. It emphasizes the use of modern navigation systems and other advanced techniques for finding position. Among topics covered are tides and currents and their effects on piloting; finding position using bearings and angles; simple use of the mariner’s sextant; and electronic navigation using radar, Loran-c, gps, etc.
Junior Navigation (JN)
Junior Navigation is the first of a two-part program of study in offshore (open ocean) navigation. It is designed as a practical, how-to, course, leaving theoretical and more advanced techniques for the Navigation Course. Subject matter includes basic concepts of celestial navigation; how to use the mariner’s sextant to take sights of the sun, moon, planets and stars; the importance and techniques of accurate time determination; use of the nautical almanac; how to reduce sights to produce lines of position (LOPs); and the use of special charts, plotting sheets and other navigational data for offshore positioning and passage planning.
This is the second part of the study of offshore navigation. It further develops the student’s understanding of celestial theory. The student is introduced to additional sight reduction techniques and develops greater skill and precision in sight taking, position and the orderly method of carrying on the day’s work of navigator at sea. Of particular interest and importance is the study of offshore navigation using minimal data and equipment, such as when on a disabled vessel or lifeboat.