Welcome! Need support, you got it. Or share you ideas and experiences.
Has anyone used Power Squadrons or USCG Auxiliary classes lately, I am interested in your experiences.
Experience is about 10 yrs old but I was a member and instructor for the Power Squad while living in Duluth.
I thought the basic course was very worth while. And then once joining I took several advanced courses. Course materials and coverage for Junior Nav, Sail, Piloting and Adv Piloting were excellent. As I understand it, their navigator material was the basis for many naval classes in both WW I and II. Instructors make a difference however. And the squadron's must vary too. All my instructors were outstanding except the JN instructor and he wasnt terrible. I eventually taught the sail, piloting and adv piloting courses. I still dig out the textmaterial and my notes for review from time to time.
The socializing was fun and we had some great 'fitting out' parties in the spring. The power-sail dichotomy wasnt a serious impediment tho it did set the groups apart some if only because of the different 'rhythm' of cruising the different types.
Nice question, CaptTony. Hope my experience is a bit unique and holds a warning for all boat rats. About four years ago while looking for a little lifestyle nudge and thinking of getting a full time live-aboard power boat (an uncommon notion here in Upper Idaho) I took the local Auxiliary boat safety class. Much of my experience was sailing and I knew these folks were power-exclusive. I met a gal in the class who shortly became the Significant Other. We merged our too much stuff and the dream changed to a cabin in the country.
After a few months the gross error of the merger bubbled to the surface; it took another year to undo the thing, and to no one's credit or reward. Anyhow, I blame it on the class, and it takes no great hindsight to see the live-aboard would have been a wiser choice for a lifestyle change.
Oh, about the boat safety class. It was taught from the book view and particular interest of folks who all represented the deep-vee stern drive experience. Naturally, weather, radio, cold water, etc. don't care what your boat, so there was something for all to learn. Tho the textbook was freshly revised at that time, it still held information gaps and technological lags. At the very least, the class provided a subject of interest and thought for nine? weeks in a really long winter. The end skill and range of the teaching and class may well depend on your local Power Squadron or Auxiliary Squadron.
My husband and I both took the Power Squadron course last fall...and truly found it valuable. My husband has been boating all of his life, and I am a total begginer! When I showed interest in the course to help me along....he wisely felt it would be a good idea to also take the course.....to avoid any "discussions" on the water about he said/she said things. It was a great course and we each learned basic and advanced points that were new. We were also able to mail copies of our certificates to our insurance agent and receive a discount on our boat insurance. Hope that helps......Enjoy!
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