Membership and Benefits

Membership benefits 

Our members are boating families who contribute to their communities by promoting safe boating through education.  We enjoy participating with our fellow members on the water and in the classroom. Enjoy friendship and camaraderie on-the-water and off with members who are skilled in boating.  From on-the-water activities like cruises, rendezvous, raft-ups or fishing derbies to activities ashore, such as marine programs, picnics, ice cream socials and educational programs, we offer many opportunities for fun and boating education. Learn more.


Public Boating Programs:

* America’s Boating Course  is our primary civic effort toward public instruction in the fundamentals of safe boating.  Both short (8-hour) and long (12-hour) formats are designed to familiarize the student with the fundamentals of safe boating and qualify for certification in most states that require boating education before operating a watercraft.  Subjects include:

  • Boat handling under normal conditions
  • Adverse conditions and emergencies
  • Types of boats and boating terminology
  • Required and recommended equipment
  • Boating regulations and navigation rules
  • Lines and knots
  • Charts and aids to navigation (in 12-hour format only)
  • Piloting techniques (in 12-hour format only)
  • Marine radiotelephone usage
  • Trailer boating

*  Paddle Smart is a USPS seminar  on a series of topics created especially for paddle sports.  There is also a related  Paddle Smart web site.  Web site topics include:

  • Navigation Rules with emphasis on kayaks, canoes, etc.
  • Personal Flotation Devices (life jackets)
  • Charts and Maps
  • Homeland Security
  • Weather and its impact on paddlers
  • Electronics for paddlers including GPS, cell phones, VHF marine radios, etc.

Membership Education Program.  Our members are eligible to take other boating classes including:

  • Seamanship – The Seamanship course is the next step after completing America’s Boating Course.  Learn more
  • Piloting – Piloting is the first course in the sequence of USPS courses on navigation, covering the basics of coastal and inland navigation. Learn more
  • Advanced Piloting – Advanced Piloting is the second in the sequence of USPS courses on navigation.  Learn more
  • Junior Navigation – Junior Navigation is the first in a two-part program of study in offshore navigation, followed by the Navigation  course.  Learn more
  • Navigation –  this course is the second part of the study of offshore navigation, further developing the student’s understanding of celestial navigation theory.  Learn more
  • Cruise Planning – The Cruising and Cruise Planning course focuses on the planning and preparation necessary for safe enjoyable extended cruises on both inland and coastal waters.  Learn more
  • Engine maintenance – The Engine Maintenance course has been put into one ten chapter course that stresses the diagnosis of modern systems, while also teaching the basics of engine layout and operation.  Learn more
  • Marine electronics – The Marine Electronics course consists of three modules: ME 101, Boat Electrical Systems, ME 102, Marine Radio Communications, and ME 103, Marine Electronics for Navigation.  Learn more
  • Sailing – This course was created to serve the needs of the novice and experienced sailor, as well as the non-sailor, for basic skills and knowledge.  Learn more
  • Weather – The safety and comfort of those who venture out-on-the water have always been weather dependent. In this course students will become keener observers of the weather, but weather observations only have meaning in the context of the basic principles of meteorology — the science of the atmosphere.  Learn more

Current Class Underway:   No class currently underway but monitor this page to see when next class will begin.

Become a Member.   If you like having a fun time on the water, join us.  Take boating courses, join your fellow members on cruises and rendezvous, and participate in civic service activities.  Becoming a member of USPS requires passing a boating safety course taught by a local squadron (or another approved organization) and being sponsored by a squadron member.  Successfully completing the USPS boating course meets the educational requirements for boat operation in all U.S. states.

How do I become a member?  Learn more.


  A “merit mark” (MM) is awarded by the chief commander to a member for substantial personal effort in furthering the interest, programs and objectives of USPS, its districts and squadrons. It is a coveted award; it is by and large the only official recognition members receive for their efforts.  Learn more.

USPS Boat Insurance Program. 

This program is available only to USPS members and is based on the premise that USPS members represent a class of “preferred risk” boaters by the virtue of their formal education in the care and operation of boats.  Boaters can expect to save a lot of $$ over other boat insurance policies. Learn more.

Boating safety courses

FSPS offers boating safety courses for the public several times each year as well as advanced training courses for our members.  These will be posted on this site as they are scheduled.

For Boaters, By Boaters

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