Knowledge is Power

By Andy Adams

We've all heard this before but it's especially true when it comes to boating– knowledge is power. It is the power to confidently take your boat out with a load of passengers, go on longer trips, into unfamiliar waters, or even to navigate on your own to distant ports – that is the power of knowledge. The Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, (CPS-ECP) offers a wide range of courses from introductory level to advanced and everything in between.

Always focused on boating safety, the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, (CPS-ECP) have been empowering recreational boaters with knowledge for more than 75 years in Canada. Most of their courses are offered through the off-season when Power Squadron members themselves are unable to be out on their own boats. CPS-ECP members volunteer their own time to teach Power Squadron courses, so off-season is best. Many courses begin early in the New Year. You are just at the right time of year to sign up for a CPS-ECP course and anyone is welcome. You don’t have to be a CPS-ECP member.

There are two basic types of courses offered by the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons; Required Certification courses as established by Transport Canada and Industry Canada and then Elective Courses for those wishing to increase their skills and knowledge.

 

Required Certification Courses

Boating 1: Boating Basics (Pleasure Craft Operator Card – PCOC)

All operators of motorised pleasure craft are required to show proof of operator competency. Everything you need to know for the Transport Canada test is presented in an easy-to-read format that is both informative and entertaining. You can be confident that the Power Squadrons’ study guide meets all the standards established by Transport Canada's Office of Boating Safety.

As an extra benefit, when you pass the test offered by CPS-ECP, your PCOC is recognised by both Transport Canada and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in the United States. Contact CPS-ECP to locate a testing facility in your area.

The Boating Basics courses are available in English, French and Cantonese (in select locations) and also online in English and French.

 

PCOC for Youth (The Operator Card Seminar, ages 8 – 12)

Anyone in a boat should know how to take the wheel. The approved Boating Basics Handbook and the Student Workbook prepare youth aged 8 to 12 for the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) exam. The Student Workbook is full of activities to assist children in learning the material found in the Boating Basics Handbook.

 

Maritime Radio (Restricted Operator's Certificate [Maritime])

Radio didn't die with the creation of the cellphone! Maritime radio (VHF) is a great way to connect to information and assistance from your location on the water. 911 doesn't work the same way on the water and who in your contact list would really be able to help you anyway? Should you have an on-the-water emergency, a MAYDAY call on the radio can connect you immediately to local assistance and may even give you a chance to be a hero. 

If you have a maritime radio on your boat, anyone on board using it must have a Restricted Operator's Certificate [Maritime], (ROC[M]) so this course can be a family affair! In addition to emergency radio procedures, you'll discover the advantages of everyday operating techniques; the many uses of maritime radios, choice of frequencies, operation, phonetic alphabet, procedural words and phrases, as well as Digital Selective Calling and the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (DSC/GMDSS).

This course is offered in classroom or through self-study. The complete package with CD will prepare you for the ROC (M) with DSC endorsement exam. (Exam must be taken in person)

 

Maritime Radio (DSC Update)

This seminar is for holders of Restricted Operator's Certificate [Maritime], (ROC[M])  issued before January 1, 2005. Learn about the new digital communication channels offered on new VHF maritime radios and their use in an emergency situation. Digital Selective Calling could save your life.

 

Elective Courses – Expand Your Knowledge

The Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, (CPS-ECP) offers a series of courses that build on the basic courses required by law all the way up to the knowledge a boater would need to cross the ocean. Generations of CPS-ECP volunteers have been sharing their experience with new and seasoned boaters, helping them prepare for both everyday and emergency situations.

The courses are arranged to conveniently enable you to build on your boating knowledge. The following is a list of courses in the CPS-ECP boating series which are generally offered in a classroom setting. You can take these either for your own interest, or you can take a testing component if you wish to have proof of proficiency. Some segments and topics are presented in seminars or even online. 

 

Check www.boatingcourses.ca  to find out what's happening near you:

Boating 1: Boating Basics (PCOC)

Boating 2: Beyond the PCOC

Boating 3: Introduction to Navigation

Boating 4: Seamanship

Boating 5: Advanced Piloting

Boating 6: Junior Navigator (Part I of Offshore Navigation Program)

Boating 7: Global Navigation (Part II of Offshore Navigation Program)

 

Boating Essentials (Boating 1 and Boating 2)

Boating Essentials will take you to the next level in your boating education. Technology has changed the way we navigate but in order to use a GPS or Chart plotter effectively, you should understand the use of paper charts and coastal navigation. Boating Essentials greatly increases your knowledge over PCOC and is the foundation course leading to higher levels.

 

Boating 3: Introduction to Navigation

The third course in the CPS-ECP Boating series explores navigation further, learning how to plot and label on paper charts, what the skipper should be doing before setting out, how to handle a boat under sail and far more, including optional topics that could be offered depending on your personal interests. These include tides and currents, canals and locks and collision regulations.

 

Sailing

If you want to learn more about sailing the Power Squadrons have a course that covers different sail rigs, sail plans and hull types, sailing at different points of sail, handling heavy weather and storms, and far more.

 

Boating 4: Seamanship

In the earlier Power Squadron courses you learned what to expect and how to plan for it. Seamanship helps you prepare for the unexpected emergencies including adverse weather, medical emergencies, knot splicing and more.

 

Boating 5: Advanced Piloting

Canadian Yachting readers know that we frequently publish stories of our readers who have chartered a boat in the Caribbean or even sailed their own boat down south. If you already have the foundation skills from Boating 2 and Boating 3, Advanced Piloting is the next step.

 

Boating 6: Junior Navigator (Part I of Offshore Navigation Program)

The number of individuals who sail their own boat all way across the ocean is actually quite surprising. We learned of one gentleman who was in his 80s before he decided to discontinue his annual summer trip from Canada to England, single-handing his own 29 footer! Junior Navigator is a course you should take in preparation for any significant voyage out of sight of land.

 

Boating 7: (Part II of Offshore Navigation Program)

This is the second of two courses in the Offshore Navigation program for the recreational boater. While new electronic navigation equipment is important, the art and science of celestial navigation is still a valuable asset as well as something you might enjoy for its own sake.

 

Courses of General Interest For Boaters

The Power Squadrons recently reached out to boaters asking what information they wanted and the following are new courses that anyone might find interesting.

 

On The Water: Boat Handling 

Once you have your PCOC, this course will put you in an actual boat on the water and our instructors will show you how to manoeuvre a boat in close quarters, leave and return to the dock and properly anchor a boat. Come with just your PCOC and Power Squadron volunteers will introduce you to handling a boat on your own.

 

Electronic Navigation

GPS technology provides additional safety and can help make navigating much easier. This program will help you learn about handheld and built-in GPS and Chart plotter instruments familiarizing you with the many features and capabilities of these devices.

 

Radar for Pleasure Craft

The latest recreational radar systems are affordable and offer impressive capabilities. This course helps you understand the available features and how to apply them to your needs.

 

Boat and Engine Maintenance

From spark plugs to bottom paint, this course can help the DIY boater to save costly labour expenses, prevent on-board problems and help you live the dream of owning, maintaining and using your own boat without great expense.

 

Introduction to Weather

This course provides you with the tools to find and accurately interpret weather reports and forecasts and to develop sound judgement for optimum boating safety.

 

Extended Cruising (Living on a Boat) 

Extended cruising provides you with a deeper understanding of the skills necessary for confident, safe passages and it is an essential first step in understanding the elements of the "long-distance passage" lifestyle.

 

Marine Electrical Maintenance

Learn how to maintain electrical systems in your boat properly and safely.

 

In Conclusion

The Power Squadrons have a long and illustrious history of empowering recreational boaters through knowledge. I have taken their courses myself. The courses are interesting, the instructors are typically excellent and as an additional benefit, you are very likely to meet new friends who share your interests.

Operating in both official languages, the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, (CPS-ECP) are active in every province of Canada. You're certain to find courses of interest, offered near you!

 

Related Articles
CPS-ECP News
  • 21 July 2020
  • By Ethan

The Port Hole Photo Contest

Do you want to see your work featured on The Port Hole’s cover? Do you want your images to become part of the CPS-ECP image bank for future covers and social media posts while having the chance to...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
New at the end of 2019, the 58 Salon Express design features large windows to flood the living ...
No wonder this is one of Regal’s best-selling boats; the Regal 33 Express offers amazing ...
The newest member of Beneteau’s Gran Turismo line is the GT 36 and this yacht brings the style and ...
With a philosophy of quality and 'doing things right Ranger Tugs launches the all new R-25 at the ...
The new Beneteau Swift Trawler 41 renews the spirit of the practical seaworthy cruiser. The ...
The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...

CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

Virtual Boat ToursWe all love boats and nothing can break us up! So, what better way to spend our time than looking at interesting boats and going aboard in a virtual ride or tour. We have asked our friends at various dealers and manufacturers to help us assemble a one-stop online resource to experience some of the most interesting boats on the market today. Where the CY Team has done a review, we connect you to that expert viewpoint. If you can’t go boating, you can almost experience the thrill via your screen. Not quite the same, but we hope you enjoy our fine tour collection.

 

Read more about the CY Virtual Boat Tours....................

AXOPAR 37 XC

 

Axopar 37 XCWhole new ball game…

 

Set aside your assumptions and expectations for a few minutes while we try to describe the new Axopar 37 XC that made its American debut at the 2020 Miami International Boat Show. This boat represents a whole new ball game in terms of design, performance, seakeeping and functionality. In fact, I’d say it takes a ‘clean sheet of paper’ approach to boating – it’s that different.

Read More about the Axopar 37 XC..................

Destinations

  • Prev
On May 19, the New York State Canal Corporation today announced an updated opening schedule for the ...
If you have four hours to enjoy a fine tour of one of Canada’s most interesting waterways (let’s ...
Boom & Batten Restaurant is suspended over the water adjacent to the Songhees Walkway and ...
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...

DolphinsBy the Canadian Yachting Editors


Canadians are blessed in many ways and especially when it comes to boating. We enjoy some the world’s most beautiful cruising waters and many places are as sheltered as they are scenic.

British Columbia and the Pacific North West plainly have the most breath-taking scenery with the combination of the majestic ocean views and the snow-capped mountains in the distance. It’s like no place on earth when you have a Killer Whale breach beside your little fishing boat.

Read more about Canadian Cruising...........

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
This interesting shot is one you will remember. It comes to POTW from our pal, photographer and ...
Unknown to us at the time, the quest for VIA-MARA started in 1973 when I saved the back cover of a ...
You will find that many of the yachts travelling up and down the BC Coast have Sea Kayaks on board. ...
The Council of British Columbia Yacht Clubs with over 50 yacht club members has become the voice of ...
Classic boat restoration expert and wooden boat builder Stan Hunter recently sent us this great ...
In Mid June, a floatplane plunged into Constance Bay on the Ottawa River after two planes collide ...
Winter is a fun time for sailmakers in Canada. We grind through mountains of repairs and have an ...
The seasoned sailor mapped out an ambitious course around the world — aboard his 28-foot ...
Clean wake: A concept amongst cruising sailors that stresses the impact that individual behaviour ...
This line-up of Beneteaus can to us from our friends at RCR Yachts in NY State where they are ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
The HO Excel Waterskis are your classic compression molded skis that are durable, but also have a ...
We all know that plastic and plastic waste is a huge issue globally. Driven by innovation and ...
Don't leave your toys at the dock this season. Wouldn’t it be great to take them with you? ...
Calder’s indispensable and thorough manual gives you detailed instructions for maintaining, ...
With hundreds of thousands of nautical miles under his keel, Kretschmer’s adventures have taken him ...
The Ronix Marsh Mellow Thrasher is a lightweight, 3 fin wakesurf board ideal for those wanting a ...
Color & Fabric Safe! Removes mold, mildew, algae stain, bird droppings, spider droppings, ...
This tough, fast acting cleaner removes heavy grease and oil, adhesives, glue, ink and marker, ...
Great for slippery trailer fenders, steps, and boat ladders SeaDek Step Kits are made from 5mm ...
FlexTred is a fast and easy way to prevent slip & fall accidents and is ideal for use on ...