Catalog of All Seminars
When the weather deteriorates without warning, rest easy knowing you can handle your boat under adverse conditions. You'll learn techniques to handle your boat based on hull type, boat trim and wave types. Discover how to recover from grounding and how to dock in challenging conditions. You’ll understand what the “old timers” and professionals have learned the hard way. This seminar gets you there faster, and with confidence. Then, on the water you can visualize your actions and execute them easily. The full-color book Powerboat Handling Illustrated is an optional reference.
- How boats move in close quarters
- Departing the dock
- Docking under challenging conditions
- How your boat behaves in waves
- Wave patterns and conditions
- Trimming the boat
- Handling waves
- Dealing with severe waves
- Handling running aground
- Rounding a bend
AIS Electronics for Boaters, our newest seminar, can help you decide if AIS is right for you. Automatic Identification System electronics aren’t just for commercial vessels. Using AIS can help you navigate crowded waterways easily and safely.
With AIS marine electronics onboard, you can identify potential dangers and quickly make decisions on the water. Many systems share your boat’s information with other boats so they can also make better, safer boating decisions.
Don't drift! Understand the issues and problems involving anchoring, such as anchor types and sizes. Learn proper anchoring techniques for your area. By understanding anchoring conditions and situations, you'll protect your boat and get a good night's sleep on the water. The seminar materials include the Anchoring Seminar booklet and an optional Anchoring QuickGuide.
- Anchor chains
- Holding power
- Anchor types
- What size anchor
- Tips and tricks
- Buying an anchor
- Where common anchors work best
- How much line or chain to use
- Anchor lines
Are the winds too strong? What is a small craft advisory? The safety and comfort of those who venture out on the water have always been weather dependent.
This seminar, a must for boaters who have never taken a weather course, will help you answer these questions and gain an understanding of the forces acting on your boat. Understand the forecast and know what to expect, whether you're in a kayak, trawler, sailboat, or schooner.
This seminar presents a complex subject in a way that is both understandable and useful.
Each seminar participant receives a Student Guide with slide images and complete notes written especially for the seminar. An optional waterproof McGraw Hill Captain’s QuickGuide – Onboard Weather Forecasting – designed for onboard and field use is also available.
Learn how to depart, dock, and handle different types of boats while looking like a pro. Learn the different types of propulsion, steering, and trimming so you can develop proficiency in handling your vessel in rough seas and maneuvering in close quarters. The seminar materials include a Student Guide with slide images and complete notes.
A copy of the waterproof Captain's QuickGuide Boat Handling under Power is optionally available.
Can you read a river?
How does a river lock differ from a canal lock?
The United States has over 30,000 miles of improved waterways—some of the finest boating to be found anywhere. Rivers, locks and lakes introduce challenges not found on other bodies of water.
Discover these challenges, and learn the boating skills you need to safely boat inland waters with confidence. Each student receives a full color Student Guide especially written for the seminar.
If you live in the border states, you can cross international borders and visit our neighbors to the north or south. But what do you need to know? This seminar explains the immigration and customs process and the programs that enable boaters to easily cross into Canada, Mexico or the Bahamas. Be prepared by having the correct documents; we can help you get there. Each student receives a full color Student Guide especially written for the seminar.
Learn how to adequately prepare for common emergencies and deal with them when they occur.
Gain practical knowledge about accident prevention, running aground, onboard fires, getting lost, towing, and medical emergencies.
A must-have for skippers, this seminar provides valuable skills for anyone venturing on the water. The seminar comes with a full color Student Guide. The Emergencies on Board QuickGuide – a handy reference to use in responding to emergency situations – is optionally available.
Discover what every boater needs to know about gasoline and diesel fuel, including computing and evaluating fuel consumption, caring for your fuel system, and fueling a boat safely. Learn how to handle fuel safely and to respect its lethal potential. Learn how to avoid running out of fuel. Each student receives a full color Student Guide for the seminar.
- Practice environmentally safe fueling
- Control and prevent “oily waste” discharge
- Know the differences between gasoline and diesel engines
- Understanding torque, horsepower, transmissions and propeller issues
- Measure and predict fuel performance
- Employ special “rules of thumb”
- Calculate range and distance
- Recognize fuel problems
Whether you're planning a cruise, going fishing, or traveling to a local marina, knowing how to read and use nautical charts is essential to safe boating. Charts include must-have information, including bottom contours, hazards, and aids to navigation, to help you travel safely. Each student receives a Student Guide for the seminar. An optional waterproof flip-fold Chart Symbols and On-the-Water Guide to take along on the boat with you is also available.
- What charts show navigators above the water
- Chart features
- Chart scales
- What charts show navigators below the water
- Aids to navigation
- Latitude and longitude
- Planning your course
- What’s in your way
When a named storm threatens, you need to be prepared and protect your boat. In this short seminar, you'll learn how to select a location from which to weather the storm and prepare your boat for a hurricane. The kit includes Student Notes with copies of the slides.
- Check vessels and gear
- Review marina/dockmaster contracts
- Make plans
- Check your trailer
- Prepare a storm plan
- Lessons learned from storms
- Hurricane anchoring
- Be storm ready
- Your responsibilities
- Post-hurricane efforts of US Coast Guard and law enforcement
Do you want to learn practical techniques to plan, navigate, and check your progress on the water? It's not that hard, and modern marine electronics like GPS and Chartplotters make it even easier.
This seminar will introduce you to using nautical charts to determine safe routes, creating waypoints in your Chartplotter and other GPS devices, and basic electronic navigation and planning using the free downloadable OpenCPN software. This seminar is a great foundation for advanced courses that teach piloting and celestial navigation skills.
The student kit includes the Introduction to Navigation booklet with integrated discussion to the instructor PowerPoint classroom presentation, including directions to download navigation charts and the OpenCPN software application.
- Nautical charts
- Waypoint navigation using a chartplotter
- Navigation planning using OpenCPN software
- Navigation while underway
- What to do when things go wrong
All thumbs when it comes to securing your boat and gear? In this hands-on program, you'll learn to tie the most useful knots using the included step-by-step USPS Guide Knots, Bends and Hitches.
Take the materials home to practice the many other knots described in the guide.
The McGraw-Hill book Knots, Bends and Hitches for Mariners is also available.
People fall overboard, especially in rough weather and high seas.
Discover how to equip and maneuver your boat to retrieve someone in the water.
Essential for all boaters, this seminar teaches you what to do if you fall overboard, as well as how to retrieve someone else.
Don't get lost in the fog.
Whether you want to navigate safely or decide what equipment to purchase, this seminar provides clear advice.
Learn how RADAR works, how to use it effectively, and its limitations as a piloting aid. You'll receive a copy of the Student Notes that has copies of the slides used in the seminar.
The RADAR Book by Kevin Monahan is optionally available.
Even in the electronics age, a compass is essential for safe boating. Learn how to select and install a compass on your boat, which features are most important and what will work best for you, how to deal with variation between true and magnetic north, and how to adjust your compass to remove most of the deviation caused by local magnetic influences. This is an essential seminar for all boaters.
The USPS guide Mariner’s Compass is available.
- Compass types
- Compass selection
- Compass errors
- Earth’s magnetic forces
- Magnetic variation
- Installation on your boat
Don't leave the dock without knowing the rules of the road. This seminar simplifies the sometimes complex U.S. Inland Rules and International Rules, or COLREGS, for the recreational boater. Through examples, you'll discover how to avoid collisions in various situations, the differences between power and sailboat rules, and the special rules for fishing vessel. This seminar includes Student Notes with slides.
The downloadable US Coast Guard's Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook is the supporting text. This seminar is also a starting point for study preparation for the USCG License examination.
- Avoiding collisions
- Meeting head on
- Sailing vessels
- Vessel responsibilities
- Fishing vessels
- Lights and shapes on vessels
- Sounds signals
- Restricted visibility
- Distress signals
Welcome to the world of paddlesports!
You have joined (or soon will) the fastest growing part of boating.
According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, kayaks and canoes accounted for some 54% of new boats sold in 2006 – over 493,000 crafts.
Kayaking, canoeing or rowing are enjoyable opportunities to get close to nature, have a great time, and get some quality exercise in the process. This seminar is intended for those about to join the sport and those considering purchasing paddling equipment.
Are you a crew member or passenger who has no idea what's going on during a boat trip? Learn the essential skills you will need to help the skipper safely operate a recreational boat, including how to respond in an emergency. You'll become an asset on board with Partner in Command.
The Partner in Command seminar includes an introduction to boating, understanding anchoring, docking, and navigation, preparing for bad weather, first aid and on-board emergencies, and more.
- Full color Student Guide
This seminar gives you the tools you need to use propane fuel safely on the water. Propane and butane, also known as LPG, are the most common cooking fuels used on boats. While efficient, cost effective and widely available, these fuels can also be dangerous. This seminar explains boat propane systems, propane safety, and how to keep your boat and crew safe.
- The proper way to turn propane appliances on and off safely
- How to check for propane leaks
- The basics of inspecting and maintaining your propane system
- Parts of a safe marine propane system
- How to use and store small propane fuel cylinders
- Important properties of propane and butane fuel
Are you getting the most out of your sailboat? Learn how to set up your boat's rigging and how to use and adjust your sails for optimum performance under a wide range of conditions. You'll sail like a pro using the tips from this seminar. The seminar includes a copy of seminar Student Notes. The waterproof Captain's QuickGuide Sail Trim and Rig Tuning by Bill Gladstone and North Sails is optionally available.
- Sail terminology
- Rigging terminology
- Trimming tools
- Wind flow on sails
- Sail twist and tensioning
Cruise confidently in coastal waters, secure in your knowledge of tidal conditions. Even if you are an inland boater, you may travel to an area where knowing about tides and tidal currents is important. Discover what causes the tides to rise and fall and what causes the currents to flow. Learn where to find sources of information about tides and tidal currents, simple ways to predict height of tide and speed of current flow and how to use both print and electronic tide tables. Learn about how tides and currents affect your boat’s performance from experienced coastal boaters.
- Causes and effects of tides and currents
- Predict the time of highest tide before it begins to fall
- Predict the vertical movement of the water
- Safely navigate low tide
- Determine the speed of the current and when it reaches maximum flood
- Deal with mean high and low water
- Use NOAA charts and tables
- Factor in tides and currents when anchoring
Overcome boating boredom by trailering your boat to areas with better fishing, weather, or camping facilities. You'll gain the skills and tips needed to safely move your trailerable boat as well as maintenance hints and boat ramp etiquette. Get tips on protecting your gear before, during, and after transit, and learn the "one-block rule".
This two-hour seminar includes how to select tow vehicles, hitches, and trailers, how to safely and securely trailer your boat, launch it, and retrieve it, and how to operate and maintain your trailering equipment. The seminar includes video segments provided by the US Coast Guard and excellent slide notes.
An optional excellent book titled Trailering Your Boat, written by Bruce Smith and published as a USPS Guide by McGraw-Hill is also available. This book serves as an excellent reference on all of these topics.
- The challenge of trailering
- Choosing your vehicle
- Types of hitches
- Choosing and equipping your trailer
- The art of towing
- Launching your boat
- Retrieving your boat
- Trailering sailboats
Sure, GPS can get you where you need to go, but did you know you can use it to steer your boat accurately?
Enhance your boating experience by getting the most out of today's feature-packed GPS devices.
Learn how to store and use waypoints, build and execute routes, and monitor steering. You can also get tips on connecting your GPS to your VHF marine radio, which opens up a new world of digital hailing and distress signaling.
A waterproof McGraw-Hill Captain’s QuickGuide Using GPS to take aboard to remind you of the steps, or to show another of your crew how to use your GPS, is optionally available.
Get familiar with your boat's VHF marine radio in just two hours. Experienced instructors teach you how to use VHF radio like a pro, including the new digital selective calling (DSC) rescue feature.
You'll also get tips on purchasing and installing VHF to get the most out of your investment. A handy waterproof McGraw-Hill Captain's QuickGuide Using VHF is optionally available with essential information that you should have aboard. This QuickGuide explains to anyone on your crew how to use the radio, a real benefit if you’re unable to help in an emergency.