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America's Boating Course sets sail on Saturdays

  • Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Karl Naugle, of the Charleston Power and Sailing Squadron teaches the Red On Right Returning rule for the segment on rules of the road, called Red Right Return. PHOTO PROVIDED

On Saturday, Feb. 8 twenty-one Charleston area residents learned about boating safety at the Headquarters of the Charleston Sail and Power Squadron. CSPS is a non-profit devoted to educating boaters and promoting safety on local waterways. The Charleston Sail and Power Squadron was formed in 1946 as a local chapter of the United States Power Squadron, also known as America's Boating Club. ABC (America's Boating Course) is taught for 8 hours on a Saturday and is offered for a nominal fee several times each year.

It covers boating safety, government regulations, vessel lights and what they mean, rules of the road, navigation aids, docking and more. The U.S. Coast Guard calls America's Boating Course the most comprehensive boating safety course available. The course is also approved by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. If participants pass the test, they receive a state the Boating Safety Certificate and the DNR Boater Education Certificate.

The Charleston Sail and Power Squadron also offers many other boating courses including Piloting, Navigation, Weather, and Engine Maintenance and Electronics. Course offerings can be found on the Squadron webpage at USPS.org.

Civic activities of the squadron include free vessel safety checks and assisting NOAA with navigational chart updates for local waterways. CSPS also conducts beach and waterway cleanups and co-sponsors the annual Holiday Parade of Boats with the City of Charleston.

A number of activities are offered to teach safe boating practices to our children. Charleston Sail and Power Squadron works with the Boy Scouts and American Heritage Girls to provide boat safety training, both in classrooms and on the water. Youth scholarships are available for children under 18.

Mt. Pleasant resident and Past Commander Richard Howells can be reached for more information on educational opportunities at: rhowells125@gmail.com or by phone at 843-437-6241.

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