Boating Education

collage of courses that can be taken

NOSPS offers in-depth Courses 

These courses offer a natural progression, from beginner to advanced.  Also offered, are focused two-hour Seminars and Clinics for new and experienced boaters.  The purpose is to promote safety, enjoyment and confidence on our North Pacific waters by advancing your know-how of seamanship & boat handling, piloting & navigation, boat systems maintenance, weather, sailing, cruise planning, and other related topics.  

collage of courses that can be taken


Instructors:  Sandy Thomas, Judy Shanks

Seamanship is the recommended first course for those wanting to continue with boater training whether as powerboaters or sailors. 

Orientation for new members

ABC Two Day Course

Lead Instructor:  Gordon Bilyard
Instructors: a number of Instructors are used to teach this two day class each relating to a specific topic.  This 2 day course qualifies you for your Washington State Boater ID card. 

ABC Course

Piloting Class

Instructors: Ray Madsen & Randy Blackburn Lappin

This is the first of the navigation courses and introduces the fundamentals of inland and near-shore navigation. Topics included are descriptions of the different types of marine charts, US Coast Guard and other aids to navigation, the boat’s compass, basic GPS and use of electronics for navigation, planning and monitoring courses, and back-up methods to use if your electronics stop working.

Piloting Class

Advanced Piloting

Instructors: Ray Madsen & Randy Blackburn-Lappin

This course builds on the skills learned in Piloting and teaches how to navigate when going further outside of your normal boating waters. Topics include course planning with electronics, position finding with electronics and without, methods for predicting tides and tidal currents and their effect on your boat as it moves through the water, more advanced use of GPS systems, the more extensive use of radar, and other electronic navigation techniques.

Junior Navigation Class 2016

Instructor: Gary Hicks

Junior Navigation is the first of two courses that train boaters for offshore navigation – out of sight of land with or without a working GPS unit. It is designed as a practical “how to” course. The next course is Navigation. Also, taught by Gary Hicks.

Junior Navigation Class 2016

Engine Maintenance

Instructor: Ray Mahalick

Engine Maintenance is intended to help recreational boaters understand their propulsion systems whether they are outboards, inboards, stern drives, or jet drives. You don’t have to be an engineer or mechanic to benefit from this course.

Medical Emergencies Clinic

Clinic Instructor:  Bob Stem

A must-have for skippers, this one day seminar provides valuable skills for anyone venturing on the water. Learn how to adequately prepare for common emergencies and deal with them when they occur. Gain practical knowledge about accident prevention.

Medicl Emergencies

CPR & First Aid

Organized by Safety Officer Suzy Webb

CPR & First Aid Basics are necessary for any boater. Knowing what to do and how to do it in emergency situations could save a life.  Members may participate in hands on CPR exercises, stitching wounds,etc. Classes are offered periodically for members to obtain or renew their certification.

Much easier to practice on a dummy a few times than have to perform CPR for the first time on someone who needs life saving attention!

Wave Basics Clinic

Clinic Instructor:  Gordon Bilyard

An introduction to ocean waves, including capillary waves, wind waves, tsunamis and tides.  The properties of oceanic waves, how waves are characterized, and the spectrum of waves typically found at sea are discussed.  Wind waves and tides are emphasized because they are of most interest to boaters. Discussions include the interactions of wind and tides, and how to interpret what you see on the water

On The Water Training

Education Officer:  Duane Webb

These classes are arranged through the Education Officer tailored to the class and the needs of the member/s.
*Jump Start
*Boat handling skills for new and experienced boaters
*One Eight Hour Day (4 hours in the classroom, 4 hours on the water)

Practice your Boating Skills on the Virtual Trainer

Members and the public have the opportunity to practice boating skills on the District 16 Virtual Trainer at the District 16 Annual Rendezvous in June each year and at the Seattle Boat Show in January each year.  Also, it will be on loan to our Squadron periodically.

Don Stem teaching Clinic on Anchoring

Anchoring Clinic

Clinic Instructor:  Don Stem
2 Hour Clinic

 With many years experience cruising to Alaska on  "Firefly"and anchoring out much of the time, Don has many stories of what to do and what not to do from first hand accounts.  He addresses individual types of anchors.

Don Stem teaching Clinic on Anchoring

Cruising & Cruise Planning Course

Instructors:  Steve Allen

This course covers all the basic information you need to know when planning a cruise and while cruising.  You will be hands on planning a cruise in this class.  It is also a great overview of all you have been learning.  Great class to take.  You may find out that you "didn't know what you didn't know!"  Fun & Informational!

Weather Course

Instructor: Gary Yarus

After completing this course, the boater will have the skills to understand weather forecasts and predictions, to make better instrument and visual observations from the boat and to know what it means when radio or television “weathermen” talk about air masses, fronts, storms, and fog. Throughout the course the you will learn how to make observations and predictions when out on the water.



 For questions, further information or to register for a course

We will respond to your request

Bernie Armstrong

Bernie Armstrong

 Squadron Education Officer

Ken Barnaby 2021/2022


 Assistant Education Officer

    Carmel & Dwight Campbell, Susy Webb, Don Stem receive Cruise & Cruise Planning
    The Campbells, Suzy Webb, Bob Stem receive Cruise & Cruise Planning Certificates


    ABC Course

    ABC Course is designed for the beginning boater, personal watercraft operator, hunter or fisher operating an outboard boat, skipper of a power cruiser, sail boater and those to receive the Washington State Boater Education Card. Safety, weather, waves, nautical rules, regulations, courtesies of the sea & more are covered. Open to everyone.


    Advanced & Elective Courses

    Advanced Courses & Electives are generally held once a week and vary according to the course over a 4 - 12 week period with one additional week period including Exam.  Exams are optional but encouraged. Most classes are typically 2 hours long.  Students are expected to complete homework assignments between classes.


    Clinics & Seminars

    Seminars & Clinics are offered in 2-4 hour blocks on the first Saturday morning of each month
    (September - May).
    These Clinics provide an enjoyable way to learn about specific marine topics. Seminars include theory along with local knowledge & experience in the Pacific Northwest waters.
    Open to everyone.