Frequently Asked Questions
- What's in it for you?
- Do I need a boat?
- Where are you located?
- What is United States Power Squadrons®
- Is USPS a part of or supported by the U.S. Government?
- What are the activities of USPS?
- What community and civic services does USPS perform?
- What social activities do members enjoy?
- What educational courses are available to USPS members?
- How do you enroll in a USPS boating course?
- Can sailors become members?
- How does one become a member of USPS?
- Are you interested in becoming an Associate Member of Seattle Sail and Power Squadron?
- What if you're already a member of the Canadian Power Squadron or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary?
Q. Do I need to own a boat?
A. No. In fact conversations, crewing and classes can be a wonderful way to clarify what first boat (or the next one) would be right for you. Almost all rendezvous can be enjoyed by car. Crewing for a sail race or hitching a boat ride to a rendezvous can get you on the water, and guests are welcomed by many of our skippers.
Q. Where are you located?
A. The NOSPS Squadron generally holds classes and meetings in the Sequim area, so most of our members either live, work or keep their boat in the John Wayne and Port Haven marinas, but not all. Rendezvous destinations are San Juan Islands, Gulf Islands, South and North Sounds and Hood Canal. We are a member of District 16 which serves Washington State; you might check their web site to see if another Squadron is more convenient. Which one you join is purely up to you. You can always take a class or two at another Squadron when that works better for you. Memberships can transfer to another Squadron if you move or you can be an Associate Member in additional Squadrons.
Q. What is United States Power Squadrons®?
A. Organized in 1914, USPS is a non profit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation and related subjects. 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. USPS has some 50,000 members organized into 450 squadrons across the country and in some US territories. Your membership in a local squadron includes membership in the National organization. USPS is the world’s largest non-profit boating organization and has been honored by three US presidents for its civic contributions.
Q. Is USPS a part of or supported by the U.S. Government?
A. No. While we have many joint programs with the United States Coast Guard, the CG Auxiliary, and the National Ocean Services division of NOAA, USPS is a private, totally self-supporting organization.
Q. What are the activities of USPS?
A. Each squadron’s activities involve the three primary objectives of USPS: community service, continuing education, and enjoying the friendship and camaraderie of our fellow members. See Membership Benefits and About Us to learn more.
Q. What community and civic services does USPS perform?
A. Local squadrons offer boating safety courses on a regular basis to boaters in our communities. These courses are open to the public (discounted for members) and there is no age limit for participants. USPS squadrons have offered these courses for over half a century and have educated more than 3 million boaters to date. Successfully completing a USPS boating safety course meets the educational requirements for boat operation in all states and is a requirement for squadron membership. Our members also help the NOAA keep our nautical charts accurate by reporting chart corrections, and our local squadrons participate in many other community improvement projects.
Q. What social activities do members enjoy?
A. Participating both on-the-water and off with fellow members who are skilled in boating is a rewarding and enjoyable experience. On-the-water activities include cruises, rendezvous, sail races, navigation contests. Activities ashore include meetings with marine programs, parties, dinner-dances, and picnics. Conversations about boating experiences and destinations are a learning process too, and can be a valuable resource in decision making on top of the fun.
Q. What educational courses are available to USPS members?
A. Every squadron offers many multi-week courses (discounted $$ for members) in subjects like Seamanship, Piloting, Plotting and Position Finding, Celestial Navigation, Cruise Planning, Engine Maintenance, Marine Electronics, Sailing, and much more. We also offer evening seminars on specific topics like GPS or Radar. Class materials are prepared to professional standards nationally. Courses are taught by experienced member instructors, and members who complete them are recognized. You only pay for the books making these classes a tremendous value.
Q. How do you enroll in an introductory boating course?
A. Every USPS squadron teaches at least one introductory course every year. In Sequim, a six week introductory course usually begins in September. Plus we have other courses and one-day classes several times per year. Check our Education pages for more information. When becoming a member, you will receive a ten dollar coupon towards your first course.
Q. Can sailors become members?
A. Of course! About half our members are sailors. The term “Power Squadrons” in our name dates to our founding in 1914 by the power boat division of the Boston Yacht Club. Following the first World War, our ranks broadened to include all types of boats, and sailors have been a major part of USPS ever since.
Q. How does one become a member of USPS?
A. Membership is open to those 16 years and over who are want to learn new skills and contribute time, energy, and skills to the objectives of USPS. Family members of all ages are welcome too. We encourage new boaters to start with one of the Introductory Boating courses (no longer a membership requirement), but experienced boaters may now join directly to take any class, or to serve in an activity like coop charting or vessel safety checks.
Q. Are you interested in becoming an Associate Member of North Olympic Sail & Power Squadron?
A. If you are a member of one of the Squadrons of the United States Power Squadron, we welcome you to become an Associate Member of North Olympic Sail and Power Squadron. To join, or if you have any questions, all you have to do is click here and either COntact us or download the membership application.
Q. What if you’re already a member of the Canadian Power Squadron or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary?
A. If you belong to either of these organizations you can become a US Power Squadron member immediately. Click here for your membership application.