Public Boating Courses


Your source for world-class boating education For Boaters, By Boaters.  A variety of public boating courses are offered by the Cape Fear Sail & Power Squadron.

Start with America's Boating Course® which covers the basics of boating and meets the certification requirements in North Carolina for those under age 26. Then continue with the following:



                         Educational Offerings


(Click on each in the table below for more USPS information)

(Continue scrolling down for current local offerings)


These should be taken in sequence: These may be taken at any time:   
 America's Boating Course® Marine Communications Systems

Boat Handling

Marine Electrical Systems


Engine Maintenance

 Advanced Piloting 

Offshore Navigation Sail
Navigation Cruise Planning

Electronic Navigation

Instructor Development


Course Description
America's Boating Course 3rd Edition: - cost: $85.00 Location: Cape Fear Community College
Date and Time: ABC 24 Aug, Local Knowledge & On the Water 25 Aug

America’s Boating Course®



The Cape Fear Sail & Power Squadron is proudly offering the very best in safe boating education with their newly revamped boating course which will be offered three times per year at the Cape Fear Community College. The course is centered around the 8-hour America’s Boating Course® now offered on a single Saturday (8:00am – 4:30pm). This class is NASBLA approved and USCG recognized and will satisfy NC safe boating requirements for anyone under 26 years of age.


For new boaters or boaters new to the Cape Fear coastal area we have expanded the program to include our exclusive “Local Knowledge” combined with our "On-the-Water" teaching cruise on the following Sunday (free parking on the streets of Wilmington). We'll address the challenges and complexities of boating in our local coastal environment where we'll tie everything together.  


The cost is $85, additional family members living in the same household can share the textbook at the discounted price of $50 each.



 Topics include:

  • Required Safety Equipment
  • Navigation Rules & Aids
  • Finding Your Way
  • Marlinspike (knots)
  • Trailering
  • Anchoring
  • Communications Afloat
  • Lights and Sound Signals


24 Aug, 2019 – ABC Classroom CFCC  8:00am–4:30pm
25 Aug, 2019 – Local Knowledge & OTW 11:00am-3:00pm


Click here for more information and to enroll 





If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact: Lt/C Ned Rhodes, SN at


Photos will be taken at these events for publication in the Foghorn and Squadron website. If you do not wish to have your photo taken, please sign the Opt-Out sheet at this class.

Piloting: Member cost: $80.00 - Non-member cost: $100.00 Location: Cape Fear Community College
Date and Time: Wednesdays from 25 Sep for 8 weeks 6:30 - 8:30



Piloting is the first course in the sequence of the United States Power Squadrons® courses on navigation, covering the basics of coastal and inland navigation. This course focuses on navigation as it is done on recreational boats today and embraces GPS as a primary navigation tool while covering enough of traditional techniques so the student will be able to find his/her way even if their GPS fails. The course includes many in-class exercises, developing the student’s skills through hands-on practice and learning. Nine classes of two hours each are scheduled for presentation of this course. In addition, the students have seven days to complete the open book exam.









Topics covered include:

  • Charts and their interpretation
  • Navigation aids and how they point to safe water
  • Plotting courses and determining direction and distance
  • The mariner’s compass and converting between True and Magnetic
  • Use of GPS – typical GPS displays and information they provide, setting up waypoints and routes, staying on a GPS route.
  • Pre-planning safe courses and entering them into the GPS
  • Monitoring progress and determining position by both GPS and traditional techniques such as bearings and dead reckoning
  • The “Seaman’s Eye” – simple skills for checking that one is on course. 


Schedule:  Wednesday nights 25 September for 8 weeks from 6:30 - 8:30pm


Cost:  Member $80, non-member $100. Spouses/partners can share textbook for additional $10 (member), $30 (nonmember). Note: 4x15 Plotter and dividers are necessary for tyhe course and sold by the Squadron at a discounted price of $20. 


Classroom: Cape Fear Community College, Union Station Building - free campus parking. 



If you have questions or need more information please contact Lt/C Ned Rhodes SN, SEO at

Photos will be taken at these events for publication in the Foghorn and Squadron website. If you do not wish to have your photo taken, please sign the Opt-Out sheet at this class. 

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