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Boating Essentials Course
Vancouver Power Squadron
Vancouver Squadron

Boating Manual

Boating Essentials

Class times are 1900 - 2130 (7:00 PM to 9:30 PM). On the first night, please arrive by 6:45 to complete registration and pick up course materials.

Tuesday, Jan 26 to Apr 5, 9 weeks
Full fee: $295
For two persons living at the same address sharing course material, the fee for the second person is $215

Sorry - the class is full - no further registrations can be accepted


vessel aground

What's that green marker mean again???

Boating Essentials picks up where Boating Basics leaves off. This course provides in-depth boat operation and safety training. As well, you will experience the challenge of plotting and navigation, necessary skills in boating situations where technology fails. Topics include: global positioning and charts, navigation, conning, plotting, digital charting, anchoring, lines and ropes, electrical issues, towing, and the environment, and more.

NOTE: The Boating Essentials course does not cover the material required for the PCOC card. Anyone operating a power-driven vessel is required to possess a PCOC.

Students taking Boating Essentials who do not already have a PCOC issued by CPS or another provider may take the Boating Basics course which will be offered immediately folloing Boating Essentials. The Boating Basics course can also be taken from CPS On-Line

Topics covered in this course include:

  • The Magnetic Compass
    • The Earth's Magnetic Field
    • Compass errors: Deviation and Variation
    • Installing a Compass
    • Steering by Compass
  • Global Positioning and Charts
    • Global Positioning: Latitude and Longitude
    • Definition of a Nautical Mile
    • Expressing directions
    • Charts: projections and scale
    • Reading a Chart:
      • Title Block
      • Heights and Elevations
      • Depth Soundings
      • Chart Datums
      • Compass Rose, determining directions
      • Latitude and Longitude lines, determining position
      • Measuring distance on a Chart
      • Symbols and abbreviations shown on a chart
    • Aids to Navigation: Bouys and Day Beacons
    • Small Craft Guides and other publications
  • Conning
  • Introduction to Plotting
  • Time, Speed, and Distance Calculations
  • Plotting and Labelling
    • Plotting Instruments
    • Course Lines, Lines of Position
    • Dead Reconning Positions and Fixes
    • Planning a Cruise
  • Working with paper charts - Practice Cruises
  • Digital Charts and Cartplotters
  • Anchors and Anchoring
  • Lines and Ropes
  • Environmental Responsibilities
Boating Basics (PCOC)
Boating Essentials
Beyond the PCOC
Introduction to Navigation
Marine Radio Operation
Advanced Piloting
Junior Navigator
Global Navigation
Boat and Engine Maintenance
Electronic Navigation
RADAR for Pleasurecraft
Fundamentals of Weather
Global Weather
Extended Cruising

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