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 the America's Boating Course® which covers the basics of boating and meets the certification requirements in North Carolina for those under age 26. Please see below or click here for additional information on other classes.



Course Description
Marine Communication Systems: Location: Cape Fear Community College
Date and Time: See Below

Marine Communication Systems Course 2023

Marine Communication Systems is an in-depth, nine-chapter review of those systems available to the recreational boater, or to those with whom he/she shares the water. Communicating is a function of daily life. It is so important that there are a multitude of effective and/or successful communication skills courses available if you are interested in the topic.  You can even get a Master’s in Communication degree. But communicating is such a common occurrence that you rarely think about it, at least while you are on land. Communicating while traveling on the water is another topic altogether; at least until the cell phone was invented.  But even the cell phone has limited capabilities on a boat.


The Marine Communication Systems (MCS) course will help you to become a better, safer, and more confident boater. Sure you learned about bells, whistles, and horn blasts during your safe boating class. You even learned the basic functions of a VHF radio. But do you know what VHF stands for and what frequencies (not channels) are included? In some instances, perhaps those frequencies are not capable of getting your message out. This course will cover the multitude of communication options available to boaters. You will learn the basics of how they work, how to use them when to use them, and any regulatory requirements associated with using them. We’ll even throw in just a little bit of history and some tidbits on maintenance. After all, when you are out on the water and something doesn’t work right, the next service station to pull in to could be a bit farther away than you can travel.


Radio history and spectrum definitions are presented along with definitions of radio circuits that the student should learn to choose the best communications method for his/her situation. One chapter is devoted to the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and another to FCC Rules and regulations to set the stage for the instruction of radiotelephone operating procedures (both voice and digital messaging are covered). The remaining chapters cover High Seas radio (MF/HF and satellite communications) and other systems such as Family Radio Service transceivers. There is also a chapter on troubleshooting radio installations. This course requires seven two-hour sessions.




    Jan 9 - Introduction, Chapter 1: Radio History and Communications,

                      Chapter 2: The Radio Frequency Spectrum, Chapter 3: VHF Communications

          Jan 26 - Chapter 4: GMDSS

          Jan 30 - Finish Chapter 4, Chapter 5: FCC Rules, Radio Licenses, and the Radio Frequency Plan

          Feb 6 - Chapter 6: Radiotelephone Operating Procedures

          Feb 13 - Chapter 7: Long-Range Radio Communications

          Feb 20 - Chapter 8: Other Marine Communications Systems, Chapter 9: Radio Maintenance

          Mar 2 - Review and Examination


Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm



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



Fee: $75 Member; $10 Spouse/Partner

         $95 Non-member; $25 Spouse/Partner








If you have any additional questions or need additional information, please contact:

P/Lt/C SteveThompson, SN


 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.

Online Boating Courses: Location: Online
Date and Time:




Seminars make it easy for you to acquire or update your knowledge and skills about specific topics in a short period of time, typically 2 hours.


Live webinars are a great way for instructors and students to meet in a virtual classroom.


We offer you the opportunity to take online boating courses, seminars, and webinars. Prices and the length of the classes vary.






Members get 25% off public price!







Boat Handling Course (Seamanship)


Cruising Boats and Systems


Use Your GPS Like an Expert


Boat Safely With AIS Marine Electronics


Cruise Planning


Ocean Waves


Learn to Forecast the Weather


Thunderstorms & Severe Weather


Ocean Currents & Computer Navigation


Choosing and using a VHF radio for your boat




For Details:








If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact:


Lt/C Ned Rhodes, SN SEO at, or


1/Lt Meg Morrison, JN ASEO at

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