Your source for premier boating education.  A variety of courses are offered by the Cape Fear Sail & Power Squadron and all are available to the public.

Start with America's Boating Course® which covers the basics of boating and meets the certification requirements in NC for those under age 26.  

Then continue with the following:

Cape Fear Boating Club educational offerings:

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


Marine Electrical Systems


Engine Maintenance

 Advanced Piloting 

Junior Navigation Sail
Navigation Cruise Planning

Electronic Navigation

Instructor Development

Get more information about these courses (click) and the many seminars (click) available from the

United States Power Squadrons® 

Course Description
Electronic Navigation: Member cost: $65.00 - Non-member cost: $80.00 Location: Cape Fear Community College
Date and Time: Tuesday's Mar 14 for 5 weeks.

 Electronic Navigation

Electronic Navigation introduces GPS technology from the most basic receiver to chart plotter systems for navigation on board. The process of navigating by establishing waypoints and routes, and then running the planned courses, is demonstrated. Further, electronic charting software for the desktop computer is examined, with creation of waypoints and routes on the desktop and subsequent download to the onboard unit. Despite differences among the various manufacturers' offerings, a thorough discussion of the features being made available is included.
Special attention is paid to apps for tablets and smartphones that provide the electronic navigation function at the helm, for relatively little cost.
Students should be familiar with basic charting concepts such as latitude, longitude, the compass, course plotting, and time/distance calculation, to get the most out of the course.
The student materials include a soft-bound course text and a Windows-compatible CD for electronic content. The course menu provides all the class presentation PowerPoints, an interactive homework tool, hands-on exercises on the PC that simulate GPS function, as well as the Maptech Chart Navigator software and a chart plotter emulator from Standard Horizon.
This course omits Radar and Depth Sonar technologies, however Appendix 8 of the course text on Automatic Identification System (AIS) is presented and made part of the examinable material for USPS course credit.
We plan on covering the course material in 4 weeks, followed by the exam on week 5. After that, we will then schedule a field trip where we will use the skills we learned on a boat trip to an exotic destination such as Sourthport, Bald Head or Wilmington.
Member price $65, non-member price $80
Vessel Safety Examiners Training: Location: Cape Fear Community College - U529
Date and Time: March 18 at 9 am


One important way the United States Power Squadrons® and our Cape Fear Sail & Power Squadron provide for a safe boating environment is our Vessel Safety Inspection Program. This program, along with the Squadron’s Boating Safety Courses, are important outreach tools to the boating public. The classroom courses have qualified instructors and the Vessel Safety program has qualified Vessel Examiners or VE’s. The VE program is an excellent way for new members to start their involvement with the Squadron and interact with fellow boaters.

On 18 March 2017, we will have a VSC Day where our current examiners and new examiners will meet at the Cape Fear Community College, Union Station Building, Classroom U-529 (5th floor).
We'll start at 0900 (9:00AM) with the meeting portion where we'll present new developments in our program along with the new Try-Six recruitment program. The training portion for new examiners will immediately follow- most likely 10:00AM. Training should be done by 2:00PM.
If you have been thinking about becoming a vessel safety examiner now is the perfect time to join the team. You can make a difference that is a real and helpful way to promote boating safety and to "give-back" to the boating community with this civic service.
If you are not a VSC Examiner, please consider joining our Team.

If additional information is needed, please email us directly at  

America's Boating Course 3rd Edition: - cost: $85.00 Location: Cape Fear Community College - Room U387
Date and Time: ABC May 20, Local Knowledge & On the Water May 21


The Cape Fear Sail and 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 AM – 4:30 PM). 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-theWater 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.  

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

Visit the websites or to learn more and to enroll. 

 Topics include:

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

May 20 2017 – ABC classroom CFCC  U387 8 AM – 4:30 PM
May 21 2017 – Local Knowledge & OTW 12 - 4 PM

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