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Flotilla 59 - Public Education

Upcoming Courses

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*Beginning July 1, 2016, ALL PWC operators and motorboat operators (10hp or greater) are required by law to complete a state-recognized boating safety course.

Courses We Offer

The US Coast Guard Auxiliary offers the following USCG-approved courses for the boating public:

Boater Safely
If you are interested in an exciting, in-depth boating safety course, check out the classroom (seminar) version of our popular online boating course. This beginner boating class will give you the knowledge needed to obtain a boat license required in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Our instructors are certified by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Many boat insurance companies will offer discounts on boating insurance to boaters who successfully complete About Boating Safely.

Suddenly in Command
The captain becomes incapacitated or falls overboard; you purchase your first boat and step aboard for the very first time. You are Suddenly In Command. This 4-hour boating safety primer is designed for those not generally at the wheel and will help you to “be prepared” with the basics in case of an emergency.

Boating Skills and Seamanship
The U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary's Boating Skills and Seamanship (BS&S) course is a comprehensive course designed for both the experienced and the novice boater. This course includes modules covering equipment, trailering, navigation, seamanship, handling, weather, and radio communications.

• Sailing Skills and Seamanship
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary's Sailing Skills and Seamanship Course (SS&S) is a comprehensive course designed for both experienced and novice sailboat operators. Similar to the Boating Skills course, this course focuses on unique issues related to sailboats, including rigging, sail trim, sail physics and sailboat maneuvering.

• Weekend Navigator
Weekend Navigation Course is a comprehensive course designed for both experienced and novice powerboat and sailboat operators who take short weekend cruises. The course covers basic navigation (chart and GPS) as well as emergency procedures in the event you lose your GPS.

• GPS Navigation
GPS for Mariners (GPSFM) is a modern learning experience that focuses on the GPS equipment typically owned by the recreational boater. The recommended presentation of the course involves inviting course participants who already own portable GPS units to bring them to the class, increasing interactivity of the educational experience and getting students more involved.

• How to Read Nautical Charts
When navigating on land you use a map. At sea there are no streets, no separate areas, no differences from abutting or surrounding areas. With no land mass over the horizon, everything looks the same. For navigating at sea, we use a chart. By knowing our latitude and longitude, we can locate our position anywhere on earth. This course will provide the navigator with the knowledge to interpret the chart’s contents to navigate safely to their destination and return to port.

• Paddle Craft Specialty Course
Now there is a new course available to address the unique needs of Canoeists and kayakers. Paddlesports America is an exciting safety course designed to attract the novice paddle enthusiasts. This four-hour course presents five chapters of safety information.

• Personal Watercraft Course
The U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary's Personal Watercraft course is a very basic introduction to the safety issues involved when operating a PWC.


If you or your organization is interested in participating in any of the above courses, you can either join a scheduled class, or we can arrange a private course for your group. Custom courses can also be developed to meet your specific needs.

To schedule a course or find out more information, please contact us!

Historically, we have offered courses to:
• Scout Troops
• Women’s Clubs
• Yacht Clubs
• Church Groups
• Local First Responders
• General Public
• And More….