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The United States Power Squadrons (USPS) DBA America's Boating Club, is a non-profit educational organization, founded in 1914, whose mission is to improve maritime safety and enjoyability through classes in seamanship, navigation, and other related subjects. The USPS comprises approximately 45,000 members organized into 450 squadrons across the United States and in some US territories. It is the largest U.S. non-profit boating organization and has been honored by three U.S. presidents for its civic contributions. Its official publication is The Ensign magazine.
There are many educational opportunities available within the United States Power Squadrons. USPS offers courses that teach basic knowledge necessary to operate boats safely and legally. The basic course meets the requirements set forth by NASBLA. The United States Power Squadrons offer courses in advanced navigation using modern equipment such as GPS and Radar. Courses are even offered in celestial navigation. USPS also teaches advanced courses in Weather, Marine Engine Maintenance, Marine Electronic and Electrical Systems, Sail, and Cruise Planning.
The United States Power Squadrons conducts vessel safety checks. During a vessel safety check, a qualified USPS vessel examiner will board vessels (with permission) and check for the presence and condition of various pieces of equipment required by federal and state laws for the safe operation of that particular vessel. A vessel safety check is provided at no charge and is not a law enforcement boarding. If the boat carries the proper equipment, a sticker will be awarded to display on the vessel. If a boat does not pass the inspection, the USPS informs the owners, but does not report its findings to any law enforcement or government agency.
A parallel organization operates in Canada under the name Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS) in English and Escadrilles canadiennes de plaisance (ECP) in French. It was founded as an offshoot of USPS in 1938.
The USPS ensignfeatures a red canton with 13 white stars around a fouled (entangled or twisted) anchor. The body of the flag contains 13 vertical blue and white stripes. This flag was designed by Roger Upton and Charles F. Chapman for the United States Power Squadrons, and by 1915, the flag was officially adopted by the organization. The design and other specifications of this ensign are described in the USPS bylaws and also in the operations manual.
|Flag||Flying Times||Power Yacht Without Mast||Power Yacht with Signal Mast||Sailing Yacht with One Mast||Power or Sail Yacht with Two Masts|
| Ensign of the United States,|
U.S. yacht ensign (informal),
USPS Ensign (when flown in place of U.S. Ensign)
|0800 hours to sunset||Flag Stern Staff||Flag Stern Staff||Flag Stern Staff, Underway at Peak of Gaff, 2/3 up Leech of Mainsail, Equivalent Position along Backstay||Flag Stern Staff, Underway at Peak of After-most Gaff, 2/3 up Leech of Mainsail, Equivalent Position along Backstay|
|USPS Ensign (when NOT flown in place of U.S. Ensign)||Day and Night when in commission and under command of a USPS member||Antenna or Staff Amidships - preferably to starboard||Starboard Spreader, Inboard Halyard or Port Spreader when flown with Foreign Ensign||Starboard Spreader, Inboard Halyard or Port Spreader when flown with Foreign Ensign||Foremost Starboard Spreader, Inboard Halyard or Port Spreader when flown with Foreign Ensign|
Yachting is the use of recreational boats and ships called yachts for racing or cruising. Yachts are distinguished from working ships mainly by their leisure purpose. "Yacht" derives from the Dutch word jacht ("hunt"). With sailboats, the activity is called sailing, and with motorboats, it is called powerboating.
A maritime flag is a flag designated for use on ships, boats, and other watercraft. Naval flags are considered important at sea and the rules and regulations for the flying of flags are strictly enforced. The flag flown is related to the country of registration: so much so that the word "flag" is often used symbolically as a synonym for "country of registration".
The Canadian Coast Guard is the coast guard of Canada. Formed in 1962, the coast guard is tasked with marine search and rescue, communication, navigation, and transportation issues in Canadian waters, such as navigation aids and icebreaking, marine pollution response, and support for other Canadian government initiatives. The coast guard operates 119 vessels of varying sizes and 22 helicopters, along with a variety of smaller craft. The CCG is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, and is a special operating agency within Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard. Congress established the unit on June 23, 1939, as the United States Coast Guard Reserve. On February 19, 1941, the organization was re-designated as the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Auxiliary exists to support all USCG missions on the water or in the air, except for roles that require "direct" law enforcement or military engagement. As of 2018, there were approximately 24,000 members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
The Cadet Instructors Cadre (CIC) consists of approximately 7,500 Canadian Forces (CF) officers whose primary duty is the safety, supervision, administration and training of Royal Canadian Sea, Army, and Air Cadets. The branch is the largest single group within the Canadian Forces reserve force subcomponent Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service (COATS) and is the largest officer branch in the Canadian Forces. The COATS subcomponent of the Reserve Force employs members from all branches and occupations of the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Air Force of the Canadian Forces.
Boating is the leisurely activity of travelling by boat, or the recreational use of a boat whether powerboats, sailboats, or man-powered vessels, focused on the travel itself, as well as sports activities, such as fishing or waterskiing. It is a popular activity, and there are millions of boaters worldwide.
This is a glossary of nautical terms; some remain current, while many date from the 17th to 19th centuries. See also Wiktionary's nautical terms, Category:Nautical terms, and Nautical metaphors in English. See the Further reading section for additional words and references.
The ensign of the United States is the flag of the United States when worn as an ensign. International maritime law—see International Treaty on Law of the Sea, articles 91 and 92—provides that vessels have a "national character" and thus should display a flag (ensign) that corresponds to this national character, especially when in international or foreign waters. Vessels that are formally documented under the federal vessel documentation act, vessels owned by government bodies in the United States, and vessels in the U.S. military unquestionably have U.S. national character, and thus properly hoist a U.S. ensign to show their national character. Vessels that are numbered by the states and small, non-registered craft owned by U.S. citizens and not registered in other countries may also hoist a U.S. ensign to show their national character.
The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) agency. The Sailing Center provides educational and recreational sailing programs to those who wish to gain access to Lake Michigan and learn to sail; regardless of age, ability, or financial concerns. In 2004, MCSC celebrated its 25th year of sailing.
A maritime pilot, marine pilot, harbor pilot, port pilot, ship pilot, or simply pilot, is a mariner who maneuvers ships through dangerous or congested waters, such as harbors or river mouths. Maritime pilots are largely regarded as skilled professionals in navigation as they are required to know immense details of waterways such as depth, currents, and hazards, as well as displaying expertise in handling ships of all types and size. In order to obtain the title, maritime pilot, requires being an expert ship handler licensed or authorised by a recognised pilotage authority.
The flag state of a merchant vessel is the jurisdiction under whose laws the vessel is registered or licensed, and is deemed the nationality of the vessel. A merchant vessel must be registered and can only be registered in one jurisdiction, but may change the register in which it is registered. The flag state has the authority and responsibility to enforce regulations over vessels registered under its flag, including those relating to inspection, certification, and issuance of safety and pollution prevention documents. As a ship operates under the laws of its flag state, these laws are applicable if the ship is involved in an admiralty case.
The United States Coast Guard is the coastal defense, search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement branch of the United States Armed Forces and is one of the country's eight uniformed services. It carries out three basic roles, which are further subdivided into eleven statutory missions. The three roles are:
Marine safety is one of the eleven missions of the United States Coast Guard.
Sail Canada is Canada's governing body for the sport of sailing. Sail Canada is a "Member National Authority" of World Sailing. Organization of sailing in Canada is divided into four groups: yacht clubs, Provincial Sailing Associations, class associations, and Sail Canada itself.
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Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons / Escadrille canadiennes de plaisance (CPS-ECP) is an organization of recreational boaters with about 26,000 active members. CPS is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. Its volunteer instructors train recreational boaters in boating safety knowledge as well as their vessel handling and navigation skills. CPS offers boating safety courses yearly and provides qualification for the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). Its patron is HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
A Yachtmaster qualification is a certificate of competence of the ability to handle either a sailing boat or motor boat in certain prescribed conditions. Three different titles are specified; Yachtmaster Coastal, Yachtmaster Offshore, and Yachtmaster Ocean which specify the level of competence required and the area of operation certified.
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