Upcoming Education Classes

Knowledge + Skills = Confidence


Seminar: Boating on Rivers, Locks, and Lakes

Materials Fee: FREE
Dates: April 13, 2023 from 7:00PM - 9:00 PM
Location: Online (via Zoom)

The United States has over 30,000 miles of improved waterways—some of the finest boating to be found anywhere. This seminar introduces boaters to this inland cruising world.

The seminar deals with such varied topics as special navigation rules for rivers, the Western Rivers System of buoys and marks, river currents, “reading” a river, jetties and wing dams, the intricacies of locking through, and communicating with lock masters and bridge tenders. Learn about your local waters from experienced inland boaters. Each student receives an electronic Student Guide especially written for the seminar.


Americas Boating Course (ABC)

Materials Fee: $45
Dates: Mondays, April 10 - May 8, 2023
Time: 7:00 - 9:15 PM
Location: Virtual Classroom (Zoom)

This boating safety course is designed for boaters using all types of watercraft. Upon successful completion of the course and the exam, you will earn your state boating card.

This material covers:

  • Rules of the road
  • Required safety equipment
  • Navigation aids
  • Lights and sounds
  • Anchoring
  • Communications
  • Adverse conditions
  • Water sports safety
  • Trailering
  • Personal watercraft safety
  • State and local regulations
  • Knots and lines handling

For more information, contact education@minnetonkaps.org

Boat Handling

Boat Handling Course (Seamanship)

Materials Fee: $35
Dates: Fall 2023 (TBD)
Location: TBD

Boat Handling will be offered in the Fall of 2023. This course is necessary for all members who want to have Minnetonka Island Privileges. You must earn your Seamanship grade by completing this course (taught by local instructors) or the on-demand course (https://uspsonline.lmscheckout.com/Course/view/1848047) before the start of the third summer of your membership to qualify for an island use sticker.

Boat Handing is intended for newer recreational boaters who have completed a basic boating class (i.e. Americas's Boating Course) and want to learn more about skilled boat handling in a variety of situations. It is offered as a complete course covering six topics.

The six modules in Boat handling are:

  • Rules of the Road:  A Practical Approach
  • Confidence in Docking and  Undocking: Slow-Speed Maneuvering
  • Boating with Confidence:  Handling Your Boat Under Way
  • Anchoring with Assurance:  Don’t Get Carried Away
  • Emergencies on Board:  Preparation for Handling Common Problems
  • Knots and Line Handling:  Knots You Need to Know

For more information contact the Minnetonka Power Squadron Education Officer at  education@minnetonkaps.org


Marine Navigation Course (Piloting)

Materials Fee: $110
Dates: Wednesdays, April 12 - May 30, 2023
Time: 7:00PM to 9:00PM
Location: Online with optional proctored classroom.

Marine Navigation, formerly Piloting, is the first course in the sequence of USPS courses on navigation, covering the basics of coastal and inland navigation. This course focuses on navigation as it is done on recreational boats today and embraces GPS as a primary navigation tool while covering enough of traditional techniques so the student will be able to find his/her way even if their GPS fails. The course includes many in-class exercises, developing the student’s skills through hands-on practice and learning. Ten classes of two hours each normally are scheduled for presentation of this course. In addition the students have seven days to complete the open book, take home exam.

Topics covered include:

  • Charts and their interpretation
  • Navigation aids and how they point to safe water
  • Plotting courses and determining direction and distance
  • The mariner’s compass and converting between True and Magnetic
  • Use of GPS – typical GPS displays and information they provide, setting up waypoints and routes, staying on a GPS route.
  • Pre-planning safe courses and entering them into the GPS
  • Monitoring progress and determining position by both GPS and traditional techniques such as bearings and dead reckoning
  • The “Seaman’s Eye” – simple skills for checking that one is on course.

For more information contact the Minnetonka Power Squadron Education Officer at  education@minnetonkaps.org

Advanced Piloting

Advanced Marine Navigation Course (Adv Piloting)

Materials Fee: $75
Dates: TBD
Time: 7PM - 9PM
Location: Water Patrol HQ, Spring Park

You successfully completed Piloting so let’s build on those skills before they get rusty! Join us to gain coastal and inland navigation skills, this time in situations of unfamiliar waters, limited visibility, and extended cruises. GPS is embraced as a primary navigation tool while adding radar, chart plotters, and other electronic navigation tools.
The eight modules in this course are:
  • Advanced Piloting Considerations and Chartplotting
  • Electronic Navigation Tools
  • Fixes
  • Avoidance Techniques
  • Positioning Techniques
  • Working with Tides
  • Working with Wind and Currents
  • Piloting with Wind and Currents, Review
If you are interested in being added to the wait-list for this course, please contact the Squadron Education Officer at  education@minnetonkaps.org

Vessel Safety Examiner Certification

Members of America's Boating Club are encouraged to become Vessal Safety Examiners (VSC).  The VSC program helps to boaters achieve voluntary compliance with federal and state recreational boating safety laws, particularly regarding helping ensure boaters have the necessary safety equipment. It also raises boaters' awareness of safety issues through one-on-one inspection of the owner's boat by volunteer vessel examiners.  This service is a fundemental part of what our boating club is all about.  If you are interested in becoming part of the Vessal Safety Examiner team, please the "Learn More" button below or contact the Minnetonka Power Squadron Administrative Officer at  administrative@minnetonkaps.org to get more information.

Inland Navigator Certification

Materials Fee: $50

Inland Navigator is the first level of the BOC program. The focus is on basic powerboat operation and general boating knowledge. The Basic Powerboat Handling skills are the same skills included in the Hands-On Training (HOT) program.

By registering (click the button below) you will receive the IN Starter Kit which includes a copy of "Start Boating Right" and a passport to recored your progress towards the Inland Navigator Certificate. Your passport will be signed by your instructors as you complete a skill, course, or seminar.

Inland Navigator Requirements

  • Americas Boating Course
  • Boat Handling (Seamanship) Course
  • Marine Electrical Systems Course
  • How To Use a Chart Seminar (or Marine Navigation Course)
  • Basic Weather & Forecasting Seminar (Online)
  • Using Your GPS Seminar (or Marina Navigation Course)
  • Using VHF and VHF/DSC Marine Radio Seminar (Online)
  • Basic Powerboat Handling (OTW Training)
  • Use of Fire Extinguishers

Please contact education@minnetonkaps.org for more information.

Coastal Navigator Certification

Materials Fee: $50

Coastal Navigator (CN) is the second level of the BOC program. The focus is on coastal operation and coastal navigation. Inland Navigator certification is a prerequisite.

By registering (click the button below) you will receive the CN Starter Kit which includes a passport to record your progress towards the Coastal Navigator Certificate and a Marine Calculator. Your passport will be signed by your instructors as you complete a skill, course, or seminar.

Coastal Navigator Requirements

Please contact education@minnetonkaps.org for more information.