Best Boating In Paradise: Let Us Show You How It's Done


2024-2025 Courses

Name Instructor Location Date Time Registration Link
(Click on registration link to sign up)
Basic Boating Courses
Americas Boating Course Bob Orr Sanibel Public Library July 11 & July 20, 2024 1800 Click Here to Register and more info
Americas Boating Course Bob Orr Sanibel Public Library Dec 5 & Dec 14, 2024 1800 Click Here to Register and more info
Americas Boating Course Bob Orr Sanibel Public Library Jan 23 & Feb 1, 2025 1800 Click Here to Register and more info
Americas Boating Course Bob Orr Sanibel Public Library Feb 27 & Mar 8, 2025 1800 Click Here to Register and more info

Click on any course cover for more information about that course..

How to Use GPS Knots, Bends, and Hitches



All learning begins with your "A.B.C,'s," and our organization's educational programs truly start with "A.B.C.": America's Boating Course. If you are interested in an exciting, in-depth boating course, check out this class. In addition to providing essential boating skills and knowledge, this course is tailored to state-approved Florida-specific content. No matter how much experience you have with boating, having the knowledge to keep your passengers, yourself, and your boat safe is a requirement. Two critical benefits of this course are the following: First, when you pass the course exam, you will be issued a Florida State ID card, (provided y the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) which is required by state law for any boat operator born following January 1, 1988. Second, most boat insurance companies provide a discount to those successfully completing America's Boating Course. This course is taught in two sessions: The first session runs two+ hours, and it is followed two weeks later with an all-day session. Typically, America's Boating Course is offered three times a year.

Building on the basics taught in the A.B.C. course, the following courses are offered to organization members, as well as the general public.

Upon completing the A.B.C. course, Advanced Boat Handling (also known as Seamanship) is the next step on the educational sequence. Advanced Boat Handling presents material applicable to both power and sail, covering such topics as the skipper's responsibilities, handling and maneuvering a vessel under a variety of conditions and locations, the "Rules of the Road," emergency issues onboard, etc. Advanced Boat Handling is offered twice a year in six 3-hour sessions.


Also known as, Piloting, this course is the first in a sequence of navigation courses, covering the basics of both coastal and inland navigation. The course includes many in-class exercises, developing the students' skills through hands-on practice. Marine Navigation focuses on navigation as it is done on recreational boats today and utilizes GPS as a primary navigation tool. Marine Navigation consists of ten 2-hour sessions and is scheduled once a year in the fall/early winter.


The second in the navigation sequence, (also known as Advanced Piloting) this course continues to build on coastal and inland navigation skill with students taking on more challenging conditions: unfamiliar waters, limited visibility, and extended cruises. In addition to GPS, radar, chartplotters and other electronic navigation tools are important components of this class. Advanced Marine Navigation consists of ten 2-hour sessions and is scheduled once a year, following Marine Navigation.


This course is the first in a two-part program of study and is designed as a "how to" course. In Offshore Navigation (or Junior Navigation), the students continue to use GPS as the primary position sensor; however, the offshore environment poses many different elements for study by the navigator: ocean currents, wind and sea state over longer passages. In the class, students will learn to substitute the sun and the moon as navigational reference points.

Offshore Navigation is offered in ten two-hour sessions and is typically offered in alternating years.


The second course in navigation, Celestial Navigation (or simply, Navigation) focuses on offshore navigation with emphasis on celestial navigation theory. Using other bodies, namely the planets and stars. Students will learn sight reduction methods and sight planning techniques. With this knowledge, students will have the tools to take sights and complete the Navigation Site Folders.

Celestial Navigation is offered in ten 2-hour sessions every two years, alternating with the Offshore Navigation course.


America's Boating Club offers a rich and diverse selection of elective courses are:

oCruise Planning
oEngine Maintenance
oMarine Electronics

-Marine Electrical Systems
-Marine Communication Systems
-Electronic Navigation

These courses range from 6 to 8 weeks in length and are offered approximately every two to three years.

America's Boating Club seminar program is rich and wide-ranging in content. IN all, there are over 30 different half-day seminars which include a multitude of "How To" courses on safe boating. Most popular have been "How to Use GPS," "Knots, Bends, and Hitches," "Tides and Currents," "Weather for Boaters."

Seminars are scattered throughout the education season, running November - May.

If you need any additional information or have questions, you'd like answered, email the club's Education Officer: Education@SanibelCaptivaSPS.org.

Should you choose to register for a class and have difficulties doing so online, likewise, email the Education Officer Education@SanibelCaptivaSPS.org.



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