Thursday, June 28, 2012

USPS centennial celebration gets under way

Created on 2 Feb. 1914, USPS will mark 100 years of education, fellowship and community service in 2014. Based on the powerboat handling skills programs of businessman Roger Upton at the Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass., USPS offers boating education programs in cities and towns across the U.S., its territories and Japan. The organization has also become an important ally of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Today, nearly 40,000 members in more than 400 squadrons provide boating education in everything from seamanship and celestial navigation to marine electronics and engine maintenance.

Several projects are under way to celebrate USPS’ centennial. For more information and activity updates, visit The Ship’s Store is adding 100th anniversary logo items, an anniversary commemorative stamp is under discussion, and community activities are being planned at all levels.

During the 2014 Annual Meeting in Jacksonville, Fla., the Governing Board will hold a celebration on Saturday, 1 Feb. Our meeting hotel, the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is planning a party for all members. The city plans to post signs throughout the town and is working with the Jacksonville Sail & Power Squadron to conduct a boat parade on the St. John’s River.

The USPS Flag and Etiquette Committee has designed an anniversary ensign to be flown on members’ vessels in 2013 and 2014, and a new logo is available online at

To kickoff the yearlong ceremony, anniversary ensigns will be presented to all 32 districts at the 2013 Annual Meeting. Each squadron will create unique ribbon streamers of specified dimensions to affix to their district’s ensign. During the 2014 Annual Meeting, districts will parade their ensigns and streamers in an anniversary flag presentation.

All members are encouraged to help plan yearlong celebrations in their communities, including municipal proclamations, appearances at civic and marine organization meetings, and presentations during boating safety equipment demonstration days. – Greg Scotten

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Raleigh squadron receives NSBC Youth Program Award

The National Safe Boating Council awards committee announced the winners for the BoatU.S. Foundation Boating Safety Youth Program Award and the OMC "Take 'Em Boating" Grant at the 16th International Boating and Water Summit held in San Diego, Calif.

George Malindzak accepted the Boating Safety Youth Program Award on behalf of Raleigh Power & Sail Squadron. The BSYP Award, sponsored by BoatU.S., provides a vehicle to recognize individuals and organizations that have developed and successfully implemented innovative boating education programs directed at youth. The Raleigh Sail & Power Squadron developed a sailing program for kids; the kids get to build their own Optimist prams and keep them. This unique experience takes a child through the construction phase of boating all the way through racing. Kids accepted into the program must be accompanied by an adult during the construction, training and evaluation periods.

Malindzak leads the program, and he hopes it will serve as a pilot for a national program within USPS.

Jon Summers accepted the "Take 'Em Boating" Grant on behalf of the Mississippi River Water Trail Association. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and partnering organizations are developing the Mississippi River Water Trail on the Mississippi River within the St. Louis District boundary. The Corps has developed day-use rest areas, primitive camping areas, and watchable wildlife and interpretive opportunities on the Mississippi River. Ultimately, the Corps hopes to have a water trail that goes up and down the Mississippi and can be used as a platform to train boaters in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

Funded by the Outboard Marine Corporation Foundation, the OMC Foundation grant program seeks to promote interest in boating safety, environmental awareness and the marine industry. The overarching purpose of the grant is to develop and encourage interest in boating for future generations. The program encourages organizations to develop creative and innovative programs to get kids into boats and to demonstrate the benefits of water-related activities.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ready, Set, Wear It! Life Jacket World Record Day to Kick Off National Safe Boating Week

Life jacket wear is one of the most effective and simple life-saving strategies for safe recreational boating.

With summer almost here, families and friends are eager to get outdoors and spend time on the water—boating, fishing, sailing and more. But, with approximately 500 people drowning each year from recreational boating accidents, it is imperative to push Wear It! message: Wear your life jacket at all times while you are on the water.

The National Safe Boating Council, in partnership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council, invite boating safety professionals, the boating community and the media to participate in Ready, Set, Wear It! on Saturday, May 19. Participants in cities around the globe will gather to set a world record for the most life jackets worn and inflatable life jackets inflated. The goal is not only to promote the comfortable and versatile options when it comes to life jackets, but also to educate the public about life jackets and safe boating in general.

Ready, Set, Wear It!, previously named Ready, Set, Inflate!, will usher in National Safe Boating Week, this year May 19-25, 2012. Boating safety partners across the U.S. and Canada are teaming up to promote safe and responsible boating, including voluntary wear of life jackets, for National Safe Boating Week and throughout the boating season.

“What better way to share the life-saving importance of life jacket wear, while having some fun and helping set a world record,” said Virgil Chambers, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council. “We are proud to once again partner with the Canadian Safe Boating Council to share about boating safety.”

Last year, 1,685 people gathered at more than 99 events held around the world to set a new record for the number of participants who inflated their inflatable life jacket or wore an inherently buoyant life jacket.

People interested in organizing an event worldwide can visit The website has answers to frequently asked questions, event day checklists, locating an event, general information about life jacket wear, and a special section for the media to use footage and materials from past events.

The success of Ready, Set, Wear It! depends on local sponsors and partners. Leland, Ltd. and iSi Components have worked with the NSBC to offer over 1,000 CO2 cartridges to allow participants the opportunity to inflate their life jacket, but also practice re-arming techniques of inflatable life jackets. Marine retail sponsors Cabela’s and West Marine offered their locations for event organizers throughout the country. For a list of all the 2012 sponsors, please visit the website.

“There’s no reason why you, your family and friends, can’t have fun on the water while also choosing to always wear a life jacket,” said Jean Murray, chair of the Canadian Safe Boating Council. “This event is educational and fun for boating enthusiasts, families, and the general public to enjoy!”

To ensure an accurate count from each location, all organizers are asked to record their event through photographs or video as well as a sign-up sheet. After the event numbers are tallied, the total number of participants is posted to the website.

The National Safe Boating Council and the Canadian Safe Boating Council hope to not only set another world record and surpass 2011’s participants, but, most importantly, educate the boating public about the comfort and accessibility of inflatable life jackets. Throughout the year, the North American Safe Boating Campaign focuses on the goal of educating the public about safe boating and life jacket wear, and relies on events like Ready, Set, Wear It! and National Safe Boating Week to bring more awareness to this life-saving cause. The campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, please visit or

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test Set for 1400 EST on 9 Nov.

On Wednesday, 9 Nov. 2011, FEMA, DHS and the FCC will conduct the first test of the Nationwide Emergency Alert System.
The 3-minute nationwide test will kick off at 1400 EST and run concurrently across all time zones. This is the first such test to broadcast a simultaneous message to the entire American public.

Local police and emergency management officials want to eliminate undue public anxiety and urge you to share this information with family and friends so they are aware of the test. The TV test message might not indicate that it is just a test, which could cause people to panic.
Please see the following websites for more information regarding this test:
FEMA: Nationwide EAS Test Information
A National Dialogue On The Emergency Alert System (EAS)

Monday, October 31, 2011

St. Augustine Proposes 10-Day Anchoring Limit

As part of Florida’s recreational boat mooring and anchoring pilot program, the City of St. Augustine has submitted a proposed anchoring ordinance to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission that limits anchoring within city limits to 10 consecutive days. If the ordinance is passed, once this time limit is reached a vessel would have to move to an approved mooring field, marina or outside city boundaries for at least one full day before being allowed to return to the area.
BoatUS urges local and traveling boaters to speak up about how this anchoring restriction might affect them. Current mooring fees for visiting (non-resident) boaters in St. Augustine are $20 daily and $120 weekly. Written comments can be filed online before Sunday, 6 Nov., at
St. Augustine is one of five cities in the state’s mooring and anchoring pilot project, which allows municipalities to develop ordinances that limit nearby anchoring. For more background information on anchoring laws in Florida, see the new BoatUS information sheet.

Monday, October 24, 2011

USPS Webinar: Emergency Locator Beacons

USPS Webinar: Emergency Locator Beacons
Global Search and Rescue - EPIRBs, PLBs and Related Locator Devises
Join us for a webinar presentation by Denny Emory of Emory / Yachting Services and co-founder of LLC. The webinar can be attended from the comfort of your living room!
An Emergency Locator Beacon has become a standard piece of emergency equipment carried by the prudent mariner on a properly outfitted vessel. This presentation will explain the Search and Rescue process worldwide and explore the spectrum of emergency locator beacons currently available - what they are; how the function; registration requirements; testing; batteries; mounting; and, deployment.
Denny Emory is co-founder of, a licensed yacht captain and formerly certified Wilderness - EMT. He has voyaged more than 100,000 nautical miles on both sail and power vessels, visiting 42 countries on five continents. Using personal experiences and reports of actual events, Denny brings life to this important topic.
Date/Time: November 15, 2011 @ 5:00 PM Pacific / 8:00 PM Eastern Time
*The webinar will be recorded and available to watch if you were not able to attend the live session, or if you just want to watch again.
Duration: Approximately 1 hour, plus additional time to answer questions.
Cost: Register before October 30: $16; Register after October 30: $20
What’s included:
  • Unique link to attend the webinar session on November 15
  • Informative handout to go with the subjects
  • Credit to your USPS University Certificate for attending the entire session
  1. Click “Register Now” below to register to attend.
  2. After submitting the registration form, you will be forwarded to PayPal to pay the registration fee. *A PayPal account is NOT required to make a payment, just a major credit card.
  3. You will receive a confirmation email from us and from PayPal.
  4. A few weeks prior to the live webinar broadcast, you will receive another email with your unique link to attend the webinar, along with the electronic materials that go along with the topics, and instructions on how to attend.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Carolina squadrons’ service honored

Forty years ago, a new name appeared on North Carolina coastal navigation charts. On 13 April 1971, NOAA’s National Ocean Service and the United States Board on Geographic Names officially designated a spot on Cape Lookout 2.5 miles north-northwest of the cape point Power Squadron Spit to recognize the Cooperative Charting efforts of 20 District 27 squadrons in North and South Carolina.

Power Squadron Spit (N 34.6226 W -076.524) appears on the Cape Lookout map at the National Park Service website and nautical chart 11545.

Under the Cooperative Charting Program, conducted in coordination with the Marine Chart Division of the National Ocean Service, USPS members compare chart information to actual water depths, navigational aids and topography so corrections may be made to improve mariners’ safety. Members also supply data on range status and tidal current surveys and report damaged or misplaced Aids to Navigation. According to NOAA, the Cooperative Charting Program is recognized as the most effective Federal user-participation program.

A commemorative plaque honoring the squadrons for their efforts was originally affixed to Cape Lookout Lighthouse, then owned and operated by the U.S. Coast Guard. The plaque was later moved to the U.S. National Park Service headquarters for Cape Lookout National Seashore on Harkers Island.

A delegation of squadron members from Winston-Salem, N.C., originally presented the plaque to President Richard Nixon in 1972. Afterward Ronald C. Rau and Don Soefker departed for the Cannon House Office Building with the plaque; they were joined by Chief Commander Walter Cosdon and National Ocean Service officers. The party proceeded to the office of North Carolina Rep. Wilmer Mizell. The plaque was subsequently installed at Cape Lookout Lighthouse.

In the summer of 2002, Cdr. Dean Lee, commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard group at Fort Macon, advised Ken Link that he would remove the plaque from Cape Lookout Lighthouse in preparation for turning over the property to the U.S. National Park Service. The beacon is one of many Atlantic Coast lighthouses that have come under the management of the National Park Service. Lee asked that Fort Macon Power Squadron keep the plaque during the transition.

On 15 May 2004, USPS members visited Cape Lookout to rededicate themselves to Cooperative Charting. Headed by District 27 Commander L. Stephen Puckett, 30 members attended the ceremony, including USPS National Executive Officer Ernest G. Marshburn. Also present were North Carolina Rep. Jean Preston and Bob Vogel, Superintendent of Cape Lookout National Seashore.

On 30 March 2006, Fort Macon Sail & Power Squadron members presented the plaque to Cherry Payne, acting superintendent of the U.S. National Park Service Cape Lookout National Seashore, at the headquarters on Harkers Island. The plaque was installed in the Light Keeper’s Quarters Museum.

Fort Macon Sail & Power Squadron will host the 40th Anniversary celebration of the naming of Power Squadron Spit on 10 Sept. 2011 at 1400 at the Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters Museum at Cape Lookout National Seashore. Bruce Brill is in charge of the event (252-726-3119), and D/27 Commander Michael McCulley will speak. Cape Lookout National Seashore Superintendent Patrick M. Kenney and his staff will attend.

Squadron members will be able to climb the Cape Lookout Lighthouse from 1230 to 1330 to view Power Squadron Spit.

Press may contact Dick McKeon at 252-463-0208 to see if lighthouse tickets are available and should bring lunch, water, sunscreen and insect repellent. For press corps transportation to Cape Lookout to cover this event, see the list of ferry services at or contact JB Bagby (703-507-1745) for assignment to a Fort Macon Sail & Power Squadron vessel, departure locations and times. –Kenneth D. Link and JB Bagby