USPS Learning Guides
Learning Guides are available
to members and the public at various marine supply stores, and also
directly from United States Power Squadrons® Headquarters by calling
1-888-FOR-USPS between 8:30AM and 4:00PM ET Monday through Friday.
Prices range from $6.95 - $16.95 for books and $24.95 for CD-ROMs.
These guides are also available to Peralta members at reduced rates
through the Squadron Educational
Where you do your boating dictates the radios you need. Should you
add Ham radio to your VHF/FM or single side-band (SSB) equipment?
Here's a quick guide to Ham radio's pros and cons, FCC regulations,
and how to obtain your license.
For information on the USPS/CPS Amateur Radio Net, click
Do you really know what marine losses are covered by your insurance
policy? Don't be blind-sided by exceptions that come to your attention
only after you suffer a loss. Know what you're buying. Here is what
you need to know when you shop for boat insurance.
Mathematically challenged? Your calculator won't help much either,
if you don't know how to use it. Here are the basic calculator keystrokes
you'll need to solve all levels of navigation problems, from "60
D Street" to celestial sight reductions.
Can you trust your compass? Will it guide you home safely? Maybe,
if it's properly adjusted. If not, it may give you a false sense
of security and actually lead you into danger. Don't take chances.
Here are the instructions for accurately adjusting your compass.
If you don’t own a GPS unit now, you probably will soon. Everybody's
using GPS: boaters, hunters, anglers, commercial ship operators,
drivers, and Co-op Charting enthusiasts. Determine your exact position
anywhere on earth and plan the next leg of your journey. Here's
a step-by-step guide that's easy to read and understand.
to Fly Flags
What's the best and most nautically-correct way to fly flags on
your boat? This colorful little booklet shows you everything you
need to know: flying the US Ensign on any boat; displaying an officer's
flag or a yacht club or squadron pennant; dressing ship for a parade
or celebration; and more. You'll also see the correct way to display
flags ashore—indoors and out.
Ever wonder how a sailboat moves into the wind? Why some sailboats
are faster than others? The basics of sailboat handling and performance
are here in easy-to-understand language that will pique your curiosity
and make you eager to set sail soon.
Bends and Hitches (Marlinespike)
Real seamen use proper lines and knots and know why certain ropes
are dangerous for some uses aboard boats. Here's your guide to these
skills, including easy-to-follow diagrams that show you how to tie
the best knots and splices for every job.
In cooperation with Beutner Multimedia, USPS now has three CDs available
that effectively demonstrate marlinespike techniques.
The Basic Knot CD is packaged with two different color pieces of
light nylon line that help show when a knot (like the square knot)
is correctly tied. Learn to tie 21 basic knots with this easy-to-use
CD-ROM interactive reference.
High quality video shows each and every step clearly. Knots demonstrated
include the Square Knot or Reef Knot, Figure Eight, Bowline, Round
Turn, Half Hitch and more. The demonstrations are well done and
will be a terrific addition to your marlinespike reference library.
Learn to tie 20 advanced knots with this easy-to-use CD-ROM interactive
reference. Knots demonstrated include Figure Eight Coil, Pile Hitch,
Timber Hitch, Turks Head, and more.
Three-Strand Line CD-ROM
Learn to splice three-strand line with this easy-to-use CD-ROM interactive
reference. Splices demonstrated include the Back Splice, Eye Splice,
Short Splice and more.
You're reading an interesting book about boating and come across
a new word or phrase. Where do you find the correct definition?
This handy reference provides the definitions of over 1300 nautical
words and phrases used by boaters, including those found in USPS
courses and publications. It's easy to read and worth keeping handy.
to Navigational Astronomy
Every mariner who ever put to sea has marveled at the millions of
tiny lights in the night sky. Can they guide your passage? See what
early sailors saw, share their wonders, dream their dreams, all
with the help of this fun-packed, non-technical guide to stars,
planets, and major constellations of the Northern Hemisphere.
You usually can’t see them, but things happen in and under
the oceans every day that affect your life. This non-technical guide
to marine geography, earth crusts and plates, ocean chemistry, effects
of weather, tides, currents, and wave formation will bring you hours
and Labeling Standards
How do you move your boat from here to there? Via the safest route?
In the least time? With accurate, consistent, and rock-solid knowledge
of your position? And, how can you reconstruct and repeat your passage,
or tell the oncoming watch the course to steer, speed to make, and
bearings to take?
Plotting and labeling your course using standard symbols, labels,
and abbreviations is the way to go. In easy-to-understand form,
here they are and how to use them.
How does your boat handle and perform? Nobody knows better than
you do, if you know how fast it travels at various engine/propeller
speeds under different conditions. Predicted log contests pit your
knowledge and skippering skills against the clock.
How closely can you pre-determine the time it will take to travel
each leg of a course? Competing against yourself and comparing your
skills to those of other boaters, this fun competition hones your
You use RADAR whether you're the equipment operator or the target.
Know what a radar system will and will not show a skipper. And,
if you're thinking of buying a radar set, take the time to read
this quick guide to radar selection, installation, use, and maintenance
first. The dollars and aggravation you save will be well worth your
time and effort.
Celestial navigation using the sun, moon, stars, and planets to
plot your position and course is still a vital skill for every ocean-going
yachtsman, even in this day of GPS navigation. Here is a guide to
five important methods for converting your observations into the
meaningful data that tells you exactly where you are.
Man overboard is not the only emergency that can occur on a boat,
but it may be the most dreaded. Skipper Saver teaches your family
members and friends what to do and how to operate the boat if you
become disabled for any reason from a fall overboard to something
as simple as a sprained ankle or seasickness. This guide is must-reading
for anyone who may have to take over operation of a vessel in an
Note: This Learning Guide is no longer available. Skipper Saver has been replaced with the Partner in Comand Seminar.
Boating is fun, but there’s a lot more you can do on the water!
Like skiing and windsurfing, to name a few. But, even these have
safety rules, special equipment, procedures, and hand signals. Some
seem so basic that it’s hard to find them in writing, but
it’s important to know them to enjoy these sports safely.
Here they are, in a booklet ready for use by long-time enthusiasts
and beginners alike!