Six Elective Courses are offered by USPS. They cover separate and independent topics and therefore may be taken in any order according to a person’s interests and time.
This course encompasses data from all of the courses as applied to planning for and actually going on a cruise. New material is also provided to assist the boater with practical approaches to long-range cruising. (8 weeks)
Deals with basic design and construction, operating principles, maintenance and repair of gasoline and diesel engines. The fuel, electrical, cooling and lubrication systems are studied. The purpose is to make the student more resourceful, but not a mechanic. (approx. 10 weeks)
This course deals with effective communication for speakers and teachers—a quality that benefits the individual in all walks of life. It offers practical instruction in: preparing for teaching assignments, preparing for meeting presentations, effective teaching techniques, conducting efficient meetings, and selecting and using audiovisual aids. (4 weeks)
This three-course area of study is comprised of Marine electrical Systems, Marine Communications Systems and Marine Navigation Systems. These courses contain essential knowledge about a boat’s electrical and electronic systems, including wiring, grounding, electrolysis, batteries and their care. Also covered are depth finders, marine radio telephones, radar, SATNAV, GPS and advanced systems for electronic navigation. (approx. 10 weeks per course)
Covers terminology, types of rigs and hulls, signals and rules of the road, theory of sailing, balance of hull and sail, stability and true and apparent wind. It also includes anchoring, mooring and docking, as well as laying up and fitting out. (approx. 10 weeks)
This course teaches an awareness of weather phenomena, how to read a weather map and the sky, how to understand and anticipate weather developments, the atmosphere and global weather. Each student receives: a Weather Manual - USPS Weather - an explanatory text with full color photographs and drawings covering weather in the United States and its coastal and inland waters; a set of three Daily Weather Maps - learning aids with a complete explanation of map symbols designed to develop weather map reading and analysis skills; and NOAA’s Sky Watcher Chart - a reference to assist in identifying cloud types – helpful indicators of approaching weather.(10 weeks)