The more knowledge you have, the more enjoyable boating becomes.

Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons offers a series of courses in boating knowledge that build from the basic courses required by law to what you’d want to know to cross the ocean.

Available, scheduled classes (Online, self-study, classroom) are listed. If you wish to register and pay for a class, you must first register in our system (click on the “Register” button at the top right).

You only need to register in our system once. You can then register and pay for as many classes as you want and we hope you will join us as a member of CPS-ECP. We ask for basic information about you that we need to meet Transport Canada (for the PCOC) or Industry Canada (for the Marine Radio card) requirements and for payments/billing purposes. All your personal information is protected.

Search the CPS-ECP Course Catalog

Explore our boating courses in two ways.

  • 1 Browse our courses by category below
OR
  • 2 Filter courses based your needs and criteria

Boating 1 and 2 Combined

Details 8-10 weeks, one evening per week

Boating 1 – Boating Basics – All operators of motorized pleasure craft are required to show proof of operator competency. All you need to know for the Transport Canada test is presented in an easy to read format that is both informative and entertaining. You can be confident that this study guide meets all the standards established by Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety. As an extra benefit, if you pass the test offered by Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, your Card is recognized by BOTH Transport Canada and The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (USA). You may contact Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons to locate a testing facility in your area. Boating 2 – Beyond Boating Basics – The PCOC makes sure you have immediate navigation and safety skills but it’s just the beginning of what you should know when you get on a boat. In the second of our Boating Series, you are introduced to the art of navigation, anchoring, ropes, lines and knots – not to mention what to expect when the boat is moving under power. This course also has a number of optional topics that will be taught depending on your interests; these include towing, trailering and a check list for layup and launch.

Boating 1 – Boating Basics

Suggested Prerequisite None

Details 1 day course or 3 evenings once per week

All operators of motorized pleasure craft are required to show proof of operator competency. All you need to know for the Transport Canada test is presented in an easy to read format that is both informative and entertaining. You can be confident that this study guide meets all the standards established by Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety. As an extra benefit, if you pass the test offered by Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, your Card is recognized by BOTH Transport Canada and The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (USA). You may contact Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons to locate a testing facility in your area.

Boating 1 – Boating Basics – Mandarin

Suggested Prerequisite None

Details 1 day course

The PCOC makes sure you have immediate navigation and safety skills but it’s just the beginning of what you should know when you get on a boat. In the second of our Boating Series, you are introduced to the art of navigation, anchoring, ropes, lines and knots – not to mention what to expect when the boat is moving under power. This course also has a number of optional topics that will be taught depending on your interests; these include towing, trailering and a check list for layup and launch

Boating 1, 2 and 3 Combined

Details 10 - 12 weeks, one evening per week

Boating 1 – Boating Basics PCOC –  All operators of motorized pleasure craft are required to show proof of operator competency. All you need to know for the Transport Canada test is presented in an easy to read format that is both informative and entertaining. You can be confident that this study guide meets all the standards established by Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety. As an extra benefit, if you pass the test offered by Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, your Card is recognized by BOTH Transport Canada and The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (USA). You may contact Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons to locate a testing facility in your area. Boating 2 – Beyond Boating Basics –  The PCOC makes sure you have immediate navigation and safety skills but it’s just the beginning of what you should know when you get on a boat. In the second of our Boating Series, you are introduced to the art of navigation, anchoring, ropes, lines and knots – not to mention what to expect when the boat is moving under power. This course also has a number of optional topics that will be taught depending on your interests; these include towing, trailering and a check list for layup and launch. Boating 3 – Introduction to Marine Navigation – The third course in our series explores navigation further as you learn how to plot and label on paper charts as well as what the skipper should be doing before setting out and when under way, handling a boat under sail as well as your environmental responsibilities and electrical hazards. This course also has a number of optional topics that will be taught depending on your interests; these include tides and currents, canals and locks, and collision regulations.

Maritime Radio

Suggested Prerequisite None

Details 1 day course or 3-4 evenings once per week

The Maritime Radio course teaches emergency radio procedures and everyday operating techniques. Learn all about the uses of marine radios, choice of frequencies, operation, phonetic alphabet, procedural words and phrases, as well as Digital Selective Calling and the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, (DSC/GMDSS). All mariners, including recreational boaters, will want to take advantage of the many features and capabilities of this innovative form “automatic” radio. Secure your lifeline. Be sure that you and your family take the Maritime Radio course. This complete package will prepare you for the Restricted Operator Certificate (Maritime) with DSC Endorsement exam which is included as part of this courses. To operate a maritime radio, you need the certificate. It's the law! 

PCOC for Youth

Suggested Prerequisite None

Details None

The Approved Boating Handbook and the Student Workbook prepares kids aged 8-12 for the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) exam. The Student Workbook is full of activities that assists children to learn the material found in the Boating Handbook.\n\nStay safe with CPS-ECP.

Boating 2 - Beyond Boating Basics

Suggested Prerequisite Boating 1 – Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)

Details 5 - 6 weeks, one evening per week

The PCOC makes sure you have immediate navigation and safety skills but it’s just the beginning of what you should know when you get on a boat. In the second of our Boating Series, you are introduced to the art of navigation, anchoring, ropes, lines and knots – not to mention what to expect when the boat is moving under power. This course also has a number of optional topics that will be taught depending on your interests; these include towing, trailering and a check list for layup and launch.

Boating 2 and 3 Combined

Suggested Prerequisite Boating 1 – Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)

Details 12-13 weeks, one evening per week

Boating 2 – Beyond Boating Basics – The PCOC makes sure you have immediate navigation and safety skills but it’s just the beginning of what you should know when you get on a boat. In the second of our Boating Series, you are introduced to the art of navigation, anchoring, ropes, lines and knots – not to mention what to expect when the boat is moving under power. This course also has a number of optional topics that will be taught depending on your interests; these include towing, trailering and a check list for layup and launch. Boating 3 – Introduction to Marine Navigation – The third course in our series explores navigation further as you learn how to plot and label on paper charts as well as what the skipper should be doing before setting out and when under way, handling a boat under sail as well as your environmental responsibilities and electrical hazards. This course also has a number of optional topics that will be taught depending on your interests; these include tides and currents, canals and locks, and collision regulations. 

Boating 3 – Introduction to Marine Navigation

Suggested Prerequisite Boating 2 – Beyond Boating Basics

Details 5-6 weeks one evening per week

The third course in our series explores navigation further as you learn how to plot and label on paper charts as well as what the skipper should be doing before setting out and when under way, handling a boat under sail as well as your environmental responsibilities and electrical hazards. This course also has a number of optional topics that will be taught depending on your interests; these include tides and currents, canals and locks, and collision regulations.

Extended Cruising

Suggested Prerequisite None

Details 9-11 weeks, one evening per week

Are you ready to ‘cut the ties that bind’? Extended Cruising is an essential first step in understanding the elements of the long-distance passage making lifestyle under sail or power. Through this course you will become confident in the boat you select by understanding seaworthiness, stability, and other design concepts. You will gain an awareness of the maintenance required for critical systems, passage planning, provisioning, and visiting foreign countries, safety issues, emergency preparedness and weather tips. If you want to cruise coastal waters, experience remote anchorages far from home or explore countries across oceans, Extended Cruising provides you with a deeper understanding of the skills necessary for confident, safe passages.

Introduction to Weather for Recreational Boaters

Details 7-8 weeks, one evening per week

Winds, waves, fog, lightning, hail, tornadoes .... hurricanes! The wise boater respects and anticipates mother nature’s many moods. Beyond “red sky in the morning”, this course provides boaters with the tools to find and accurately interpret weather reports and forecasts, and to develop keen judgments in “reading” the sky and sea for optimum boating safety in and around Canadian waters. Newly developed for adult learners, this course will measure learning success not by closed-book, memory-work exams, but by practical, open-book applications of learned concepts to actual boating situations.

Sailing

Suggested Prerequisite Boating 2 - Beyond Boating Basics

Details 6 - 8 weeks, one evening per week

Do you want to learn more about sailing? Do you want to improve your sailing skills and your understanding of how sails work? This Sailing Course covers the practical and theoretical basics of sailing and sailing seamanship. The range of topics is broad: from a description of different sailboat rigs, sail plans, hull types, and rigging to stability, balance, and the physics of sailing; from sailing at different points of sail to handling heavy weather and storm conditions; from spinnaker handling to reefing; from leaving the dock to mooring and anchoring. It also covers sailing safety, navigation rules, and sailing tactics Whether you are a new sailor or you are an experienced sailor and want to increase your sailing knowledge and skills, this course is for you.

Electronic Marine Navigation

Suggested Prerequisite suggested prerequisite Boating 3 - Introduction to Marine Navigation

Details 6-8 evenings once per week.

This course will allow the pleasure craft operator to navigate safely knowing his exact location at all times. You will learn to navigate using GPS and paper charts as well as electronic charting devices. It includes a CD containing a number of charts and a full scale simulator of a chart plotter to help you learn by doing. Join with others to share experiences and knowledge.

RADAR for Boaters

Suggested Prerequisite None

Details 5-6 evenings, once per week

This new course covers the different types of RADAR equipment, their capabilities and limitationsUnderstand the available features and how they apply to your needs. Learn how to use your RADAR for collision avoidance and for navigational purposes.The course covers everything about RADAR from how and where to mount the antenna to how to use and interpret the displays.

Boat and Engine Maintenance

Keep the water on the other side of the wall! From spark plugs to bottom paint, this course covers all the basics for “do it yourself” boaters. This course will equip you with the knowledge required to prevent onboard problems, carry out specialized tasks and tackle both short-term troubleshooting as well as long-term boat care. It features practical information and handy tips suitable for both new and existing boat owners. The dream of owning, maintaining and using your own boat without great expense can be achieved through the completion of the Boat & Engine Maintenance Course.

Marine Electrical Systems

Learn how to maintain electrical systems in your boat properly and safely. Gain a solid foundation in wiring, direct current systems, and alternating current systems found on recreational vessels. It also covers galvanic and stray current corrosion, lightning protection, interference suppression and electrical troubleshooting. Learn how to maintain electrical systems in your boat properly and safely. Gain a solid foundation in wiring, direct current systems, and alternating current systems found on recreational vessels. It also covers galvanic and stray current corrosion, lightning protection, interference suppression and electrical troubleshooting. Enrol in the Marine Electrical Maintenance Course with your local Canadian Power and Sail Squadron, because PEACE OF MIND IS PRICELESS!

Boating 4 – Near Shore Marine Navigation Level 1

Suggested Prerequisite Boating 3 – Introduction to Marine Navigation

Details 10 - 12 weeks one evening per week

Do you know what to do if a boat on fire calls you for help?  Can you deal with emergencies on your own boat?  Build your confidence on the water, and make your boating a safe and fun experience, by taking this CPS-ECP Course.   You will learn how to cope with these situations, as well as many other aspects of boating, such as relative bearings, knots and splicing, medical emergencies, coping with adverse weather, and much more. This course was formerly called Seamanship.

Boating 5 – Near Shore Marine Navigation Level 2

Suggested Prerequisite Boating 4 – Near Shore Marine Navigation Level 1

Details Duration: 10-12 weeks, one evening per week

Knowledge of the basics of navigation and planning cruises on a maritime chart is just the start.  Expand that knowledge by using a variety of electronic devices to chart your course and enable you to plan your course under tidal, current and windy conditions.  By learning more about dead reckoning, fixes and running fixes you will have attained a high degree of proficiency in navigating through coastal waters.  In the CPS-ECP AP Course we cover GPS, Chart Plotters, Radar, SONAR, Autopilots and more. This course was formerly called Advanced Piloting.

Boating 6 – Off Shore Marine Navigation Level 1

Suggested Prerequisite Boating 5 – Near Shore Marine Navigation Level 2

Details Duration: 10-12 weeks, one evening per week

When the GPS ceases to work, be guided by the sun. This is the first of a two-course program of Offshore Navigation for the recreational boater. Learn to use a marine sextant to derive lines of position and a running fix from sights on the sun. When you are boating offshore, remember that GPS is not infallible, nor always available. Be confident when no aids to navigation or land objects are in sight. This course was formerly called Junior Navigator.

Boating 7 – Off Shore Marine Navigation Level 2

Suggested Prerequisite Boating 6 – Off Shore Marine Navigation Level 1

Details Duration: 10-12 weeks, one evening per week

This is the second of a two-course program of Offshore Navigation program for the recreational boater. It introduces the navigator to route planning for going offshore, may the voyage be long or short.  While overshadowed by the new electronic systems, the art and science of celestial navigation is still a valuable asset to the offshore boaters.  This course provides the student with the fundamental knowledge and practical skills of celestial navigation.  It involves the use of a sextant for taking sights on the sun, planets, moon, and stars. This course was formerly called Global Navigation.

Online - Boating 2 - Beyond Boating Basics

Suggested Prerequisite Boating 1 – Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)

Details e-learning with weekly webinar and assigned local tutor

The PCOC makes sure you have immediate navigation and safety skills but it’s just the beginning of what you should know when you get on a boat. In the second of our Boating Series, you are introduced to the art of navigation, anchoring, ropes, lines and knots – not to mention what to expect when the boat is moving under power. This course also has a number of optional topics that will be taught depending on your interests; these include towing, trailering and a check list for layup and launch.

Online - Boating 2 and 3 Combined

Suggested Prerequisite Boating 1 – Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)

Details e-learning with weekly webinar and assigned local tutor

Boating 2 – Beyond Boating Basics – The PCOC makes sure you have immediate navigation and safety skills but it’s just the beginning of what you should know when you get on a boat. In the second of our Boating Series, you are introduced to the art of navigation, anchoring, ropes, lines and knots – not to mention what to expect when the boat is moving under power. This course also has a number of optional topics that will be taught depending on your interests; these include towing, trailering and a check list for layup and launch. Boating 3 – Introduction to Marine Navigation – The third course in our series explores navigation further as you learn how to plot and label on paper charts as well as what the skipper should be doing before setting out and when under way, handling a boat under sail as well as your environmental responsibilities and electrical hazards. This course also has a number of optional topics that will be taught depending on your interests; these include tides and currents, canals and locks, and collision regulations. 

Online - Boating 3 – Introduction to Marine Navigation

Suggested Prerequisite Boating 2 – Beyond Boating Basics

Details e-learning with weekly webinar and assigned local tutor

The third course in our series explores navigation further as you learn how to plot and label on paper charts as well as what the skipper should be doing before setting out and when under way, handling a boat under sail as well as your environmental responsibilities and electrical hazards. This course also has a number of optional topics that will be taught depending on your interests; these include tides and currents, canals and locks, and collision regulations.

Online - Boating 4 – Near Shore Marine Navigation Level 1

Suggested Prerequisite Boating 3 – Introduction to Marine Navigation

Details e-learning with weekly webinar and assigned local tutor

Do you know what to do if a boat on fire calls you for help?  Can you deal with emergencies on your own boat?  Build your confidence on the water, and make your boating a safe and fun experience, by taking this CPS-ECP Course.   You will learn how to cope with these situations, as well as many other aspects of boating, such as relative bearings, knots and splicing, medical emergencies, coping with adverse weather, and much more. This course was formerly called Seamanship.

Online - Boating 5 – Near Shore Marine Navigation Level 2

Suggested Prerequisite Boating 4 – Near Shore Marine Navigation Level 1

Details e-learning with weekly webinar and assigned local tutor

Knowledge of the basics of navigation and planning cruises on a maritime chart is just the start.  Expand that knowledge by using a variety of electronic devices to chart your course and enable you to plan your course under tidal, current and windy conditions.  By learning more about dead reckoning, fixes and running fixes you will have attained a high degree of proficiency in navigating through coastal waters.  In the CPS-ECP AP Course we cover GPS, Chart Plotters, Radar, SONAR, Autopilots and more. This course was formerly called Advanced Piloting.

Online - Boating 6 – Off Shore Marine Navigation Level 1

Suggested Prerequisite Boating 5 – Near Shore Marine Navigation Level 2

Details e-learning with weekly webinar and assigned local tutor

When the GPS ceases to work, be guided by the sun. This is the first of a two-course program of Offshore Navigation for the recreational boater. Learn to use a marine sextant to derive lines of position and a running fix from sights on the sun. When you are boating offshore, remember that GPS is not infallible, nor always available. Be confident when no aids to navigation or land objects are in sight. This course was formerly called Junior Navigator.

Online - Boating 7 – Off Shore Marine Navigation Level 2

Suggested Prerequisite Boating 6 – Off Shore Marine Navigation Level 1

Details e-learning with weekly webinar and assigned local tutor

This is the second of a two-course program of Offshore Navigation program for the recreational boater. It introduces the navigator to route planning for going offshore, may the voyage be long or short.  While overshadowed by the new electronic systems, the art and science of celestial navigation is still a valuable asset to the offshore boaters.  This course provides the student with the fundamental knowledge and practical skills of celestial navigation.  It involves the use of a sextant for taking sights on the sun, planets, moon, and stars. This course was formerly called Global Navigation.

Seminar - AIS For Recreational Boaters

Suggested Prerequisite none

Details 1-3 hours

AIS or Automatic Identification System, is a wonderful collision avoidance aid for those who do their boating in areas with a moderate to high volume of heavy shipping traffic. The intent of the seminar is to help the prospective buyer decide which is the best unit for his/her  needs. There is enough easy-to-understand technical and operational information, including a comparison chart, to make it easy to decide.

Seminar - Celestial Navigation in a Nutshell

Suggested Prerequisite none

Details 1-3 hours

This seminar on this traditional and reliable offshore navigation method, was written by a skilled navigator, for the boater who wants to do some serious offshore cruising, maybe even challenge a transoceanic crossing, and needs a Plan B to back up his electronic navigation equipment. While by no means a full celestial navigation course, this is an excellent introduction to the two celestial navigation courses offered by Canadian Power and Sail  Squadrons, and covers all the basics.

Seminar - Chart Reading For Beginners

Suggested Prerequisite none

Details 1-3 hours

The is an excellent teaser for the boater who has his/her PCOC, but would like to learn more navigation and seamanship skills, and would like to get a glimpse of what sort of information and courses are available. Subjects cover the latitude/longitude system navigators use to locate points on earth’s surface, basic navigation chart reading, the magnetic compass, tides and currents, and buoyage systems.

Seminar - Introduction to Collision Regulations

Suggested Prerequisite none

Details 1-3 hours

Although there are no highway signs, traffic lights, or painted highway lanes out on the water, there are a very definite set of rules that govern the movements of boats of all sizes, and this seminar covers them all, right from the correct navigation lights carried by boats, buoyage systems, which boat is the “stand on” boat and which is the “give way” boat in a crossing or passing situation, whistle or horn signals, and much more. This seminar goes well beyond what is covered in the PCOC course.

Seminar - Paddling and Board Smart

Suggested Prerequisite none

Details 1-3 hours

Kayaking, Canoeing, and Paddle Boarding have become a tremendously popular water recreations, but there are a number of water safety issues that paddlers have to be aware of. This seminar covers how to select the proper craft for you, safe boarding procedures, the correct safety equipment to carry and the care of that equipment, and an excellent section on safety and weather, plus some basics on navigation and charts.

Seminar - Protecting Our Waterways' Environment

Suggested Prerequisite none

Details 1-3 hours

Pollution of the waterways on which we do our boating is not new, but has always been lurking in the background. However, the discovery that huge garbage patches are gathering in our oceans has snapped us out of our dream, and waterways pollution has moved to the forefront. This seminar, based on research done by several scientific groups, including National Geographic Society, will shock many when they see how critical the situation is.

Seminar - Tides and Currents

Suggested Prerequisite none

Details 1-3 hours

Anyone who does all or most of their boating on our oceans, must have an intimate knowledge of the natural cycles of the tides, and the sometimes dangerous currents they can generate. This seminar cannot cover every detail of tides and currents, but is an overview of tidal basics and is an excellent primer for the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons courses, Near Shore Marine Navigation Level 1 and Level 2. Inland waters, such as the Great Lakes do not experience tides, but there is a short section in the seminar dedicated to the “seiche,” a natural, irregular phenomenon, that causes tide-like changes in water levels in these waters.

Seminar - Tropical Weather For The Winter Boater

Suggested Prerequisite none

Details 1-3 hours

Many boaters like to spend all or part of their winters sailing in tropical waters, and no doubt wonder what sort of weather they might encounter. The meteorology behind winter weather in the Tropical Zone is very much different from that which we experience here in the mid-latitudes. This seminar gives us a quick review of mid-latitude weather, and then explains the differences that we would find in the tropics, and why they are different.

Seminar - Weather For Boaters

Suggested Prerequisite none

Details 1-3 hours

There’s nothing can quickly ruin a pleasant cruise on a sunny afternoon  than getting caught in a sudden, unexpected storm. This show of Mother Nature’s powers can be frightening at the very least, and fatal in its worst form. Weather For Boaters presents many of the basic meteorological principles that create our weather, and is an excellent primer for the more advanced Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons course, Introduction to Weather For Recreational Boaters.

Maritime Radio Course - Self Study

Suggested Prerequisite none

Details Self Study

This Maritime Radio ONLINE SELF-STUDY program is a completely integrated version of the classroom course that includes an online course manual and supporting learning materials.   By taking this online self-study program you will learn how to operate a marine radio aboard a vessel. The course will address the following topics, and more, to help you be a smarter and safer boater: How to make routine and emergency calls using Digital Select Calling (DSC) and Voice Procedure, Channel selection, the phonetic alphabet and procedural words and phrases (radio speak), and The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and how it can help you in an emergency   TIME PERIOD : You will have access to the program for 60 days.   EXAM: The self-study program includes an exam to obtain a Restricted Operator's Certificate (Maritime) which will be done in person with a CPS certified examiner. DURING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC this exam will be administered using a video link.