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.

Search the CPS-ECP Course Catalog

Explore our boating courses in two ways.

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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. 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

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.

Boating 2 - Beyond Boating Basics - Online

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.

Boating 3 – Introduction to Marine Navigation - Online

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.

Boating 4 – Near Shore Marine Navigation Level 1 - Online

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.

Boating 5 – Near Shore Marine Navigation Level 2 - Online

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.

Boating 6 – Off Shore Marine Navigation Level 1 - Online

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.

Boating 7 – Off Shore Marine Navigation Level 2 - Online

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.