Saturday, January 29, 2022

Boaters’ Briefs: Weekend Navigator I

Arne W. Kelsy, Public Affairs Officer

Arne W. Kelsy, Public Affairs Officer

The USCG Auxiliary, Flotilla 95 on Marco Island is offering a new course this spring titled ‘Weekend Navigator’.  The course based on the requests of local boaters who wanted a course designed to assist them in Chart Navigation basics in addition to electronic navigation.  During the course, students will learn the key concepts of waypoint navigation and the three steps to navigation. In addition, they will be introduced to navigation tools both traditional and digital.  This is hands-on navigation instruction using sample cruises to apply the principles learned.  This 12-hour course is taught over two days (February 3rd and 5th and again on March 10th and 12th). For additional information and registration, contact Doug Johnson at (239) 642-8406.

This is just one of the many boating knowledge and safety courses offered by Flotilla 95 over the last 40 years. The mission of the Coast Guard Recreational Boating Safety program is to minimize the loss of life, personal injury, property damage, and negative environmental impact associated with the use of recreational boating through preventive means.  We work hard to keep our courses upgraded and current with new technology and talented instructors, just as we hope boaters keep both their  vessels and their boating skills and knowledge up-to-date.

Here are our Public Education programs available to the boating public for 2010:

Boating Skills and Seamanship:
This program is essential for every boater! The course runs for four weeks and meets every Monday and Thursday evening from 7:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.  It covers Florida boating laws, legal requirements for your boat, navigation rules, how to read a chart, common knots, weather patterns, and proper use of the marine radio.

DATES:  February 22 -March 18; October 18 – November 11

Boaters Local Knowledge:
This unique, constantly-updated program was developed at the request of local boaters who want to know more about the various waterways in and around Marco Island and the Ten Thousand Islands.  We use aerial photos of local waters to help identify shallow areas for safe navigation.  Instruction will appeal to all ages.  

DATES:   February 15, 6-9:30 p.m.; March 17, 9 a.m. -12:30 p.m.; November 9, 6-9:30 p.m. 

Global Positioning Systems – (GPS):
This program runs for two days and morning courses are offered at the Coast Guard Auxiliary Station in Caxambas Park. Students



receive hands-on experience using a Garmin GPS 72 Handheld unit that we provide. Good way
to learn.

Suddenly in Command:
This invaluable course provides both classroom and on the water instruction for women (and men too): what if you find yourself suddenly in command of a boat?  Do you know how to stabilize your boat, or use a radio in an emergency situation?  Don’t wait until it’s too late to find out!

DATES: February 2, 9-4 p.m;  March 19, 9-4 p.m. 

Radio: (marine communication) 
This new course was developed to help everyone understand the new DSC radios and the many tools they provide.  Do you have a radio with a red button that says “DISTRESS”? Is it connected to your GPS?  Do you have an MMSI number? For answers to these questions and more, you should take this three-hour course.

DATES: February 11, 7-9 p.m.;  March 2, 7-9 p.m.;  March 25, 7-9 p.m.; November 16, 7-9 p.m.

Weekend Navigator:
This new 12-hour course is an excellent refresher for everyone. It is taught over two days and is essential for safe boating! It utilizes traditional charts and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to navigate safely. Don’t leave the dock without it!

DATES: February 3 & 5; March 10 & 12     


For registration information for any of these courses call: Doug Johnson at  (239) 642-8406.

Need a speaker for one of your groups? The Coast Guard Auxiliary can provide talented speakers who cover the highlights of any of our courses: Boating Safety Tips; Hurricanes and your Boat; Weather; Navigation Around Marco Island, are a few of the topics offered.
Classroom Location:  All of our courses are conducted at the United
States Coast Guard Auxiliary Station – Flotilla 95, 905 Collier Court,
Marco Island, FL (in Caxambas Park).
FREE vessel safety checks are also available. A vessel safety check can identify safety features and money savings opportunities:

  • Prevent citations by meeting federal, state and local safety equipment  requirements. 
  • Identify educational and equipment-related possible boating      
       insurance discounts.
  • Increase awareness of safety practices to avoid accidents and costly breakdowns. 

To schedule a FREE vessel check please call Ron Klein, Staff Officer, Vessel Examinations at (239) 775-7599, or leave a message at the Coast Guard Auxiliary Station at (239) 394-5911.

Arne W. Kelsey is Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 95,  Marco Island, FL.

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