America’s Boating Course
3rd Edition
- Course Outline -

The course materials include both a 244-page full color manual and interactive "courseware". The
manual is your textbook, and the "courseware" is your virtual instructor. Both cover the same topics
but each in its own way. The manual includes extensive diagrams, graphics and boating tips. The
courseware is narrated and interactive, making use of animation, video, and sound. Both manual and courseware provide review questions so that you can verify that you truly understand the material. In addition to the lessons, the courseware includes resources which will come in handy long after you
have completed the course: printable forms (checklists, accident reports, float plans, etc.) and links to
reference documents such as the Navigation Rules.

The course manual consists of five chapters packed with boating tips along with the nautical rules of
the road. The first four chapters contain core boating information while the last chapter is optional and
contains an introduction to GPS waypoint navigation and piloting via dead reckoning skills.

Chapter 1:
·   Getting Started—nautical terms
·   Required Safety Equipment-life jackets, fire ext.
·   Going Boating—fueling, casting off, underway

Chapter 2:
·   Navigation Rules
·   Navigation Aids
·   Lights and Sound signals
·   Government Regulations
·   State and Local Regulations

Chapter 3:
·   Finding Your Way—nautical charts, electronic navigation
·   Anchoring
·   Adverse Conditions and Emergencies
·   Communications Afloat

Chapter 4:
·   Water Sports Safety-water skiing, hunting/fishing, paddling
·   Trailering
·   PWC Operation
·   Knots and Lines

Chapter 5: (optional)

Featuring hands-on exercises using standard plotting tools. This chapter is presented in a classroom setting under the expert guidance of an experienced instructor. Classroom plotting exercises build skill and confidence for larger lakes and rivers and coastal waters.

·   Introduction to Navigation—how GPS works, nautical charts, digital charts
·   Charts—what they convey and how to interpret the many symbols
·   Digital Charting—an introduction to waypoint and route planning using the      latest in computer software
Getting Started
Navigation Rules
Finding Your Way
Water Sports Safety
Introduction To Navigation

Both the manual and CD-ROM containing the courseware are provided with each purchase, as well as
a PIN (Personal Identification Number) that provides you with Internet access to the on-line courseware. Learn the basics of boating at your own pace, at home or away, using either a PC or a Macintosh.

America's Boating Course is recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard and has been approved by the
National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. In addition to the course material, a fellow
boater in your area from USPS® will contact you with an offer of assistance regarding state regulations, taking a final exam, and answering any other questions you may have. The United States Power Squadrons® is at your disposal.

America's Boating Course, a complete education package for $49.95 plus shipping and handling, including 6 months of membership with USPS.
Sign up now for America's Boating Course!

PC System Requirements

Macintosh System Requirements


Intel Pentium II 450MHz or faster processor (or equivalent); 128 MB of RAM



PowerPC G3 500 MHz or faster processor; Intel Core Duo 1.33 GHz or faster processor; 128 MB of RAM

Operating System and Browsers:

  • Microsoft Windows Vista - Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 or later *
  • Microsoft Windows XP - Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later *
  • Microsoft Windows 2003 - Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later *
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 - Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.x or later *
Note: Internet Explorer must be used as the browser and security settings changed to permit ActiveX content to run (see below).

Operating System and Browsers:

  • MacOS X v10.1 or later (PowerPC) – IBM PC Compatibility Mode *
  • MacOS X v10.4 or later (Intel) – IBM PC Compatibility Mode *
Note: IBM PC Compatibility Mode with Internet Explorer used as the browser and security settings changed to permit ActiveX content to run (see below).


Internet Explorer Security Settings:


            Options have to be changed in Internet Explorer to allow Active X Controls to be run.

                  Launch Internet Explorer; under “Tools” on the top Menu, select “Internet Options”.

                        In the next window, select the “Advanced” tab.


Scroll down to the “Security” section.  Verify that “Allow active content from CDs to run on My Computer” and “Allow active content to run in files on My Computer” are both checked.  Exit out of the browser.  Internet Explorer must be re-launched before the changed options take effect.


Adobe Flash Player, etc.:


Make sure you are running the latest versions of Adobe’s Flash Player (currently Version 10), Adobe’s Shockwave, and Apple’s QuickTime. See the ABC3 course manual's inside, back-cover for requirements.



  • A soundblaster compatible sound card
  • A compatible set of speakers (recommended)
The America's Boating Course was developed to be viewed on a computer with display properties set to:
800 X 600 screen resolution with High Color (16 bit) color depth (min.)
Hull Types Demo (click)
Hull Types
Demo (click)
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This page last updated April 13, 2009