"Providing Safe Boating Courses in the Guelph Area since 1962"


Boating Education

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The following are Canadian Power and Sail Squadron courses.

Our Instructors are all experienced boaters, keel boat sailors, dinghy sailors and power boaters, with significant practical experience. Great Lakes cruisers, Ocean cruisers, hands on sailing coaches and advanced level theoretical training. Canadian Power & Sail Senior Navigators, Advanced Piloting, Ontario Sailing Association Intermediate and Advanced Cruising standards. American Yachting Association, all standards up to and including Charter Skipper and Transport Canada Certified Marine Instructor.


Guelph Squadron Training Philosophy

 Our Goal is to Teach Safe Boating by sharing our boating experiences,  good and bad with the class. We don't limit our classes to the basic lesson material.
 There will always be value added based on our  experiences.

 We will provide as much one to one support to ensure that all students understand and are comfortable with the materials and topics – no one is left behind.


We hold monthly Pub Nights, we socialize, share boating stories and have a good time.



Boating Basics image                                                                                         PCOC card

  Boating 1- (Boating Basics)

  What you need to know to get your Pleasure Craft Operators Card (PCOC)

   Topics Boating and the Law, Know your Boat,  Equipping your Boat, Safety Awareness, Marine Rules of the Road, 
 Aids to Navigation System ,  Trailering and Transporting
, Getting underway, Anchoring,  Docking, Locks, Water Related Activities, Preventive Maintenance, Weather Tips  



Boating 2    Boating 2 - Beyond the PCOC  - Starts Feb.03rd.

  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.
Suggested Prerequisite: Boating 1: Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)

Duration: 9 weeks ( evening classes) 



Boating 3    Boating 3 - Introduction to Navigation  - 

 The third course in the 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.
 Optional topics  include tides and currents, canals and locks,

               Suggested Prerequisite: Boating 2: Beyond the PCOC






Electronic Navigation

 Electronic Marine Navigation

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.    See course table of contents.





Maritime Radio                                        Maritime Radio


    Successful completion of this course you will give your "Restricted Operators Certificate", which is required by law.
 ( good for life ) You will also learn emergency radio procedures that will significantly enhance your safety, as well as Digital Selective Calling and the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, (DSC & GMDSS).

A refresher course is recommended for those who have a "Restricted Operator's Certificate" issued before January 1st, 2005. There have been significant advances in VHF radio technology, i.e. "Digital Selective Calling". This feature enhances your ability to communicate your location in an emergency situation.
 "Digital Selective Calling" could save your life in an emergency.




    Radar for Boaters


This course covers the different types of RADAR equipment, their capabilities and limitations

Understand 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.

Students attending this course should be in possession of their PCOC (or equivalent) and have
good basic
navigational knowledge.

Introduction to Weather

Introduction to Weather for Recreational Boaters


Winds, waves, fog, lightning, hail, tornadoes … hurricanes! The wise boater respects and anticipates Mother Nature’s many moods. Beyond “red sky in the evening”, the  CPS Weather 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. Note, you don't need to be a boater to benefit from this interesting course
                                   Topics: 1. The Atmosphere, Temperature, Heat
                                                2. Wind, Pressure, Waves
                                                3. Water, Humidity, Fog, Precipitation
                                                4. Stability, Clouds
                                                5. Thunderstorms and Tornadoes
                                                6. Mid-Latitude Weather and Storms
                                                7. Overview of Special Topics: e.g. hurricanes



Other Boating Safety Courses

       Elective   Please note: Some of the following courses have  been renamed and will be updated

Sail - The course deals exclusively with the knowledge required to operate a sailboat safely. Emphasis is placed on how a sailboat works and the special terminology associated with sailboats, sailing, and practical seamanship.

Duration: 8 weeks (8 evening classes)

Extended Cruising - This course helps establish the skills required for you to seek distant shores. Offshore sailors must be able to fill the roles of helmsperson, navigator, meteorologist, shipwright, radio operator, cook, sail maker, mechanic and diplomat. Cruising is a most rewarding and enjoyable experience when you are properly prepared.

Duration: 8 weeks (8 evening classes)

Boat and Engine Maintenance - The enjoyment of boating includes both the pleasure of using the boat and the satisfaction of properly maintain it. Your offshore safety is directly related to how well you maintain your boat on an ongoing basis and your ability to resolve issues while you are out on the water. Get to know your boat and learn how to resolve issues.

Duration: 8 weeks (8 evening classes)


Seamanship - While this course builds on traditional navigational concepts and techniques learned in Boating Essentials, it also covers the hazards of weather, wind, waves, tides and tidal currents as well as emergencies on the water.

Duration: 8 weeks (8 evening classes)

Recommended pre-requisite: successful completion of "Boating Essentials".

The next "Seamanship" Course  - Course date TBA

Advanced Piloting - As is suggested in the course name, this is an advanced course, which takes up where the Seamanship Course left off. If you plan on going out of sight of land, this course is for you. You will be taken out of the realm of conning and visual plotting to coastal cruising out of sight of land, navigating in tidal waters, dealing with current, standing clear of danger, and determining position by visual observation or with the use of electronic devices. Your chart work will be developed to standards recognized in the maritime industry. You will learn how to navigate in the case where your electronic navigational tools are not available.

Duration: 8 weeks (8 evening classes)

Recommended pre-requisite: successful completion of "Seamanship".

Junior Navigator - This the first of a two-part program of study in offshore (open coast) navigation. It is designed as a practical, how-to course using GPS for offshore navigation with sun sight taking using a sextant as a backup technique. The more advanced techniques for other celestial bodies and sights are for study in the subsequent Navigation Course.

Duration: 14 weeks (14 classes)

Recommended pre-requisite: successful completion of "Advanced Piloting".

Global Navigator - Global Navigator is the second part of study of offshore navigation. It further develops the student's skills and understanding of celestial theory. The student is introduced to additional sight reduction techniques for bodies other than the sun. The student develops greater skill and precision in sight taking, positioning and the orderly methods of carrying on the day's work of a navigator at sea.

Duration: 14 weeks (14 classes)

Recommended pre-requisite: successful completion of "Junior Navigator".

                   Courses are held at: Centennial Collegiate, 289 College Avenue West, Guelph
                                                                                       Google map

Parking is located on the West side of the building, wher
e you can  enter the building. You will need to walk to the East end of the building for the Squadron classes. Classes are held on Wednesdays from 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM.

Interior school 'path'

At the Guelph Squadron, we believe that knowledgeable boaters are safer boaters. The Squadron is a non-profit,  all volunteer organization dedicated to promoting safe boating through education.

We recognize the importance of your family's safety when out on the water and would like to share our knowledge and experience. All of our courses are classroom courses.
 Our instructors are qualified and many have extensive experience on the water.




Some feedback:

"Mike and I would highly recommend the Boating Course* to any or all novice boaters, would-be boaters or curiously seekers."

"Honestly, Mike and I were completely blown away by the outstanding teaching and top level information we received. Thanks really goes to all your volunteers. Truly impressive!"

Mary Vanders Woude,


* the "Boating Course" is now  "Boating 2"  -after PVOC (2016)

"Guys, I want to thank you for your great courses.  I will be putting all to practice in the coming few days;  a departure from Toronto to New York, and then on to the Azores, Portugal likely after that.  I may get few sun shots in.

Thanks again,"

Grant Henry




Display at stone Rd. mall with Mark Parkinson on deck

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