With the Boat Operator's Certification Program, USPS will certify individuals at various levels of recreational boating proficiency.  It is expect that these certifications will be recognized across the boating community, both domestically and internationally. The United States Coast Guard has asked congress to authorize the Transportation Secretary to establish requirements for standards of proficiency for recreational boaters. We intend to have USPS certification accepted as the above proof and be accepted as the national certificate for the USA.

We plan to have the USPS certifications meet or exceed the requirements of UN Resolution 40, International Certificate for the Operation of Pleasure Craft.  Under this resolution, boaters holding these certificates will be able to obtain international certification, much like licensed drivers can obtain international drivers licenses.

To receive certification, a person must be at least 16 years of age, be mentally and physically capable of operating a boat, and have sufficient visual and auditory sensory ability to do so (holding a driver’s license will suffice to certify meeting these requirements).

The first level, Inland Navigator, requires completing a NASBLA approved boating course; the USPS Seamanship, Engine Maintenance and Marine Electrical Systems courses; the How to Use a Chart, Using GPS, Using VHF Marine Radio, and Onboard Weather Forecasting seminars. You must also demonstrate your ability to use a fire extinguisher and successfully complete a basic powerboat handling skills demonstration.

Three optional endorsements are available for those boating Inland Waterways, Paddle Craft (canoes/kayaks), or Sailboats.

The second level, Coastal Navigator requires holding an Inland Navigator certification; completion of USPS Piloting, Weather, and Marine Communication courses; the Mastering the Rules of the Road, Anchoring, Marine Compass, Tides & Currents, and Marine Radar seminars. You must also demonstrate your on-the-water navigation skills and use of pyrotechnic distress signals.

Two additional/optional endorsements are available for those boating Canadian or Mexican waters, plus those for the Inland Navigator.  

The Advanced Coastal and Offshore Navigator certification requirements are currently being developed and tested before implementation.

Cost for each certification: $40 (members) $265 (non-members).  This price does not include the cost for required courses/seminars though equivalencies are available for prior experience/courses on an individual basis.

Those interested should contact Dave West (dwest@voyager.net  / 651-429-3840)