Course Descriptions

We offer Michigan Boater’s Safety Certificate courses, advanced boating education, and several elective courses.
Michigan Boating Law

Boating Safety Classes – Public Welcome

Presented by the Grand Rapids Power Squadron, our Boating Safety course meets all Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requirements to secure a Michigan Boat Safety Certificate. It provides a good base for building further boating knowledge. The enthusiastic instructors have many years of boating experience and are certified boating instructors by the United States Power Squadrons and Michigan DNR. Boating Safety is a course for all boaters (the personal watercraft operator; the hunter or fisherman operating an outboard utility boat; the skipper of a family cruiser; paddlers; the sailing enthusiast). All boaters must follow the same nautical rules, regulations, and courtesies of the sea. All are subject to the same forces of nature while boating. Boating Safety consists of topics in seamanship, boat terms and types, boat handling, fueling, docking, anchoring, required safety equipment, PFD’s, navigation lights, fire extinguishers, USCG standards, law enforcement, aids to navigation, rules of navigation, use of radiotelephone, operation under hazardous conditions, and much more.

Advanced Grades – Membership Required

  • Seamanship (S)
  • Piloting (P)
  • Advanced Piloting (AP)
  • Junior Navigation (JN)
  • Navigation (N)

Elective Courses – Membership Required

  • Cruise Planning (CP)
  • Engine Maintenance (EM)
  • Instructor Development (IQ)
  • Marine Electrical Systems (MES)
  • Marine Communication Systems (MCS)
  • Sail (SA)
  • Weather (W)

Questions about our classes?  Email our Squadron Education Officer (SEO).
Additional Information: the United States Power Squadrons Educational Department 


Course offerings are also offered along the lakeshore by demand.

The USPS education department is also updating the names of their advanced courses to more closely reflect the content of the courses.  Look for these changes to take place in the near future.

                                              OLD NAME NEW NAME
                                            Seamanship Boat Handling
                                      Piloting Marine Navigation
                                                      Advanced Piloting Advanced Marine Navigation
                                                     Junior Navigation Offshore Navigation
                                           Navigation Celestial Navigation

Boat Handling includes:

  1. Rules of the Road – A practical approach
  2. Confidence in Docking and Undocking – Slow Speed Maneuvering
  3. Boating with Confidence – Handling Your Boat Underway
  4. Anchoring with Assurance – Don’t Get Carried Away
  5. Emergencies on Board – Preparation for Handling Common Problems
  6. Knots and Line Handling – The Knots You Need to Know