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Page updated:
26 April 2020

Knowledge is Power

Pre-register for the next offering of any of these classes by completing our Class
Sign-Up Sheet
and e-mailing it to our Education Officer, Ken Lockhart at lockey527@gmail.com  or  (705) 527-7768.


Boating 1: Boating Basics (Pleasure Craft Operator Card)

All operators of motorized pleasure craft are required to show proof of operator competency. All you need to know for this Transport Canada test is presented in an easy-to-read format that is both informative and entertaining. You can be confident that this study guide meets all the standards established by Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety.

As an extra benefit, passing this test offered by Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, means your Card is recognized by BOTH Transport Canada and The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (USA). Your Midland Power and Sail Squadron invites you to take this course conveniently online to obtain your PCOC certification:

Available online (English & French) through CPS-ECP: https://www.cps-ecp.ca/public/pcoc.asp?WCE=A=Body|C=32|K=S235672

Maritime Radio (Restricted Operator Certificate-Maritime)                                                     Back to Top

Radio didn’t die with the cell phone…  maritime radio (VHF) is a great way to connect to information and assistance from your location on the water.  In an emergency, a MAYDAY call on the VHF radio will get you help from the closest boat or you might even have your chance to be a hero by assisting a boater in distress since you are nearby and helping in the distress call will not put you or your vessel in danger.  

If you have a VHF radio on board, anyone using it must be licensed so this course can be an important, enjoyable family affair!  

In addition to emergency radio procedures, you’ll also discover the advantages of everyday operating techniques. Learn all about the uses of marine radios, choice of frequencies, operation, phonetic alphabet, procedural words and phrases, as well as Digital Selective Calling and the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, (DSC/GMDSS).

Offered in class or self-study—the complete package with CD prepares you for the Restricted Operator Certificate (Maritime) with DSC Endorsement exam.  (Exam must be done in person.)

Includes exam.                                               Back to Top


CPS-ECP Squadrons offer a series of courses in boating knowledge that builds from the basic course required by law to what you’d want to know to cross the ocean.  Generations of volunteers have been sharing their experience on the water with new and seasoned boaters, helping them prepare for both every-day and emergency situations.  

Once you’ve completed a course, we encourage you to become a member and support the continued effort to bring boaters together across Canada. Your Midland squadron can host events, seminars and courses…  

The following is the list of courses in their regular format and offer a testing component if you wish to have proof of proficiency.  Some segments and topics are often presented in seminars or even online – check boatingcourses.ca to research what’s happening near you.  

Boating 2: Beyond the PCOC                         Back to Top

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, chart-reading, the Global Positioning System (GPS), 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 can 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)

5 weeks, one evening per week

Boating 3: Introduction to Navigation           Back to Top

The third course in our 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. This course also has a number of optional topics that can be taught depending on your interests; these include tides and currents, canals and locks, and collision regulations.

Suggested Prerequisite: Boating 2: Beyond the PCOC

5 weeks, one evening per week

Boating 4: Seamanship                                   Back to Top

In our earlier courses, you’ve learned what to expect and how to plan for it.  Now it’s time to review collision regulations regarding other boats, prepare for emergencies at sea such as a nearby boat on fire, and develop an understanding of the skills required in adverse weather.   Medical emergencies, relative bearings, knots, splicing, buoyancy and stability and much more are all covered in Seamanship.

Suggested Prerequisite: Boating 3: Introduction to Navigation

10-12 weeks one evening per week

Boating 5: Advanced Piloting                          Back to Top

Ever imagined renting a yacht in the Caribbean? You have the foundation skills of chart plotting from Boating 2 & 3 but think about exploring beyond your local waters by learning how to use a variety of electronic devices to plan and chart your course under tidal, current and windy conditions.  By learning more about dead reckoning, fixes and running fixes you will have attained a high degree of proficiency in navigating through coastal waters. In the CPS-ECP Advanced Piloting (AP) Course, you learn the criteria for choosing an electronic suite and its components related to your navigation location and style.

Suggested Prerequisite: Boating 4: Seamanship

10-12 weeks one evening per week


Boating 6: Junior Navigation                         Back to Top

Ever dreamed of sailing across the ocean? Bring the dream one step closer to reality by learning how to navigate by the sun. GPS is not infallible nor is it always available when you are boating offshore. As the first of two courses in Offshore Navigation for the recreational boater, you …

Suggested Prerequisite: Boating 5: Advanced Piloting

10-12 weeks one evening per week

Boating 7: Global Navigation                         Back to Top

Awaken your inner explorer by using the stars to find your way.  This is the second of a two-course program of Offshore Navigation for the recreational boater. It introduces the navigator to route planning for going offshore, whether the voyage be long or short.  While overshadowed by the new electronic systems, the art and science of celestial navigation is still a valuable asset to the offshore boaters (or even hikers).  You can learn to identify the constellations and use  a sextant for taking sights on the planets, moon, and stars.

Suggested Prerequisite: Boating 6:  Junior Navigation

9 weeks one  evening per week

COURSES OF GENERAL INTEREST                   Back to Top

Boaters told us what they wanted and we listened! These are some of our most popular…  if you have an idea for a course, we’d love to hear it!

Electronic Navigation

GPS technology provides additional safety and can help make navigating much easier on the water. You will learn about hand-held and built-in GPS and Chartplotter instruments and become familiar with the many features and capabilities of these devices. This course is mostly hands-on and covers the features, capabilities, and uses of electronic charts and the variety of ways they are available - from chartplotters, PDAs, tablets, laptop and desktop computers. Learn about electronic programs like Maptech, OZI, FUGAWI and Nobeltec.

Suggested Prerequisite: Beyond the PCOC – Boating 2

This course is also available online.

4 weeks, one evening per week

RADAR for Pleasure Craft                             Back to Top

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 to navigate using RADAR, and to determine where you are.

Introduction to Weather

Winds, waves, fog, lightning, hail, tornadoes.... hurricanes!  The wise boater respects and anticipates Mother Nature’s many moods.  Beyond “red sky in the morning”, this 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 in and around Canadian waters.

7- 8 weeks, one evening per week

Extended Cruising aka “Living on a Boat”         Back to Top

If you want to take your boat and cruise coastal waters, experience remote anchorages far from home or explore countries across oceans, Extended Cruising provides you with a deeper understanding of the skills necessary for confident, safe passages. Extended Cruising is an essential first step in understanding the elements of the “long-distance passage” lifestyle under sail or power. From choosing the right boat based on seaworthiness, stability, and other design concepts to provisioning and visiting foreign countries, there are so many things to prepare for…  and there are plenty of places where you don’t want to be surprised by a lack of planning. You will gain an awareness of the maintenance required for critical systems, passage planning, safety issues, emergency preparedness and weather tips.

9-11 weeks, one evening per week