Boat Operator Certification






Background and Overview:

With the Boat Operator's Certification Program, United States Power Squadrons® will certify members at various levels of recreational boating proficiency. We expect that these certifications will be recognized across the boating community, both domestically and internationally. In the United States, 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 United States Power Squadrons® certification accepted as the national certificate for the USA. Regarding international recognition, we plan to have United States Power Squadrons® certifications meet the requirements of UN Resolution 40, International Certificate for the Operation of Pleasure Craft with the additional knowledge and testing of the CEVNI (European code for inland waterways) navigation rules.
United States Power Squadrons® currently plans four levels of Boat Operator Certification: 
  • Inland Navigator (IN)
  • Coastal Navigator (CN)
  • Advanced Coastal Navigator (ACN)
  • Offshore Navigator (ON)


Advantages for Members:
A certificate of operator proficiency will be of value to United States Power Squadrons® members when:
  • Renting, chartering or leasing a boat, especially in another country
  • Obtaining insurance
  • Engaging in competition
  • Speaking in public
  • Testifying as an expert witness
  • Lobbying
  • Serving on an advisory panel
  • Being quoted in the media
  • Being introduced in a public setting
  • Publishing articles or books
  • Building confidence in your own abilities
  • Learning to teach others OTW

Certification at any level requires successful completion of all prescribed elements including:
United States Power Squadrons® courses (completions are tracked at United States Power Squadrons® Headquarters), and/or non-United States Power Squadrons® seminars (signed off by an instructor and tracked at Headquarters). Skill demonstrations on the water or, in some cases, ashore (signed-off by a trained certifier and tracked at headquarters). Some may be United States Sailing programs. To be certified, a member 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.
For more information or questions:
Please contact P/C Ron Tilmon, SN-CN at
Photos will be taken at these events for publication in the Foghorn and Squadron website. If you do not wish to have your photo taken, please sign the Opt-Out sheet at this event.

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