United States Power SquadronsBest known for the hundreds of public boating courses which local squadrons offer several times each year to approximately 40,000 men, women, and youngsters, USPS, American’s largest and oldest nonprofit recreational boating organization, celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2004. USPS will be celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2014. Since it was founded at the Boston Yacht Club in 1912 and chartered as a national organization at the New York Yacht Club in 1914, USPS grown to include more than 60,000 members in some 450 squadrons in the United States, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Virgin Islands and Japan. USPS also assisted in the formation of the Canadian Sail & Power Squadrons which has 35,000 members.Boat ownership is not a requirement of membership and USPS member vesselsinclude sail, power, Personal Watercraft, kayaks, canoes, and Inflatables.
Organizational Longevity --- Why We Succeed
The key to the organization's longevity goes beyond the accolades it has garnered from four U.S. Presidents and the tens of thousands of boating safety courses squadron members have taught during its nearly 100-year history. It stems from the sincere belief that boating is a great way to spend quality time with family and friends. Boating benefits the desire of consumers to seek recreation that keeps them close to their families while providing an escape from everyday stress and hectic lifestyles. Similarly, local squadrons also provide opportunities for more serious and adventuresome members to enjoy group cruises, rendezvous, sailing races, navigation contests and a large number of advanced courses such as Piloting, Navigation, Sail, Weather, Cruise Planning, Engine Maintenance, Marine Electronics and much more.
Because boat owners are responsible for the safety of their own vessel as well as the safety of their passengers, USPS began a joint effort three years ago with the Coast Guard Auxiliary to conduct courtesy boat examinations at public piers and marinas to verify the presence and operable condition of certain safety equipment required by state and federal regulations. Many trailerable boats can be inspected in ten minutes and all boaters receive a copy of the evaluation form at the end of the inspection. Boats that meet safety requirements receive a Vessel Safety Check decal to be displayed onboard. Of the more than 55,000 boats that were inspected since the joint program began, 21% did not meet the requirements to be classified as a safe boat. While there are no penalties for not successfully completing a Vessel Safety Check, the program may prevent many boating accidents by making the boat owner aware of potential safety hazards.
There are benefits of being a USPS member that go beyond boating education, camaraderie and civic service opportunities. Members enjoy a variety of member-only benefits such as special towing and marine store discounts, branded-credit card and discounted travel opportunities. Not only is the organization's member-only boat insurance program competitively priced, its premium rate structure reflects the organization's history of being safe boaters. Members who have shopped around say they've found that the USPS Boat Insurance program is less expensive than other insurance programs.
Navigating the Waters Ahead
While the goal of USPS has always been to promote public boating safety, produce exceptional member courses, and provide opportunities for camaraderie among its members, USPS is poised for growth in the coming years by keeping its pulse on the ever changing wants and needs of the boating public.