United States Power Squadrons®

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BOAT SYSTEMS OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE

Two areas of prime interest to boaters are operation and maintenance of their mechanical and electrical systems aboard.

 

ENGINE MAINTENANCE

Modern engines offer high reliability and good performance through the use of computerized systems for fuel delivery and engine timing. Most of these systems are “black boxes” that can no longer be serviced by weekend mechanics with ordinary tools. The Engine Maintenance course covers those repairs that do-it-yourselfers can still perform, teaches how to diagnose problems that might be beyond your ability to fix, and how to share information with your mechanic so the right repairs get performed. The Engine Maintenance course also covers basic mechanical systems such as drive systems (propellers), steering systems, and engine controls. The last chapter discusses solutions you might use to problems that could occur while afloat and away from a repair facility. Gasoline, diesel, and outboard engines are treated independently in this chapter.

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MARINE ELECTRONICS

Marine Electrical Systems (MES) covers the practice of wiring your boat, including boat electrical wiring practices and diagrams, direct and alternating current power, galvanic and stray current corrosion, and lightning protection. Troubleshooting is emphasized throughout, so students should feel comfortable performing even tricky wiring tasks after passing this course.

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Marine Communication Systems (MCS) is an in-depth, nine chapter review of communications systems available to the recreational boater. Radio history and spectrum definitions are presented along with definitions of radio circuits that the student should learn, to choose the best communications method for his/her situation. One chapter is devoted to the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and another to FCC Rules and regulations. The remaining chapters cover High Seas radio (MF/HF and satellite communications) and other systems such as Family Radio Service transceivers. There is also a chapter on troubleshooting of radio installations.

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Where Can I Take a Course?

If one or more of these courses interest you, locate a course in your area. If you're a USPS member, contact your Squadron Educational Officer and take a course at your squadron rate. We hope to see you soon!