ANNAPOLIS, Md., It’s an important piece of equipment, able to get boaters safely home, to their favored fishing hole or weekend raft up spot. But if you’ve ever wondered about all of the features and functions on your boat’s GPS or chartplotter, this is your chance to learn by taking the newest online course from the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water and the United States Power Squadrons, “How to Use GPS.” Available for a $30 course fee at BoatUS.org/gps, the course makes learning easy as it can be taken anytime – at home, office, or the boat. Course takers may stop and return as their busy schedules permit, and the course works well with any brand of GPS or chartplotter.
“Many boaters understand the basic functions on their chartplotter, but we wanted to create a course that would be like having a knowledgeable friend looking over their shoulder pointing out the GPS’ features they might not be aware of, as well as explaining how the GPS can make their boating more safe and enjoyable,” said BoatUS Foundation Director of Education Amanda Suttles Pérez. “This course is great for novice or experts with any size boat, and you don’t have to be an experienced navigator to understand the material.”
The course is divided into four chapters including and an introduction with sections on setting-up, using the GPS, and integrating electronics. Short quizzes throughout give you the opportunity to test your knowledge and then go back to review the material again. Some topics covered include:
- Basic functions of a GPS/chartplotter, including how to easily create waypoints and chart a route.
- The quick and easy way to see your position on GPS’ display.
- Some common set-up up options, including recommended settings as well as how to set up your own user preferences, such as anchor alarms.
- Integration with other instruments, including radar, wind, speed, AIS and more.
- Ways to improve the convenience and safety of your chartplotter.
- Quick tips throughout the course to help you avoid trouble.
The course is just $24.00 for members of BoatUS, United States Power Squadrons, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, and Great Lakes Cruising Club. For more information on all online courses offered by the Foundation, go to BoatUS.org/courses.