Pamlico Sail and Power Squadron to mentor boaters at no cost

Published 11:20 pm Thursday, August 1, 2019


Washington Daily News


Both new and seasoned boaters need help occasionally, whether it’s with docking a boat or needing a simple vessel safety check. One local boating club is offering to mentor boaters and complete inspections — all for free.

The Pamlico Sail and Power Squadron is seeking boaters who need assistance for their Jump Start program, a free two-hour mentoring program. Participants just need a boat and a willingness to learn, and the PSPS will take care of the rest.

“We have a whole lot of classes that can be taken in a classroom, like we do with the ABC class and pilot classes,” said PSPS educational officer Linda Erickson. “But one of the things that is even better than in-classroom learning is hands-on learning.”

During the one-on-one program, the PSPS will find an experienced member with a similar boat for a two-hour training session focusing on whatever skill the student needs to improve.

Before the mentoring session, however, the PSPS completes a vessel safety check for free and without penalties. If the student does not pass the safety check, a member will tell them what to fix, as opposed to being fined by the U.S. Coast Guard. For those that do pass, they will get proof of the inspection.

“It’s the same inspection that the Coast Guard will do,” Erickson said. “The only difference is we’ll do it, and if there’s something wrong, we simply tell people. … And if they fix it, we will give them a sticker that says that they’ve been inspected by the U.S. Power Squadron for that year.”

The program has been active for two years, but according to Erickson, few people take advantage of the opportunity. In an effort to spread the word about the program, the PSPS is planning to give out brochures at local marinas.

“I’m not sure if people are afraid that it’s too good to be true,” Erickson said. “But I mean, it’s kind of what we’re all about. It’s our mission to provide education for safe boating. We all need help — even experienced boaters need help.”

For more information about the Jump Start program and other educational opportunities, including lecture-based classes, email