So you’ve got the boat and the moorage. You’ve taken the boating classes and even went through the Coast Guard vessel inspection. Time to hit the open water. Many boaters don’t stop there. Joining a national boating organization has some great advantages, including ongoing training, lower vessel insurance costs, and some downright fun. We’ve put together info about some of the more popular groups you might want to consider.
The United States Sailing Association
First known as the North America Yacht Racing Union, the US Sailing Association (USSA) was founded in 1897. Its sole purpose is to provide leadership for sport sailing in the United States. This organization has a wide range of programs and events, all working to provide an equal playing field for all sailors. All members can enjoy these services.
If you are a first-time sailor, USSA provides you with firsthand experience and certified instructors to help you become a professional sailor. This organization also hosts networking events and symposiums designed to bring together experts who address the latest developments in said areas.
Young sailors can also learn about sailboat racing through the many available Junior Olympic sailing festivals, organized each year.
To find out about how to join this organization, you need to visit their website (below) and click on available links on the membership page. Here, you will receive training and education programs that will benefit you greatly. To inquire more about their membership, click on your shoe size and more information will be available to you. As of now, membership for adults is sold out, but you can always register your little ones and let them learn from the best.
Known as Boat Owners Association of the United States, BoatUS was founded by Richard Schwartz in 1966, with the sole purpose of providing exceptional service and savings for boaters. They also deal with marine insurance and towing. They operate one of the largest marine services including water towing fleet called TowBoatUS.
BoatUS offers discounts to all members and helps them save on a variety of services and products. They provide you with many resources that are necessary to take care of your boat. They also offer expert advice on how to maintain your boat, safety requirements, consumer protection services, damage avoidance publications, and equipment recommendations.
- Roadside assistance while trailering your boat
- 24/7 towing dispatch to over 600 towboats in 300+ ports
- Discounts on fuel, repairs, transient slips, and more than 1,000+ boating businesses
- Access to Boat Insurance
- Highest shopping rewards at West Marine
- Discount on Custom Boat Lettering and Registration Numbers
The United States Power Squadron
The United States Power Squadron (USPS) is a non-profit boating educational and social organization. This group has more than 35,000 members – three U.S. presidents have honored it because of its civic contributions. It continues to be one of America’s largest boating organizations.
USPS offers a wide range of courses to its members. You can learn subjects like piloting and navigation, cruise planning, marine electronics, Seamanship, sailing, and much more. When you become a member, you can participate in both on-the-water and ashore activities with fellow members. On-the-water activities include sail races, navigation contests, fishing, etc. Ashore activities include dinner parties, field trips, picnics, meetings with marine programs, and much more!
With USPS, you receive other following benefits:
- Networking interactions
- Saving of 20 percent to 50 percent or more on all seminars and courses
- Saving on boat insurance and many other services and products mentioned above
- Flexibility in scheduling your courses. You can opt for classroom instruction, on-line courses, or on-the-water skills training
The Cruising Club of America
Founded in 1921 by a handful of experienced offshore sailors, this club enhances the interests, experience, love, and respect for the sea to all its members. The Cruising Club of America is very different from other organizations as it does not have a clubhouse, a shore side base, nor does it have any paid staff. This club is structured around national committees that conduct mission-related work. They also manage all administrative duties with the primary focus being safety at sea.
Governing Board of Officers and elected members manage it. The Cruising Club of America is made up of experienced offshore sailors who are dedicated to the sport of yachting. Membership is by invitation only, with new members nominated by existing members who know them well. However, the invitation may be extended to a sailor who has shown great offshore sailing experience at a command level. All members must be a complete seaman at heart and be a good shipmate.