top of page

Course Descriptions

  • The America's Boating Course and the Boat Handling seminar series are open to the public.

  • All other courses are only available to members of America's Boating Club Hilton Head.

  • Contact our Education Officer for additional information or assistance.

     Scroll down for information on all of the Courses offered by ABCHH, or click on a title from the following list:

America's Boating Course

This is an 8 hour classroom course designed to inform you off all the elements of safe boating!

Learn about

  • Types of boats and their uses

  • Boating laws, both federal and state

  • Safety equipment, required and recommended

  • Navigating in adverse conditions

  • Marine communicaitons

  • Trailering 

  • Knots and Lines, and

  • More!!!

 

Successful completion of this course meets the boating education requirements for the SCDNR.

Generally offered four time per year, consult the Education Calendar for the next available class.

America's Boating Couse

Boat Handling

Boat Handling follows the America's Boating Course by providing a foundation of knowledge and skills in boat handling and maneuvering, boat operation, skipper's responsibilities, and boating techniques that will advance your boating enjoyment.

Boat Handling is comprised of 6 individual seminars taught in sucsseive weeks.  The seminars are:

  • Rules of the Road:  A Practical Approach

  • Confidence in Docking and Undocking:  Slow-Speed Maneuvering

  • Boating with Confidence:  Handling Your Boat Underway

  • Anchoring with Assurance:  Don't Get Carried Away

  • Emergencies on Board:  Preparation to Handle Common Problems

  • Knots and Line Handling:  The Knots You Need to 

Generally offered twice per year, consult the Education Calendar for the next available classes.

Boat Handling
P 2011 Front Cover-4.jpg

Marine Navigation

Learn the essentials of safe coastal and inland navigation using basic GPS in conjunction with charts and other marine data.  The Piloting course teaches you how to use the GPS along with traditional dead reckoning techniques for planning and laying out safe routes, as well as ensuring that you are on-course while underway.

What's Included?

  • Charts and their interpretation

  • Landmarks and navigation aids (buoys, daymarks, lights, etc.)

  • Plotting courses and determining direction and distance

  • The mariner's compass and converting between True and Magnetic

  • Use of GPS - basic GPS displays and information they provide, setting up waypoints and routes, staying on a GPS course

  • Pre-planning courses and entering them into the GPS

  • Monitoring progress and determining position by both GPS and traditional techniques such as bearings and dead reckoning

  • The "Seaman's Eye" - simple skills for checking that one is on course

 

Ten classes of two hours each normally are scheduled for presentation of this course. In addition the students have seven days to complete an open book exam.

Generally offered once per year, consult the Education Calendar for the next available class.

Marine Navigation

Advanced Marine Navigation

Do you want to navigate unfamiliar waters in limited visibility or take an extended cruise with confidence?  Learn to use radar, chart plotters, AIS and other electronic tools to supplement basic GPS navigation.  Obtain a thorough understanding of piloting techniques in a variety of coastal tide, current and wind conditions.

What's Included?

  • Advanced positioning techniques, such as advancing a line of position to obtain a running fix

  • Use a variety of electronic tools:  radar, depth sounders, autopilots, chart plotters, laptop computer software, and more

  • Hazard avoidance techniques using electronics (e.g., avoidance waypoints or safety zones in GPS)

  • Collision avoidance using radar, GPS, and AIS

  • Working with tide and current data to determine clearances, depth of water and effects of current

  • Piloting in various wind and current conditions

  • The “Seaman’s Eye” – simple skills for checking that one is on course

Ten classes of two hours each are normally scheduled for presentation of this course. In addition the students have seven days to complete an open book exam.

Generally offered once  per year, consult the Education Calendar for the next available classes.

Advanced_Piloting.jpg
Advanced Marine Navigation
Engine_Maintenance.jpg

Engine Maintenance

Every skipper needs to understand the fundamentals of gas and diesel engines to perform basic maintenance and diagnose problems under way.  Learn about transmissions, propellers, and steering.  Get the knowledge you need to keep your boat in tiptop shape.

What's Included?

  • Basics of engine layout and operation for gasoline inboards, outboards and diesels

  • Basic mechanical systems such as drive systems (propellers), steering systems, and engine controls

  • Repairs that do-it-yourselfers can perform

  • Diagnose problems that might be beyond your ability to fix

  • How to share information with your mechanic so the right repairs get performed

Engine Maintenance can be taught in ten two-hour sessions including time for review and the multiple choice closed book exam.

Generally offered four time per year, consult the Education Calendar for the next available class.

Engine Maintenance

Marine Electrical Systems

Learn the ins and outs of your boat's electrical systems.  Gain the confidence to tackle direct current, shore power and communications installations.  Ensure the safety and reliability of your vessel; enroll in this course today.

What's Included?

  • Boat electrical wiring practices

  • Direct Current (DC) power

  • Alternating Current (AC) power

  • Galvanic and stray current corrosion

  • Lightning protection

  • Troubleshooting electrical problems

  • How to use a multimeter

  • How to solder and crimp

  • How to read electrical wiring diagrams

 

This course is usually completed in eight two-hour sessions, followed by an exam.​

Generally offered once per year, consult the Education Calendar for the next available classes.

MES Cover SM l.jpg
Marine Electrical System
Marine_Communication_Systems.jpg

Marine Communication Systems

Become a better boater by mastering your radio in the digital age.  Learn voice communications and the use of digital selective calling (DSC), and get the skills you need for a day sail or offshore adventure.  Learn from experienced instructors in an interactive classroom environment. 

What's Included?

  • Radio history, frequencies, and VHF communications

  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)

  • FCC rules and radio licenses

  • Radiotelephone operating procedures

  • Long-range radio communications

  • Radio maintenance

  • Other marine communications systems

 

This course is usually completed in seven two-hour sessions, followed by an exam.​

Generally offered once per year, consult the Education Calendar for the next available classes.

Marine Communication Systems

Weather

For boaters, knowing the forecast isn't enough; you need to understand its impact on you and your boat.  Gain the knowledge and confidence to venture out on the water.  Be a responsible skipper, protect your friends and family and take this course today. 

What's Included?

  • How weather systems form, behave, and move

  • Where to get weather reports and forecasts on the Internet

  • Using full color photographs and drawings to understand weather in the United States

  • Using Daily Weather Maps - learning aids with a compete explanation of map symbols designed to develop weather map reading and analysis skills

  • Understanding NOAA’s Sky Watcher Chart - a reference to assist in identifying cloud types.

 

The Weather Course is designed to be conducted over ten two-hour sessions including time for review and the multiple choice closed book exam.​

Generally offered once per year, consult the Education Calendar for the next available class.

Weather 2011 Front Cover.jpg
Weather
C & CP 2013 Front Cover.jpg

Cruising and Cruise Planning

Want to take a "road trip" on the water?  Gain the confidence and practical skills needed to explore ports and coves for a weekend or weeks at a time.  Take Cruising and Cruise Planning and join your fellow boaters for raft-ups and rendezvous up the river, down the bay, and along the coast.

What's Included?
  • Cruise preparation and planning

  • Boat and equipment

  • Anchors and anchoring

  • Security

  • Chartering

  • Cruising outside the United States

  • Crew and provisioning

  • Voyage management

  • Communications

  • Navigation

  • Weather

  • Emergencies

The Cruising and Cruise Planning Course is comfortably taught in eight two-hour sessions including time for review and the multiple choice closed book exam.

Generally offered once per year, consult the Education Calendar for the next available class.

Cruising & Cruise Planning

Radar for Boaters

This course covers the different types of radar equipment, their capabilities and limitations, as well as their features and how they apply to students’ needs. It covers what you need to know about radar, from how and where to mount the antenna to how to interpret the displays, so you can use your radar for collision avoidance and for navigational purposes.

 

Students attending this course should have completed America’s Boating Course (or another NASBLA-approved boating safety course), preferably have completed Marine Navigation and Advanced Marine Navigation (currently Piloting and Advanced Piloting), and have boating experience.

 

Radar for Boaters is a required course for BOC-Offshore Navigation certification.

Generally offered once per year, consult the Education Calendar for the next available classes.

Radar_for_Boaters.jpg
Radar for Boaters
bottom of page