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Seminar Descriptions

Seminars offered by America's Boating Club Hilton Head provide specific, targeted information and typically are only two hours in length.  All of the seminars are open to the public, however, club members are able to register at a discounted rate.  

The following seminars are typically offered at least once per year by America's Boating Club Hilton Head.  Scroll down for information on all of the Seminars or click on a title from the following list:

Contact our Education Officer for additional information or assistance.

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Anchoring with Assurance

Know how to anchor in a variety of situations, weather, or seabed and be prepared to adjust for changing conditions.


Learn the skills and knowledge of securing your vessel to the bottom through the use of a line, chain, and one or more anchors.  Whether it's for fishing, swimming, a lunch break, or an overnight stop, one of the real pleasures in boating is "hanging on the hook" in some quiet spot.  Emergencies such as loss of power, equipment breakdown or failure, or weather hazard may also require that your boat be anchored for a time.


Good seamanship demands that all boaters know how to anchor safely.  Anchoring topics begin with how to select an anchorage and how to anchor depending on conditions.  After learning how anchors should be used, you will know if yours is satisfactory or what kind(s) to buy. 

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

Anchoring with Assurance

Boating with Confidence

Gain confidence, knowledge, and skills that you need for a variety of boat-handling situations.


Learn about basic operations; trimming your boat; operating on plane; handling seas and waves; dealing with bars, rivers, rivers, and bends; and other situations you will encounter along your cruise.  And you'll have a better understanding about issues you can control and how to handle them. Understand the issues that the environment will present and how to react in a timely manner. 

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

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Boating with Confidence
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Confidence in Docking
and Undocking

Look like a pro. Protect your boat, your passengers, and yourself with the docking/undocking skills you need.


Docking can be one of the most stressful tasks you can perform, especially if you are a new boater. Learn how to control your boat at slow speed in close proximity to other boats and fixed objects.  Learn how to approach the dock in a variety of conditions and safely secure your boat. Learn how to depart the dock in any situation. Understand the use of spring lines, how to safely fend off, and other techniques. With the knowledge you'll gain in this seminar, coupled with your on-the-water practice, your confidence in docking and slow-speed maneuvering will increase and your boating will be both safer and more enjoyable.

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

Confidence in Docking and Undocking

Emergencies on Board

No one wants to think about it, but emergencies happen on boats. Be prepared for a variety of boating mishaps, medical emergencies, and other crises!

Prevention and preparation make all the difference.  This seminar will prepare you to handle common emergencies that can happen when you are on your boat and away from the dock, whether you venture out for the day or are leaving on a longer cruise.  You will learn how to deal with them as they occur and especially when the skipper is unable to respond.


Upon completion of this seminar, you will have gained an understanding of the most common types of vessel emergencies and how to deal with them, how to handle onboard fires, how to recognize and prepare for medical emergencies and how to communicate with crew, other boats, and first responders.

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

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Emergencies on Board
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Rules of the Road

Navigational rules of the road help you know what to do when you share the water with other boats, how to recognize and signal intentions, and how to avoid a collision.  This seminar focuses in a practical way on helping you understand the basic rules encountered by recreational boaters during almost every boating outing and the rules most likely to apply in the local waters where you boat.  It covers skipper responsibilities, general rules, and definitions, rules to avoid a collision, lights and shapes, and sound and light signals.


Rules of the Road will help you understand how to recognize local situations, the rules that apply, and the actions you should take.  And be sure to read the United States Coast Guard's Navigational Rules and Regulations Handbook for the authoritative word on all rules of the road, since - as the skipper or designated crew member - you are responsible to know the rules that apply anywhere you boat.

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

Rules of the Road

Knots and Line Handling

Learn the ins and outs of your boat's electrical Do you know which knots to use in every situation? Learn to securely attach your boat and other useful applications.

Learn how to secure your boat to docks, piers, and other boats; handle rescue and repair situations; manage running rigging; anchor securely; and tow other vessels or people.  This seminar has been designed to help you to know which lines and knots to use in each situation.  You'll gain knowledge and hands-on experience selecting the appropriate line and tying the 10 most useful knots, bends, and hitches; and you'll learn how to care for the lines on your boat and on the dock.

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

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Knots and Line Handling
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How to Use a Chart

Whether you're planning a cruise, going fishing, or traveling to a local marina, knowing how to read and use nautical charts is essential to safe boating.  Charts include must-have information, including bottom contours, hazards, and aids to navigation, to help you travel safely.


What's Included?

  • What charts show navigators above the water

  • Chart features

  • Chart scales

  • What charts show navigators below the water

  • Aids to navigation

  • Latitude and longitude

  • Planning your course

  • What’s in your way

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

How to Use a Chart

How to Use GPS

Know where you are and where you are going using GPS. Learn how to use GPS, select and use GPS devices, and apply GPS to your navigational needs.


Boaters need the most reliable location and position information available, which makes getting the most out of your Global Positioning System pretty important. Learn how to use waypoints, build and execute routes, and monitor progress.  Learn to interpret location information and tracking data, and get an overview of how GPS integrates with your boat's electronic systems. Explore what features you need and how to arrange your display. Also get tips on connecting your GPS to your VHF marine radio, which opens up a new world of digital hailing and distress signaling.

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

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How to Use GPS
Partner in Command
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Partner in Command

This seminar provides an introduction to boating for crew members who need basic information and who may or may not have taken a boating course. It is designed to provide essential information one may require to assist a skipper in the safe operation of a recreational boat. Included in the seminar are actions in response to emergencies. 

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

Tides an Currents

Tides and Currents

Cruise confidently in coastal waters, secure in your knowledge of tidal conditions.  Even if you are an inland boater, you may travel to an area where knowing about tides and tidal currents is important.


Discover what causes the tides to rise and fall and what causes the currents to flow. Learn where to find sources of information about tides and tidal currents, simple ways to predict height of tide and speed of current flow and how to use both print and electronic tide tables.  Learn about how tides and currents affect your boat’s performance from experienced coastal boaters.

What's Included?

  • Causes and effects of tides and currents

  • Predict the time of highest tide before it begins to fall

  • Predict the vertical movement of the water

  • Safely navigate low tide

  • Determine the speed of the current and when it reaches maximum flood

  • Deal with mean high and low water

  • Use NOAA charts and tables

  • Factor in tides and currents when anchoring

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

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Using VHF and DSC Marine Radio
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Using VHF & DSC
Marine Radio

Get familiar with your boat's VHF marine radio in just two hours.  Experienced instructors teach you how to use VHF radio like a pro, including the new digital selective calling (DSC) rescue feature.  You'll also get tips on purchasing and installing VHF to get the most out of your investment. 


What's Included?

  • How VHF radios work and their controls

  • Using the correct channels

  • Using correct procedures and terminology

  • Advanced methods of communication

  • How digital selective calling (DSC) equipped radios work and their controls

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

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