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America's Boating Club | US Power Squadron

America's Boating Club is a national organization founded in 1914 as the United States Power Squadron. With over 19,000 members and a mission of keeping the waterways of our country safe through education and operational support, it's a club for boaters of any experience level who desire to grow their on-water skillset, socialize with fellow mariners, and contribute to their community by promoting safe boating practices.  


Smith Mountain Lake is home to a local Squadron that is part of the Mid-Atlantic District. They offer a bevy of courses, seminars, and safety checks throughout the season, along with social gatherings, field trips, raft-ups, and even a few formal events. Last year they also put on a lake-wide treasure hunt for members! How fun is that?!!


Anybody is welcome to join the club, and besides the aforementioned social benefits, there are also goods and services discounts, quarterly newsletters, and the massive perk of all club-led educational courses and seminars being available for free to members.


Let's talk a little bit about what our local squadron offers to the community at large. With a panel of certified instructors, they present: 

  • America's Boating Course - which is held once a month, March-August, on a Saturday, and concludes with participants earning their Safe Boating Certificate (a requirement for operating a boat or PWC on the lake).

  • Personal on-water courses that consist of 1-on-1 instruction and takes place on your own personal craft.

  • A list of advanced courses that vary year to year. They might include Weather, Engine Maintenance, and other similar macro-topics that will further your confidence and ability to captain a vessel.


Another amazing resource that ABC offers is: America's Boating Channel. You can tune in on YouTube or any smart TV. It is chock full of 5-7 minute educational videos on nearly every boat-related topic you can imagine! Our local Squadron filmed one this past summer about how to properly tow water sport participants from your boat or PWC.


Lastly, I'd like to highlight the Safety Checks that America's Boating Club provides free of charge at nearly ten of our area marinas. In partnership with U.S. Coast Guard regulations, they will inspect all required items/equipment and make sure they are in good working order. The Squadron suggests every boat owner take advantage of this service seasonally to make sure you're setting yourself up for the best (and safest) boating experience possible.


The courses and seminars presently being offered can be found on the local SML chapter website (see button below). If you don't see a particular topic that you're interested in being covered, feel free to inquire - they might be able to connect you with another Squadron that is offering that very topic via Zoom!


To learn more, reach out to:

Commander Rich Faga | 973-970-3242 (


Membership Chair Wheeler Baker | 540-488-2401 (


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