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Power Squadron classes provide boating certification

Boaters who complete the class will be certified to operate personal watercraft or a boat with a 10 hp engine or larger.

The Crystal River Power Squadron on March 10 concluded a Boat Smart class with 18 participants. Class participants do not have to be Squadron members to take the hands-on class. It offers demonstrations, visual aids and provides opportunities for discussion. It is available to all adults and young adults involved in boating and personal watercraft.

Anyone born after Sept. 30, 1980, must be certified to operate personal watercraft or a boat with a 10 hp engine or larger. The Squadron's Boat Smart and Jet Smart classes will provide that certification.

Members of the Power Squadron participate in social activities and continue education in piloting, navigation, engine maintenance, weather and electronics. The Squadron is offering another Boat Smart and Jet Smart class this fall, but if enough subscribers contact the Power Squadron, a class can be formed sooner. Call Barb at 726-2476 or Jim at 795-1026.

The U. S. Power Squadron was founded in Marblehead, Mass., at the turn of the century by Roger Upton and was first confined to sailing craft and large steam yachts.

In the early 1900s gasoline-powered motor yachts joined the fleet.. Upton owned a 50-foot ketch, but because of the unreliability of wind he purchased a motor launch.

In 1912, at the Boston Yacht Club, a Power Boat Division became an unofficial segment. After a severe nor'easter, the Power Boat Division assisted in rescue and towing disabled vessels. In 1913, at the Boston Yacht Club, the Power Boat Division petitioned for official establishment, and later that year its name was changed to the Power Squadron.

Although the powerboats were referred to as "stinkboats," its members were admired for their knowledge, seamanship and navigation.