Originally Posted by DRFerron
Full disclosure: I'm a CG auxiliary sailing safety and seamanship instructor.
That said, I've also taken the US Power and Sail Squadron boating safety course and I would recommend either. Many of our auxiliary instructors are also power and sail squadron instructors. The topics covered are the same but unless their material has changed since I took the course over 12 years ago, I think the power squadron puts more emphasis on reading charts and plotting courses on a chart.
Either course should also get you the Florida state boating certificate as well. It does in my state, I'm uncertain about Florida.
Where I live the state course is only 8 hours and mostly only covers material applicable to boating within state waters. The USPS and USCGAUX courses are more intensive and cover Federal laws as well as other important stuff like weather, auxiliary engines, radio skills, knots and lines among other stuff. Either is well worth the time.
Great! Thanks so much for the information! We'll definitely look into the courses. I would love to learn more about reading charts. We've read so many book and learned so much from being out on the water with our Captain friend. But reading the charts has me totally stumped.