CSI’s Office of Continuing Education is preparing for spring with a host of new courses for boaters, both recreational and professional.

Master Captain Jim Saputo brings his lifelong legacy on the sea to the College of Staten Island for a comprehensive suite of courses designed to vastly improve the skills of recreational boaters and to train other students for lucrative careers as professional captains.

Boaters who seek a new career as a professional charter boat captain can enroll in the Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels 6-pack course (“Captain Course USCG 6pack oupv”). Students who successfully complete the course and pass the test will receive a merchant marine license. The student can then seek employment on inland and coastal waters. This accounts for more than half of all water transportation employment. Opportunities exist aboard launch boats, fishing boats, and work boats delivering stores, or graduates can start their own charter services. With a simple upgrade to Master you can seek employment on ferries, dinner cruise boats, casino boats, sightseeing boats, and supply boats on rivers, lakes, canals, and near coastal waterways.

Another course option, “General Navigation Chart Plotting and Weather,” will introduce mariners to the use of a compass, understanding aids to navigation, basic plotting, and understanding of weather with currents and tides. Symbols on a nautical chart and their meaning will be studied. Additional topics will include finding your course made good, speed made good, finding estimated time of arrival, three-bearing fix, finding deviation (compass era), and dead reckoning.

A third course, “Boat Handling and Docking,” will prepare students to steer a boat successfully by using the elements (wind and current) to their advantage, as well as to navigate heavy seas and understand tides, currents, and weather. Students will also learn the use of spring lines while docking. This will give them the competency to arrive and depart the dock in control. In addition, the course covers navigational rules, deck general, use of VHF radio, and tides.

The instructor for all these courses is Captain Jim Saputo, a Master Captain and owner of a private boating school and charter service. He has worked as a captain on ferries, dinner boats, survey boats, supply boats, and transports. He has also served as port captain at Liberty Landing water taxi. His vast experience of ocean and harbors allows him to bring real-life experience into the coursework, greatly benefiting his students.

The “Captain Course USCG 6pack oupv” runs for 13 sessions at a cost of $525. The “General Navigation Chart Plotting and Weather” course is seven sessions for $395. “Boat Handling and Docking” runs for six sessions, five in the classroom with one day on the water, for $450.

Classes are available with rolling admissions. For more information call CSI’s Office of Continuing Education at 718.982.2182.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Reporters are invited to join the classroom experience free of charge and are invited to join Captain Saputo for a day on the water. Call Ken Bach for details at 718.982.2364.

CSI's Office of Continuing Education has boating courses for recreational and professional boaters.