PUBLIC EDUCATION – THE WAY FORWARD
(As approved by NEXCOM on July 11, 2013)
The necessity for substantial improvements in the Auxiliary
public Education (PE) program is now well understood. E
Directorate personnel made a commitment to provide a plan to
revitalize this program. On 30 March 2013 we submitted a plan
(called the Way Forward for PE courses) to increase the
effectiveness of the PE program for in-class, instructor-led courses.
This plan was submitted in written form and briefed orally to
NEXCOM members in a teleconference shortly thereafter.
Although the feedback on the written report and oral briefing was
favorable, NEXCOM decided to defer a decision on the
recommendations at that time—deferring the decision until a
recommendation was forthcoming on how to proceed with respect to electronic courses.
That decision has been made and the following PE plans reflect approval of both the classroom
and internet recommendations.
About Boating Safely: Continue teaching this NASBLA-approved 8-hour course for the
next three years (length of the NASBLA approval cycle). Then consider reducing the
content to only what’s needed to comply with NASBLA requirements – about a 16 page
Navegando America: This is the Spanish edition of About Boating Safely. We will
have personnel from the Interpreter Corps review this course to ensure the Spanish
translation is suitable generic, but otherwise continue the course in parallel with ABS.
Boating Skills and Seamanship: Continue this newly NASBLA-approved course (14th
Edition) for at least the next three years (when NASBLA review and re-approval is
required) issuing corrections and updates as necessary. Some of the content of this
course will be used in our forthcoming electronic courses as well as short classroom
courses. (see below).
Sailing Skills and Seamanship (S&S): In content this NASBLA-approved course is
similar to the BS&S course, except intended for sailors. Although popular with a devoted
subset of instructors and some students, this course accounts for only 1.4% of sales.
NASBLA-approval for the present (sixth) edition (published by McGraw-Hill) of the
course expires at the end of 2013 and the present text needs updates and revisions. At the
present rate of sales, we have approximately a five-year supply on hand. Therefore, we
recommend drafting an addendum to the course to keep it up to date and NASBLA
approved. In the longer term (two to three years) we should consider either dropping this
course or trying to team up with a sailing organization.
Paddlesports America: This is a four-hour five-chapter course designed to appeal to the
fastest growing segment of the boating market—and a population at greater risk of a fatal
accident per exposure hour. We recommend searching for partner organizations to
develop a co-branded course or making necessary (but generally minor) changes to this
course when the inventory situation permits. To this end we have had preliminary, but
generally fruitful, contacts with key personnel from the American Canoe Association.
Weekend Navigator (WN): This is our basic navigation course, accounting for
approximately 1% of sales. This course has not been popular with our instructors in part
because the price is relatively high and in part because of perceived quality issues—at
least in comparison to an earlier more popular text written by the Auxiliary. Through at
least 2014 it is necessary to continue to use this course, which will lower the cost of any
inventory write-off and provide time to write an internal (Auxiliary produced) course to
be available during 2015..
GPS for Mariners (GPSFM): This is a one- or two-lesson course designed to introduce
boaters to the use of marine GPS navigation receivers. We recommend keeping the
course for the next three years and increasing our efforts to promote the course with
publications such as the Ed-Vantage.
How to Read a Nautical Chart (HRNC): This is a specialized course designed to be a
teaser or gateway course for more advanced courses, but has not proven popular. At the
current sales rate the present inventory of the first edition will be exhausted at the end of
2013, which would be an appropriate time to drop the course.
Suddenly in Command (SIC): This is a short course designed to teach those who do
not normally operate the boat (e.g., spouses or significant others) how to do so in an
emergency that incapacitates the operator. Despite its specialized nature, we believe that
the course has potential. A new course has been written and is now in beta testing.
Personal Watercraft: We recommend dropping this course—it has not proven popular
and does not address the need among operators of these craft for a NASBLA-approved
Based on these recommendations, the future mix of in-class courses for at least the next three
years will include ABS, Navegando America, BS&S, S&S, GPSFM, and SIC. Paddlesports
America or some alternative co-branded course will serve the paddlesports market. The
navigation course will be re-written and the present WN course will be replaced. HRNC and the
personal watercraft course will be dropped. Table C-1 (at end of document) provides a
It is important for the Auxiliary to participate in the growing market for electronic
courses. These courses have appeal for many increasingly tech-savvy boaters and the Auxiliary
is a late entrant to this market. Already electronic courses have grown to enjoy approximately a
50% share of market. This trend is likely to continue.
In a conference call on July 11, 2013, NEXCOM agreed, subject to a general National Board
agreement, to the following internet entry by the Auxiliary.
Negotiate with Boat ED to produce one enhanced e-book (ee-book) and have it market ready
early in 2014.
Negotiate with Boat US to produce one short on line course and have it market ready early in
The difference between on on-line ‘course’ and an ee-book is slight with the on line course being
somewhat longer, addressing more than one topic, having a test for completion and a passing
What topics to address will be decided by E, with impute from the vendors.
Contracting for these two ventures is the responsibility of the CGAuxA. That task needs to be
completed by Sept, 1, 2013.
Recommendations for public education
Timetable and priorities
Suddenly In Command: Complete the new course for introduction at NACON
Personal Water Craft Course: Announce discontinuance and textbook distribution plan
at NACON 2013.
Paddlesports America: Institute a search for a partner immediately. Decide on a partner
and finalize an agreement by Nov. 1, 2013. Product to follow ASAP.
Modern Marine Navigation: Create a team, by 1 Sept.2013, to produce this new
navigation suite of courses. Complete the first section of the course – Basic Navigation
and GPS by 1 April, 2014. Complete the Advanced Navigation section by 1 Jan. 2015.
As these sections of the new Modern Marine Navigation suite are created, the present
Weekend Navigator, How to Read a Nautical Chart and GPS for Mariners will be phased
out. We will have a new navigation course available during 2015.
Sailing Skills & Seamanship: Initiate the NASBLA approval process immediately as
such approval needs to be complete by year-end 2013 and, in any event, no later than 30
June 2014.. The re-approval will carry the course for the next three years. Towards the
end of that time frame the Auxiliary will need to make a decision on what to do about
teaching sailing courses.
Boating Skills & Seamanship: The present BS&S course will remain as is for the next
three years. The individual chapters within the textbook, however, will undergo course
ABS: No immediate changes necessary.
Navegando America: No immediate changes necessary. Work with Boat-Ed to revise
text if the examination by Interpreter Corps personnel indicates that language changes are
Select topics for both the ee-book from Boat Ed and the short course from Boat US no
later than NACON.
Finalize negotiations with successful vendor by 15 Sept 2013—this task to be completed
by CG Aux. Assn. personnel.
MARKETING DIVISION – This new Division, within the E-Directorate, will be staffed and
charged by 1 Sept. 2013.
ELECTRONIC MEDIA – This new Division, within the E-Directorate, will be staffed and
charged by 1 Nov. 2013.