America’s Boating Club at Thurmond Lake promotes the American’s Boating Course (ABC3) in the local area.  In short, this course covers the basics you need to know to get out on the water safely, and meets most states’ boating education requirements.

There are also more advanced courses available.  These include Boat Handling (formerly Seamanship), Marine Navigation (formerly Piloting), Advanced Marine Navigation (aka Advanced Piloting), Offshore Navigation (aka Junior Navigation) and Celestial Navigation (formerly Senior Navigation).  The Navigation courses cover basics such as charts, GPS, dead reckoning on local inland waters through use of a sextant & celestial bodies to determine position on the open sea.

We also offer local boaters several short courses: “Partner in Command”, which is includes basic boat operations & emergency procedures for the spouse or significant other in case the primary operator becomes disabled; & “An Introduction to Lake Thurmond”, which includes information on lake geography, types of recreation, recreational facilities, local navigation aids and hazards, among other points of interest.

Boat Handling and Partner in Command instructors will also provide an “on the water” exercise, in each participant’s boat, to assist participants in experiencing some operational application of material covered in the classroom.

Specific course dates and times are determined by expressed interest and commitment by local area residents, and are advertised in local media.  Please check the calendar of events to see updates on class dates and times, or contact our Education Officer, Bill O’Neill at