Celebrating over 100 years of Excellence in Boating Education
The United States Power Squadrons® is a non-profit educational organization, founded in 1914, whose mission is to improve maritime safety and enjoyability through classes in seamanship, navigation, and other related subjects. The Seattle Sail and Power Squadron was chartered by the United States Power Squadrons® in May, 1941. Seattle was the second squadron in the Puget Sound area, the first being Tacoma which was founded in 1939.William L. Norton, a Seattle City Councilman was the first Commander. There were 32 charter members. Ray Harting, one of the charter members, served as an active member until his death in 1996 including service as Seattle's Commander as well as Commander of District 16. One of the first activities of the Seattle Power Squadron was to organize anti-submarine patrols in Puget Sound and the Straits of Juan de Fuca during the early days of world war ll. There were serious concerns that the Japanese Navy may attempt to penetrate Puget Sound to disrupt shipping and attack the Bremerton Navy Yard.
1942 saw the formation of the Women's Auxiliary of the Seattle Power Squadron. This auxiliary shares with Miami the honor of being the first auxiliary in the United States Power Squadron. The Auxiliary was disbanded in 1992 after 50 years of dedicated service. Most of the women had become active members of the Power Squadron and have continued their service in that capacity.
In the post war years the Seattle Squadron grew to reach a membership of 548 members in December of 1957. In 1958 the Bellevue Power Squadron was split off. Possesion Sound Power Squadron was spun off in 1960 and Poverty Bay followed in 1963. Current membership is over 200.
In addition to offering Public Boating classes, Seattle has taught Advanced Grades and Elective Courses to it's members. Through-out it's history Seattle has been involved in a variety of community activities. For many years brief cruises were offered during Seafair week to visitors to the city. Also at Seafair, for several years, there was on evening Torchlight Boat Parade including an escort for the Seafair Queen and her court.
Annual cruises were provided to foreign students at the University of Washington, the Girl Scouts, and disabled children. Many of these activities needed to be curtailed over the years because of increased demand beyond our capacity as well as for liability concerns.
Seattle offers a full slate of Educational programs, working closely with various agencies to assure that we have safe boaters on Puget Sound waters. We strongly support the Cooperative Charting program with NOAA and have recently begun to provide Vessel Safety Inspection in cooperation with the Coast Guard Auxiliary. For our members we offer a variety of social activities including dinner meetings, picnics, cruises and rendezvous.
New challenges and new opportunities always await us. We have a history of accomplishment upon which to build. The only thing that needs to remain the same is our dedication to Safe Boating Education, Community Service and the needs of our members.