Welcome Penfield Sail And Power Squadron

We teach safe boating and navigation and the

State of  Connecticut accepts successful completion of our one day eight hour Safe Boating Class as a qualifying exam for the purchase of a CT Safe Boating Certificate.

Penfield is the Squadron serving the Long Island Sound shore towns of Fairfield, Stratford, and the City of Bridgeport

 Bridge Officers

  • Commander: Donald Peterson, JN
  • Squadron Educational Office: Norman Marsilius, AP
  • Squadron Assistant Educational Officer Carole Heller SN
  • Administrative Officer: Rich Daddario
  • Secretary: Lee Parratt, JN
  • Treasurer: Donald Peterson, JN

  • Message for 2022-2023

    Commander's Message

    April, 2022 Commander's Message
    Boating Season Almost Here
    Questions: Don Peterson - dfp1061@gmail.com


    On March 16, 2022, Penfield's Change of Watch took place via Zoom. District 2 Commander, Susan Darcy presided over the Swearing in Ceremony. The Squadron elected a well seasoned group to serve again this year.
    Commander: Donald Peterson, JN
    Squadron Educational Officer: Norman Marsilius, AP
    Asst, Squadron Educational Officer: Carole Heller, SN
    Administrative Officer: Rich Daddario
    Secretary: Lee Parratt, JN
    Treasurer: Donald Peterson, JN

    Committee chairs (Info only)
    Audit Committee Chair: Ross Hatfield, P
    District Insurance Officer: Martin Burger, AP

    District Commander Darcy gave an update from the national meeting and described a proposal that would streamline the organization by eliminating the District layer, meaning each Squadron would report directly to National. The proposal will be voted on at the summer Board of Governor's Meeting. DFP comment: Whether or not, this proposal is passed, I believe we need to re-energize the group activities with our sister squadrons in the area.

    As Commander, I made a few remarks and set a few goals for 2022, the most important was to spend more time on the water!! Please send me your ideas what your goals are for this boating season.

    To get ready for boating season, be sure to double check that you have inspected all the required gear and ensure flares and fire extinguishers are serviceable. Don't forget to apply your new registration decal before launching.

    We are working on meeting plans for 2022, however, covid-19 is still an issue. To Zoom or not Zoom that is the question. How comfortable are you attending in person meetings? I attended an in person meeting this week which was also simulcast on Zoom. About 90% of attendees were in person which was mask optional and about 50% wore masks. What do you think?

    If you haven't done so already, I urge everyone to download the USPS Boating app for I Phone and Android. (If you have done so, please let me know what you think of the app and videos.) Instructions are on the America's Boating Club website. Also, check out the "America's Boating Channel." The short videos describe the "how to" for many common boating issues. New videos are being added now.
    This message being sent to Penfield Active, Penfield Alumni. and our D2 Friends.

    Donald Peterson



    June 25th District 2 Spring Conference
                via Zoom 9 AM to Noon

    September 10 - Penfield Safe Boating Booth

               at  2022 Rotary Paddlefest

                     Jennings Beach, Fairfield 8 AM to Noon


    History Of Penfield/United States Power Squadrons

    A Brief History of the United States Power Squadrons
    When motorized yachts became more common in the early 1900’s, a small group of members of Yacht Clubs around Boston and New York City believed an organization should be formed to promote the teaching of boating skills to the owners of these “power” boats. This led to the formation in 1914 of what became the United States Power Squadrons (“USPS” or “Power Squadron”). In fact, in 1917, the then Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, asked the group to provide nautical training to individuals in the even the United States became involved in the War in Europe (which, of course occurred later in 1917). The Power Squadrons grew into a national organization which celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2014. The organization has been focused on competent and safe boating by teaching a broad list of boating skills through classroom study, seminars, and recently, on-the-water instruction. Thousands of USA boaters have taken the Power Squadron’s America’s Boating Class to improve their boating knowledge and/or earn certification for state boating licenses. Another public service performed by the USPS is to perform voluntary vessel safety checks which earns a vessel passing the US Coast Guard requirements a decal issued by the Coast Guard valid for one year. In fact, there is sometimes confusion between the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Power Squadron. While both organizations teach safe boating courses, can perform vessel safety checks, and members of both are volunteers, USPS is not a governmental body where as the Auxiliary falls under the Coast Guard and has on the water patrol and rescue capabilities.

    A Brief History of Penfield Sail and Power Squadron
    The Housatonic River Power Squadron covered the Long Island Sound towns of Fairfield, Bridgeport and Stratford, but in 1969 had grown so large that several members, mostly based in Fairfield, split from Housatonic River and formed a new squadron named after the Penfield Reef and Lighthouse. Penfield grew and maintained a friendly and cooperative coexistence with Housatonic River. Both Squadrons hit their peak membership and activity levels in the 80’s and 90’s. Both Squadrons became smaller and less active in 2000’s and in 2011, Housatonic merged into Penfield so the three towns were again under one roof. While many Squadrons have experienced declining membership, the Fairfield County Long Island Sound squadrons have opened their classes and activities to each other’s members. Penfield enjoys good relations with the Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk and Westport squadrons. We are eager to welcome both new and experienced boaters to our group. While many of our members have stopped actively boating, they still enjoy the social aspects of the Squadron and many simply want to support an organization that is dedicated to the teaching and practice of safe boating.

    Recent developments
    Most Power Squadrons changed their names to, for example, Penfield “Sail” and Power Squadron about 25 years ago to dispel the notion that only power boaters were welcome, when in fact many squadrons have a equal number of sailors and motor boaters. More recently, as the popularity of paddle craft (kayaks, canoes, paddleboards) and personal watercraft (jet skis) has increased, USPS has adopted a more generic “go to market” name of “America’s Boating Club” to capture a broader cross section of the boating community. Some squadrons choose rebrand themselves, as for example, America’s Boating Club of Greenwich, others, like Penfield have continued to use the Sail and Power Squadron name. Of course, it takes more than a name change to help volunteer organizations, such as the Power Squadrons, regrow their membership which has declined over the last 15 years. For our organization, our goal is to increase our membership and number of people taking our classes by making membership and classes more in line with our changing environment and competition for how we spend our leisure time. To that end we are broadening our reach through technology advances for classes, meetings, social activity and most of all, boating.

    Mission of Penfield and United States Power Squadron

    Teach and Practice Safe Boating through Education and by Example

    How to get added to Penfield's "Local Boaters" Constant Contact email list

    Useful Links

    Useful Links

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