Pamlico Sail & Power Squadron History

In the beginning…………

There was water, and then there were people who loved water, and they made boats. And many of these people got together to talk about what they loved:  Boating and Boating Safety.  And they formed the US Power Squadrons, a non-profit educational organization created in 1914.  Today, USPS has over 45000 members organized into over 450 squadrons.

In time many people who loved boating moved to the eastern part of North Carolina.  Some were members of Tar River Sail & Power Squadron, and others were members of other USPS units.  And there were many others who loved boating who were not aware of USPS.


And when the time was right.............

Interest began in starting a new squadron in the area of Pamlico Sound. Two people, Bill Cantwell and Don Dunlap, went to lunch to talk about the need for this squadron with the permission of the Commander of Tar River Sail & Power Squadron, Ben Reed.

Then Bob Hatala was approached to lead and spearhead the formation and chartering of the Pamlico Sail & Power Squadron.  The core group of this initiative included: Don and Donna Dunlap, Bill Cantwell, Larry & Joyce Colwell, Charles & Winifred Dolbear, MaryJo & Bob Hatala, Clif and Joyce Heidel, Harry Sakjas.

And more people started talking about the possibility!  Phone calls were made, former and inactive USPS members were contacted, and anyone who showed interest in boating was invited to an organizational meeting.

The first meeting of the Pamlico Sail & Power Provisional Squadron was held at Charlie Tom’s restaurant Washington, N.C. on 27 January 2000.  Seventy six members and guests were in attendance.

On 10 June 2000 the charter was granted and we became part of USPS District 27 with 117 members, the second largest charter membership in USPS.  Our squadron was formed to promote safe boating serving the community in Beaufort and Hyde counties in Eastern North Carolina.  Located in Washington, N.C., we sponsor activities in the Pamlico River, the Pungo River and the Pamlico Sound.

The Pamlico River bisects Beaufort County from its western edge to its eastern edge, which is delineated by streams carrying the Intra-costal Waterway (ICW). Washington is the county seat of Beaufort County, North Carolina.  A bridge on US Highway 17 crosses the river at Washington.  At this bridge the name of the river changes from the Tar River to the Pamlico River, and its character changes from fresh to brackish water that supports both fresh and salt-water aquatic life.

Could it be 10 years later………

The Pamlico Sail & Power Squadron celebrated its 10th Year Anniversary in 2010.  As we remember our beginning, it is also fitting to review our many significant accomplishments over our ten years of service. The promotion of safe boating is dominant in our activities as hundreds of people have taken boating courses to improve their boating skills and our team of Vessel Safety Inspectors continues to inspect over 150 boats annually. Our squadron has seen many changes over this period and has been progressive in adapting to our changing times. Evidence of this is our award winning Web Site and Newsletter. Celebrating our tenth anniversary with a dinner meeting on March 18, 2010 we remember our past with great pride and honor our past commanders for their service. People make great things happen and the Pamlico Sail & Power Squadron is a great organization because of the wonderful people that volunteer their time and efforts to promote safe boating in Beaufort County. 

    Susie Templeton

   Sue Templeton, Historian   

   Last update: March 8, 2015