A number of states now require that boat operators complete and pass a boating safety course as well. To find out if your state is on this list, you can search for the “Boating Agency in ____” and fill in the blank with your state’s name to find their official website and any requirements for taking a boating safety course for a specific type or size of boat or for a specific age of the operator.
Classroom courses are frequently offered in the evenings or on weekends by your state boating agency, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, America’s Boating Club and many private companies as well. You can also find a list of online boating safety courses that are available on the U.S. Coast Guard’s website. Regardless of how the course is presented, the test will include questions on life jackets, fire safety, anchoring procedures, the Navigation Rules, emergency situations, and state-specific information that boaters should know to be safe on the water in their state. Find out even more about boating safety courses on the Sea Tow Foundation’s website.
If you frequently boat in numerous states, it may be good to check the requirements and find out if you need to take a course in each of those states to be certified. At the bare minimum, you want to make sure that you are up to speed on the rules in each state.
As an added incentive to get this boating safety training, boating insurance companies regularly offer discounts to boaters who successfully complete an approved boating safety course. Check with your insurance company for a list of courses.