There are many boating safety courses that are offered throughout the country for all types of recreational boaters, and for boaters of all ages. Boat handling as with many complex activities is part art and part science. The art of boat handling is developed with time and practice. The science is developed thorough good boat handling education, which if done properly can put piloting ones craft safely and competently within grasp in a relatively short period of time.
Taking boating courses can make boating more enjoyable, make you more skilled and safer boater. Most boating courses require several hours of classroom work taken over a number of weeks in a set schedule.
There are several volunteer organizations, such as the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadron, and others who sponsor many courses, and many state boating agencies also provide classes. These courses cover many aspects of boating safety. Many insurance companies will offer discounts on boat insurance to individuals who have successfully completed a boating safety course.
If you decide to take a boating course there are many options for you to choose from. Some classes are strictly in a classroom setting while some are taught right on the boat. There are countless websites that offer online courses. If you are interested in boating or just want to improve your skills, boating lessons will be good for you. Below are some of the topics covered in most boating courses.
Which Boat Is best For You? – materials for constructing boats, Boater’s language, types of boats; outboard motors and stern drives, hull design; uses of boats, other power plants, your intended use, the Coast Guard Customer Info line, marine surveyors; buying a boat.
Boat Handling – fueling your boat, Leave with a full tank, your boat’s propeller; cars and boats, twin screws, jet drives; loading your boa, getting started; leaving a pier; “man” overboard; docking, mooring to a permanent anchor, towing a skier; heavy weather, small boat safety.
Following the Rules to whom do the rules apply, Two sets of rules what is a vessel, the general responsibility rule, general considerations; conduct in narrow channels, traffic separation schemes, vessel traffic services, stand-on or give-way; rules for special vessels, risk of collision.
Powering Your Boat – Types of engines, marine engines, selecting a propeller; induction systems, ignition systems, flame arresters; cooling systems, gasoline considerations, batteries; maintenance, winterizing your boat; spring fitting-out; troubleshooting.
Boat equipment – Requirements for your boat, your boat’s equipment, legal considerations, substance abuse, boating accident reports.