A majority of the fifty states requires their residents to pass a Coastguard approved boating safety course either to obtain a license or to just be able to operate a vessel (when in possession of visible proof that you passed). Of course, if you need to take the course, you need to find an approved website or physical government office to take the course. Though these courses are often offered at your local DMV, it is recommended that you take one online since they can stretch from 6 to 8 hours long.
The safest and most efficient way to take the course is to take it at the official U.S. Coastguard website, uscgboating.org. This is because you can be sure all of the content is approved and accurate. You can also be certain that they will have the course needed for your state because every state must be addressed on this federal government website. Another website with nationwide information and approved courses in the BoatU.S. Foundation’s official website, boatus.org. This is also a great option because it is a non-profit organization meaning it is the only online provider of this course that offers it free.
Most states require you to take the approved safety course before you set foot behind a helm and that should be reason enough for you to take the course if you want to avoid a fine; however, their reasoning behind that mandate resides on many different factors including the benefits of some extra knowledge.
A huge benefit of taking a boating safety course even if your state does not require it is that your boating insurance will hammer away at your wallet a little less once you complete a course. This is of course because they’ll see you as less of a risk on the water. The U.S. Coastguard’s records show that over 80% of deaths when boating involve an operator without proper safety instruction meaning if you take the course, odds are you might save a life.The course will cover a variety of situations one might not prepare for if not reminded and educated about them. Many other foundations offer the course for free so it would not require any out-of-pocket costs to keep yourself and your shipmates safe.
There are many other state websites that offer the boating safety course you should take. Taking the course can only benefit you by saving you money and maybe even other people’s lives. Try any of the websites and you’ll know what to do in the case of a man overboard or even if you end up in the midst of a rare natural disaster. Any boating expert recommends you take a dive into this knowledge and after you pass the course, if your state does require a boating license, your card can be mailed to you in as little as 45 days. It’s easy so just get on an approved website and take the course once for a lifetime of beautiful open seas.