Warning: Parameter 3 to plgContentDYBanners::onPrepareContent() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/boatermo/public_html/libraries/joomla/event/event.php on line 67
|Boater Education Options|
|Monday, 15 August 2011 04:00|
There’s a lot of confusion about boater education. And the large number of different entities offering testing and educational materials online don’t make it any easier to understand. I’m still surprised that in the US, you need a license to drive a car but not a boat where you potentially add drowning to the mix of possible outcomes of an accident.
But without debating the merits of testing, the bottom line seems to be this: There is no mandatory education nor exam necessary in the US but there is a certification needed in Canada where you’ll pay a $250 penalty if you’re caught operating a motorized vessel without your boating license.
But whether you’re interested in boating education to take an exam, or just to learn a few things for your own peace-of-mind, there are a number of online resources you can investigate.
BoaterExam offers animated and online courses and testing. They have two sites – BoaterExam is the parent US site and SafeBoater is for Canadians. Alternatively, the US Power Squadron will send you a study guide and a DVD and CD and then proctor an exam in person via one of their squadron personnel. Discover Boating provides a few places where you can get instruction and BoatingLicense also offers testing for our neighbors to the north. (This last one shows a guy on a boat with a laptop on their home page – I guess that’s aimed at the super procrastinators.)
Most of these organizations offer materials, instruction and testing for $20-$30 as a package. A successful completion will also get you a certificate or card of some kind. Some even tout a 10-15% reduction on boat insurance rates although I’d check with your agent.
Some in the marine industry fret that education will actually hamper the growth of boating. But given a lifetime on the water, I’m all for growing the number of educated boaters out there.