In-Classroom or Online Boating Safety Courses

The following courses take place in classroom or online settings and provide important information for safely operating a boat. They cover many aspects of boating safety, from reading the weather to planning a trip, as well as a “Water ‘n Kids” class and courses on electronic-navigation skills. The most popular basic courses generally have from six to 13 lessons to provide a foundation of operational and safety instruction.

Boating course. Photo: Boating Safety Courses

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

Local flotillas offer a variety of safety classes, including basic/introductory boating courses and safety courses, navigation, sailing and personal watercraft safety, among others.

American Boat Operators’ Course

Offers online boating safety courses with online certification tests for a number of states.

American Canoe Association

Comprehensive resource to find skills courses, assessments, and instructor certification courses for kayak, canoe, raft, safety & rescue, and adaptive paddling.

Boat On Course safety videos from the NSBC

Boat On Course, educational boating safety videos from the National Safe Boating Council, teach the basic navigation rules of boating. Watch at your own pace, and test your knowledge at the end of each video.

BoatEd

Offers online boating safety courses with online certification tests for a number of states.

BoaterExam.com

Offers online boating safety courses with online certification tests for a number of states.

Boatsafe

Offers an online Basic Boating Certification Course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, and a Coastal Navigation Course.

BoatUS Foundation Courseline

The Courseline is a searchable database of current boating safety courses around the nation.

Commander Bob

An award-winning website that advances boating education

PWC Safety School

Offers online courses and certification for PWC operators in several states

Safe Boating America

Safe Boating America classes meet the State Educational Requirements for operating a Boat or PWC and also meet the requirements for a Youth Operator.

State Courses

Many states offer boating safety courses. The National Association of State Boating Boating Law Administrators’ online Directory provides contact information for state boating agencies.

United States Power Squadron

“America’s Boating Course 3rd Edition” the most comprehensive boating safety
course available. It includes a course book, a narrated student CD and a
digital charting DVD. ABC 3 is available as a classroom, home study or
online course.

U.S. Sailing

Programs offer instruction in small and large sailboats, windsurfers, and powerboats. All levels of instruction are available around the country for beginner to advanced skills. Information on courses and instruction is available on the web.


The U.S. Coast Guard is asking all boat owners and operators to help reduce fatalities, injuries, property damage, and associated healthcare costs related to recreational boating accidents by taking personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their passengers. Essential steps include: wearing a life jacket at all times and requiring passengers to do the same; never boating under the influence (BUI); successfully completing a boating safety course; and getting a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) annually from local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Power Squadrons(r), or your state boating agency’s Vessel Examiners. The U.S. Coast Guard reminds all boaters to “Boat Responsibly!” For more tips on boating safety, visit uscgboating.org.

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