Boating Safety Courses Online or Near You





Boating Safety Courses Online or Near You

Boating Safety Courses Online or Near You

Boating Safety Courses Online or Near You

Posted on September 3, 2020

With boat sales skyrocketing during these pandemic times and higher number of boaters on the waterways, it’s more important than ever to invest time in a boating course.


If you’re not sure how or where to learn the boating rules of the road or sign up for a boating safety course, don’t sweat it. There are plenty of community and online resources available to you. Although, if you go the online route, be sure to supplement any online learning experiences with time on the water.


Learn about boat safety equipment requirements, operating procedures, aids to navigation, and more by checking into these boating education options:



US Powerboating offers on-the-water courses for anyone who wants to learn how to safely operate a small motorboat and improve their boat handling skills. They offer a range of hands-on courses that get you out of the classroom and behind the wheel. These courses are offered through nearly 150 Course Providers and US Powerboat Training Centers around the country.


Take a course through a BoatUS partner. In addition to free online boater safety courses, BoatUS also teams up with marinas, local boat shows, and other organizations around the country to bring on-the-water training and beginner boating courses to your area. These safety courses are recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard, and are approved by NASBLA and your state boating license agency. Check the BoatUS Foundation Courseline on the BoatUS website.


Find a boating safety course through the U.S. Coast Guard or  U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in your area. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary website will allow you to search for courses based on your local zip code. Don’t forget that you can also contact a USCG licensed captain who offers hands-on boating instruction and guidance. If you don’t know any licensed captains, just ask a boat dealer or marina in your area for a referral.


Many boat dealers offer safe boating courses for first-time boat owners or for those who are buying a new boat and want to brush up on the boating rules of the road. Even if you have boating experience, it’s a good idea to learn about any changes to state or federal laws and pick up a few new boating safety tips. Some boat dealers, such as Marine Max, even offer events and courses set in an non-intimidating environment that are aimed at getting more women behind the helm.


America’s Boating Club (also known as United States Power Squadrons) offers training for recreational boaters that focus on marine navigation (including wind, current, tides), fishing seminars, engine maintenance, boat handling, electrical systems, radar, and weather. Many of these courses go beyond the basics to expand your skills and knowledge in particular areas.


Having the right safety equipment and gear on board is important, but you also should have the knowledge and skill set to avoid preventable emergencies. Take the time to get more hands-on boating experience and training — you’ll be a much safer and confident boater as a result.






Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater charter captain living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.