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Boating Safety Certificates

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By Author: SteveVPerez
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Whether you're driving a jet ski or a yacht, this small piece of paper is similar to a driver's license. A boating safety certificate is a critical component of operating any water vessel.

While some boaters do not take their safety certificates seriously, it is essential to have this information about boat safety on board at all times. Each boating safety course is administered at the state level.
Most states have an online option, which allows individuals to take the course online, pass a test, and print out a certificate at home, so they are ready to hit the water. The boat facts and information about bboat
provided to operators through these courses may prove to be invaluable.

Who needs a Boating Safety Certificate?

Each state sets up its regulations regarding who must take a boating safety course and who is not. There are a few landlocked states which do not require boater safety courses at all. These include conditions such as Wyoming, South Dakota, ...
... and Idaho.

Nearly every other state and U.S. Territory requires some information about boats and boater safety education to operate any watercraft. Most states have requirements specifically for young people that are using a watercraft such as a jet ski. The definition of "young person" varies from state to state. The most general rule is anyone between 12 and 18 must take an approved boater safety course to operate any personal watercraft.

Other states require everyone, regardless of age, to obtain a boater safety certificate to operate any water vessel. Each state is specific in terms of the boat facts, specific ranges, horsepower, and age restrictions, so it is essential to check with your local regulations.

How do I get a Boating Certificate?

Boating Safety Certificates are offered two ways: online and in person. The online options are available through several websites approved and endorsed by either the Coast Guard and the NASBLA. If you prefer to take a class in person, you can check with your local boating store or your local government to see where and when a boating safety course is offered.

What is required in the class?

The courses are state-specific, but each will cover the same fundamentals of safe boating operation. Courses cover many aspects of bboating safety
from boat handling to reading the weather, and from a "Water 'N Kids" class to courses for boaters who want to learn electronic navigation skills. The most popular introductory courses generally have 6 to 13 lessons to provide a foundation of operational and safety instruction.

Generally, there is a minimum of 8 hours either online or in a classroom setting. There is a final exam that must be passed with at least a score of 76 percent. Some courses require a fee; most online options will not charge you until you pass the test.
Permanent boating safety certificates do not expire, but recipients must be over 18 to obtain a permanent certificate.

It's crucial to have basic information about boats and boater safety to enjoy the water with family and friends. Many parents prefer to have their children take the course, even if the state does not require it, because it gives children a sense of the seriousness and responsibility of operating a personal watercraft.

Enjoying the waves can be a source of enjoyment and entertainment for millions of families across the nation, and remaining safe during your time on the water is critical to your family and those around you.

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