A Guide To Your Boating License

By Leland Poliks

If you are familiar with the process of obtaining a drivers license, the acquisition of a boating license won't bring anything new to you. Just like when you were training for your driver's license you will be required to follow a boating course and at the end of that be successful in passing the final test. The entire mechanical operation of your vessel must hold no secrets to you and all the elemental safety procedures with respect to weather characteristics and navigation must be acquired knowledge.

Where to Find a Certification Course?

Your nearby department of recreation will be able to help you locate a boating license certification course. Most of these courses are conducted during spring and summer. Depending on the sort of vessel you want to apply for, your training course will be either short or very extensive.

It goes without saying that a lot more education will be required from you if you want to navigate in a large and powerful craft. It is a good thing as well because the bigger and faster a boat is, the greater the risks involved for you, your passengers and other fellow boaters. Your local department of recreation will be able to give you more ample and more specific information

Like so many things nowadays you can even find boating license classes online. You must ask yourself however how much value these classes can offer you. There is no substitute for going out there on the water to gather real hands on experience. The presence of water and other vessels around you will surely make you learn as much as possible to get you to become a safe and responsible boater.

A "real world" class will also give you the opportunity to work closely with your instructor. Being face to face you will be able to ask questions and get the necessary feed back from him. Both these elements are vital to your boating instruction.


In this matter of seeking a boating license there are a few limitations you need to be aware of. Just like with the driving license there is an age limit: the applicant must be at least sixteen years of age. It is however possible to get a provisional boating license for youngsters between the age of twelve and sixteen. They have to complete the necessary boating education and have to be accompanied by a licensed adult whenever they are driving a vessel.

You have to pay attention to the different state laws, most state boating licenses are valid across the state borders, but it always is a good idea to check the regulations of the state you are planning to go to before you set sail. Sometimes the age requirements change between one state and the other, so make sure you comply with the state law. Happy boating.

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