Like obtaining a driver’s license, getting your boating license is a process that you must take seriously. There are many different types of boating licenses, and each state has its own regulations regarding who may operate a boat and what type of license they’ll need.
The speed at which a boat is driven determines whether a person needs to be license to operate the boat. If the boat is motor powered and is driven at a speed of 10 knots of more requires a boating license for operation. Ten knots is the speed at which a boat generally starts to plane or skim off the top of the water.
A general boating license is for persons age 16 and over that allows them to operate a motor boat. Young people age 12 to 16 can also obtain a boating license under some specific stipulations. They must:
* Be accompanied by someone who has a general license
* Not exceed a speed of 20 knots
* Never travel at 10 knots or more before sunrise or after sunset
* Never tow a water skier or wake boarder
Your boating license can be good for either twelve months or three years, but you will save money by selecting the three-year option. How do you go about obtaining your boat license? It’s similar to getting your driver’s license.
You will be required to complete a boating course and successfully pass a test at the conclusion of the course. You will need to know how a boat operates, how it needs to be cared for, and what the general boating rules are. The course will teach you boating safety as well as give you ways to “scope out” the weather for safe boating.
There are many places where you can obtain a boating license. Check with your local marina or department of recreation to get information on boating classes available. There are even places online where you can take a boating class designed to ultimately earn you your boating license.
The choice to take an online course versus a “real life” course is up to you. However, keep in mind that the best way to learn a new skill is to get out there and do it. The presence of water and other boats around you will make you a better boater. Plus, you can depend on your instructor to answer questions and offer you tips.
Responsible boating means obeying the laws of your state when it comes to getting a boating license. Many states will different in their requirements, so you’ll need to become familiar with your own state’s regulations. Once you have your boating license in hand, you can get out there and have fun! But remember to boat responsibly!