Education is one of the most important aspects of boating and fishing safely and responsibly. Knowing the ins and outs of your boat, how to navigate waterways, how to read a nautical chart and how to operate a VHF radio are just a few important things to learn before going out on the water.
Every state has its own boating safety requirements and/or guidelines, but regardless of rules and regulations, successfully completing a boating class increases your water safety and boating skills. Sometimes it even qualifies you for a discount on your insurance.
For a list of local and national boating education programs, select your state below.
District of Columbia
Several national organizations also offer boating safety courses:
When you’re on the water, it pays to know the lay of the land and the rules of the road. It also helps you get to those prime fishing spots faster. Read more in our Navigation section.
Any reputable boating safety course will teach you that it is imperative for boating safety to have a marine VHF radio system and follow correct operating procedures 1.5.4 when using it. By speaking clearly, using the correct language, and understanding the system of channels and signals, you make it easier for other users to understand what you want, and to convey important information quickly and clearly in the event of an emergency. Before taking to the water for the first time, view the BoatUS Foundation online VHF Radio Tutorial, Can You Hear Me?
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