A Powerboat Handling course is like "driver's ed for boating:"
- Junior sailors can get a powerboat certificate even before they drive a car.
- New sailing instructors, or high-schoolers planning to instruct in a year or two, will need the powerboat certificate to get hired.
- Parents can get a refresher so they may be as capable as their kids who have just taken the course.
- Regatta support volunteers will learn how to safely move about the race course and rescue capsized boats.
Check out the US Powerboating calendar to take advantage of the many courses scheduled this spring and summer. For Long Island Sound sailors, courses are scheduled conveniently on weekends in Essex, Fairfield, Darien, Stamford, Bronx, Centerport and Oyster Bay. One of the Fairfield courses even runs afternoons after school.
There are three courses that we think sailors may find useful, depending on your experience and purpose in driving a powerboat:
1) Safe Powerboat Handling: This 16-hour hands-on, on-the-water course is for anyone who wants to learn how to safely operate a small motorboat and improve their boathandling skills on actual boats. The US Coast Guard and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators have approved this course and an increasing number of states have recognized it as meeting their requirements for a state boating safety education certificate.
2) Accelerated Safe Powerboat Handling: This 8- to 12-hour hands-on, on-the-water course is for anyone who has already taken a classroom boating course and has a state boating certificate, but needs hands-on experience to safely operate a small motorboat and improve their boathandling skills.
3) Safety, Rescue Boat Handling (with Race Support): This 10- to 12-hour hands-on, on-the-water course is for anyone who will be operating a race support boat for a race, regatta or event. An operator of a race support boat is expected to be able to perform safety, rescue and mark-setting operations.