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Safe at Sea: Strengthen your boating skills

By Staff | Nov 5, 2019


With water surrounding three of its four borders, Florida has the largest number of boats of any state, with over 900,000 registered recreational vessels. Additionally, the state has an estimated 1 million unregistered canoes, kayaks and paddleboards.

With all these vessels on the water, one can’t help to wonder just how many taken a National Association of StateBoating Law Administrators-approved boating course. Statistically, the majority of on-the-water accidents involve boaters who have had no boating education – approximately 74 percent in 2018.

As a result, legislators across the country are taking action. For example, the governor of New York signed “Brianna’s Law,” which requires all boaters – regardless of age – to pass a NASBLA-approved boating course. Another example, California recent approved legislation that requires all boaters to obtain a California Boaters’ Card by 2025, just five-plus years away. This trend will only grow over time.

Currently, the America’s Boating Club of Sanibel-Captiva is taking registrations for its NASBLA-approved course, “America’s Boating Course,” on Dec. 3 and Dec. 14. The two-session course will be held at the Sanibel Public Library. No matter the years of boating experience, the course is designed to hone participants’ boating skills and increase their boating knowledge of local waters.

In addition to receiving a Florida Boating Card, participants will join club members on an early-evening cruise on local waters to experience how the waters appear as dusk turns to evening in our complicated waterways. Furthermore, successfully completing the course will earn participants a two-hour boating lesson – on their boat – with a certified instructor who will tailor the on-the-water training to meet your needs.

Pat Schmidt is a member of America’s Boating Club of Sanibel-Captiva. For more about the chapter and the courses it offers, visit www.sancapboating.club or contact education@sanibelcaptivasps.org or 239-985-9472.