BOATUS Offers Required Safety Course


BOATUS Offers Required Safety Course

The state of Virginia is requiring that all operators of vessels and personal watercraft that have 10 horsepower or more complete a boating safety education course. Compliance is mandatory for operators of all ages, and will be required after July 1.


To help boaters easily meet the requirement, which was established with a 2007 state law, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is offering a free, online course at; virtual students of the class can take the course at home and can pause and restart it at any time.

Our online course is great for busy schedules and is the only free online boating safety courseapproved by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, said BoatUS Foundation Director of Education Amanda Suttles Prez.

Boaters who successfully pass the course can print their own certificate of completion or order a plastic boater education card for a $10 fee. Just like a fishing license-holder, vessel and PWC operators must keep the completion certificate or card, along with picture identification, on hand when onboard. Passing the course also could earn a discount on a boats insurance policy.

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water promotes safe, clean, and responsible boating. A range of boating safety courses-including 34 free, state-government-approved boating safety courses-can be found at

Funded primarily by donations from the over half-million members of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the non-profit provides educational outreach to boaters with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of Americas waterways and keeping boating safe for all.

FWC Derelict Vessel Meetings

This summer, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will be holding five public meetings on managing derelict vessels in Florida. According to an FWC press release, As part of its efforts to deter and address derelict vessels in Floridas waterways, FWC staff will meet with stakeholders to gather input as well as discuss potential proposals that would affect the management of at-risk and derelict vessels.

Were assuming this overlaps with the mooring regulations that have recently been the subject of debate between boaters, FWC, and Florida legislators.

The FWC meetings schedule is as follows: St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners, 5 p.m. Aug. 3, 2300 Virginia Avenue Fort Pierce, FL 34982; Edgewater City Hall, 2:30-5 p.m. Aug. 11, 104 N. Riverside Drive Edgewater, FL 32132; Brandon Regional Service Center, 2:30-5 p.m. Aug. 12, 311 Pauls Drive Brandon, FL 33511; Monroe County Board of County Commissioners, 2:30-5 p.m. Aug. 13, 102050 Overseas Highway Key Largo, FL 33037; Bay County Board of County Commissioners, 2:30-5 p.m. Aug. 17, 840 West 11th street Panama City, FL 32401.

We encourage those who can to attend these public meetings. For more information, go to or call 850/488-5600.

Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on marine products for serious sailors for more than 45 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising or any form of compensation from manufacturers whose products we test. Testing is carried out by a team of experts from a wide range of fields including marine electronics, marine safety, marine surveying, sailboat rigging, sailmaking, engineering, ocean sailing, sailboat racing, and sailboat construction and design. This diversity of expertise allows us to carry out in-depth, objective evaluation of virtually every product available to serious sailors. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser with more than three decades of experience as a marine writer, photographer, boat captain, and product tester. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.


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