Taking a boating trip can be fun and relaxing, but it's also important to be safe.

Taking a Boating Course

Planning

Whether you are planning to go for a family boating trip, or just want to learn a bit about boating, you should consider taking a Maryland Basic Boating Course. The program is offered by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and covers the basics of boating.

Topics

It includes the following topics: safety, etiquette, safety equipment, weather safety, knots, chart reading, and towing.

Boating

Whether you are looking for a boating course to take at the state level or one that is private, there are many resources available to you.

National Association

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) has a great reference guide that can help you find information on the many courses available.

Concepts

In addition to these core concepts, you’ll learn about other useful information, like fire safety and the local water knowledge.

Learn About

You’ll also learn about the inland navigational rules that govern the operation of boats. These rules include sound signals, light signals, and other rules to keep your boat and others safe.

There are many courses available, and some require you to register.

Classroom Sessions

Most classroom sessions are three nights a week from 6:00 to 9:00pm. These are ideal for those who work during the week but plan to go boating on weekends. You may also opt for a one day course, if you have the time.

Course

In addition to taking a course, you’ll need to pass an exam. This exam will be a requirement of the Maryland Basic Boating Course.

Boating Safety

The Maryland Boating Safety Education Act requires you to take a course if you’re going to operate a mechanically propelled vessel, such as a boat, sailboat, or personal watercraft.

Law States

The law states that a student who completes the course will be given a temporary certificate, which will expire in thirty days.

Series

You’ll need to answer a series of questions and pass with an 80% score or better. If you fail the exam, you’ll be required to pay a fine of $25 for your first offense, and $500 for your second offense.

The most important part of the Maryland Basic Boating Course is the knowledge you'll gain from the course. If you're planning to go boating, you'll need to have the proper safety equipment, as well as an official license.
Whether you are new to boating or an experienced boater, it is important to understand the laws that govern the use of your vessel. In New York, all motorized boats must have a boating safety certificate. The certificate can be obtained from a variety of sources.

Rules

You’ll also need to know the rules of the road. It’s also a good idea to keep a clear view of the water at all times.

Operating

Before operating a motorized boat, a person must take a course approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Course

The course can be taken online, or in a classroom. The course will cover basic water safety rules and regulations, as well as special boating activities.

State

In the state of New York, all motorized boats must have a state-approved boater safety certificate by January 1, 2025.

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation estimates that nearly one million boaters will need to take this course before 2025.