If you were born on or after January 1, 1988 the state of Florida requires you to have taken a NASBLA approved boater safety course to operate a boat or personal watercraft. Sometimes called a boating license, it is actually a card which identifies you as having taken and passed the Florida boating safety class. Once you take and pass the exam Tampa Power Squadron will process all the paperwork required for you to receive your card from the state of Florida.
The Americas Boating Club boater safety course manual is divided into five chapters. The first four cover the required topics that all boaters must know. In addition to the rules of the road, these four chapters cover the various types of boats, required safety equipment, navigation aids, lights and sounds, anchoring, communications afloat, adverse conditions, water sports safety, trailering and personal water craft operation.
The fifth chapter covers basic navigation and chart reading which we present in a separate session that any student can attend at no additional charge as it is not a part of the required material.
Along with the textbook Tampa Power Squadron provides a number of additional handouts which can assist the student in meeting the Coast Guard and other requirements.
The material covered includes :
o Nautical terms
o Required safety equipment-life jackets, fire extinguisher, etc
o Going Boating – fueling, casting off, underway.
o Navigation rules
o Light and sound signals
o Federal regulations
o State and local regulations
o Adverse conditions and emergencies
o Radio use and communications afloat
o PWC operation
The class is broken into two consecutive Saturdays with the final exam at the end.
During the course of the class, students will have the opportunity to practice their boat handling skills using MuVIT, the Tampa Power Squadrons interactive trainer which permits the student to operate a vessel in a realistic virtual marine environment.
America’s Boating Course is recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard and has been approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).