What’s in America’s Boating Course
Americas Boating Course is for you if you want to be a safer boater. The state of Florida requires you to have taken a NASBLA approved boater safety course to operate a boat or any personal watercraft if you were born on or after January 1, 1988. Sometimes called a boating license, this card identifies you as having taken and passed the Florida boating safety class.
Americas Boating Course as presented by the Tampa Power Squadron is divided into five chapters. The first four chapters cover the required topics that all boaters must know. These include :
- Navigation rules or the Rules of the Road as they are commonly called
- Required and recommended safety equipment
- Navigation aids (buoys, dayboards, beacons, etc)
- Lights and sound requirements
- Radio communication
- Dealing with adverse conditions
- Water sport safety
- How to trailer your boat properly
- Personal watercraft operation
- Florida specific rules and regulations
The fifth chapter which is not required or part of the exam deals with using charts and basic coastal navigation which we often cover in a separate session for those who wish to learn more about basic navigation and piloting.
Along with the textbook, Tampa Power Squadron will provide a number of additional items which are useful for both safety and compliance. These will assist the student in meeting the United States Coast Guard and other requirements as well as expanding their knowledge. Also, the students will have the opportunity to arrange to have a courtesy vessel examination of their boat to confirm they meet all state and federal requirements.
Upon passing the final exam, the Tampa Power Squadron will process all the paperwork required for you to receive your state issued boater safety ID card which you should receive from the state in 2-3 weeks.
The course is broken into two days, with the final exam at the end of the second classroom session. The exam consists of 2 sections, one for general knowledge and another about Florida-specific boating laws. During the course, students will have the opportunity to practice their boat handling skills using MuVIT, the Tampa Power Squadrons interactive trainer (time permitting) which allows the student to operate a virtual vessel in a realistic virtual marine environment.
America’s Boating Course is recognized by the United States Coast Guard and is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).