What’s in Americas 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 that are useful for both safety and compliance. These will assist the student in meeting the United States Coast Guard and other requirements and expanding their knowledge. Also, the students will have the opportunity to arrange a courtesy vessel examination of their boats 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.
Americas Boating 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 specifically about Florida boating laws.