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How to Get the Most out of Boating - Take a Course

By: Captain Bill Jennings

Boater taking a lesson at helm
Courses like Power Boating Academy get you comfortable with a new boat or help advance your skills

Most people today have a couple of favourite sports or hobbies. Whether it is an active sport like golf, skiing, or tennis, or an passive hobby like painting or bridge, there is one common factor applied to all of them. Once they "get into" a particular

sport, they always take a professional lesson in order to learn the tips that will expand their ability and give them an advantage over other people in the same sport.

It seems logical to me that if you spend thousands of dollars on a boat, you should spend a trifle more to acquire professional tips for you to better enjoy your new sport.

What does a course do? What can I get out of a course? One of the most important answers is to learn how to operate safely. Other things you will learn include how to drive your boat efficiently to save money on fuel and repairs, and how to read water and knowing how to deliver the smoothest and safest ride possible. You will also learn the accreditations necessary to charter a yacht for a vacation in holiday locations. Another big benefit is spending a few hours with a pro -- so you will learn how to never bang a dock again.

With documented proof of completing an on-water boating lesson, most insurance companies will offer discounts that more than cover the cost of the lesson itself. So what is the cost of a professional boat handling lesson and how long does it take? From the companies that I surveyed, most courses run three to five hours and cost between $150 and $250.

What is a Safe Boater Endorsement Certificate? It is proof that you have completed a practical boat handling clinic with an industry recognized educator and have demonstrated safe operating skills to an instructor. The Safe Boater Endorsement Certificate is available only through Students who receive their Safe Boater rating can use this certificate to save money on boat insurance with a participating broker.

The course that I am involved with is called Power Boating Academy, but I am happy to advise you of other courses that you can take in your geographical area or your type of operation. Our instruction is recognized as common sense training by Marine Insurance Brokers in Ontario, including: Gallagher Skippers’ Plan; Ogilvy Insurance, MD Marine Insurance, and Northstar Marine Insurance.

To inquire about taking a course and advancing your skills contact Power Boating Academy to get started.

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