Online learning available for boaters

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 2, 2004

The newest educational program that is sweeping the country is distance learning. Do a Google search on this topic and the number of responses is absolutely amazing.

You can work on legitimate Associate, Bachelor, Masters and even Doctorates on-line or via other non-traditional ways. Wow, how far education has advanced! The nice thing about this new effort is that it will benefit you, the boating public.

That’s right, from the comfort of your favorite couch you can receive a quality boating safety course. This is the kind of time investment that may seem trivial to some but is actually so critically important!

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For the next few weeks I will look at some wonderful programs that offer flexibility and provide a level of instruction that is perfect for both the new boater and the old sea dog.

In either case, whichever program you chose the important thing to remember is that this is an alternative to actually attending a safe boating course such as the ones provided by the Coast Guard Auxiliary or Power Squadron.

However, even if you are very dedicated, which you need to be for online education NOTHING beats being in a classroom. Yes, attending a class is a pain. However, the interplay between students, examples and even the &uot;sea stories&uot; can be invaluable at driving home learning points. But, if you work a crazy schedule and still want to learn how to safely operate your boat within the maritime transportation system than using an on-line course, or one with a tape is the way to go!

As the weather gets colder and the water gets less inviting, the last thing anyone wants to do is sit at a computer and take a test. But, taking the time to review this free online course may make a big difference in your next excursion.

You may learn something new about safety, boat handling or the Rules of Road. It can also serve as a good introduction for a new boater or a quick review for someone more experienced. It should be remembered however that these types of programs are just introductions. If you are truly serious about boating there are considerably advanced programs that can and should be taken.

Consider taking the &uot;online&uot; boating safety course offered by going to the BoatUS site and linking to &uot;Nautical Know How&uot;. This is one of the sites I wanted to spotlight. Do this by visiting If online doesn’t work they have a downloadable file or a workboat. It will be a wise investment of time, especially when it is cold and damp outside. Next week we will look at a state of Virginia Program.

Until next time – Boat Safe….Boat Smart!