More on online boating safety courses

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 7, 2004

This week we continue to look at &uot;non traditional&uot; Safe Boating courses by spotlighting the &uot;Boat Virginia&uot; program was is sponsored by the state’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. This program is a nice alternative to consider when looking at different non-traditional programs boating safety programs. Additionally, successful completion of the program (by passing the test and gain certification) may be of great interest to your insurance carrier and may effect your insurance premiums. Additionally this state program is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), as both a boat and personal watercraft (PWCs) course and is further recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Why is the Virginia Program a good one to consider? Several reasons! First off the Virginia program, which can be found at: provides a wonderful introduction to those who will be operating powerboats under 26 feet in length or PWCs. (If you have a larger boat then you need more advanced training) This program is easy to use and covers a wide variety of topics.

The presentation is crisp, colorful and easy to follow.

Email newsletter signup

Second, the site is flexible and offers lots of options.

You can conduct a &uot;Pre-test&uot; (to see how much you real know or don’t know) by taking a 75-question test or you can also try to go through chapter by chapter reviewing the information looking at a wide range of topics critical to boating safety and finally you can jump directly to an exam.

The chapters that you can chose from for your review include: Know Your Boat, Before Getting Underway, Operating Your Boat, Legal Requirements, Boating Emergencies, Enjoying Water Sports, Reviews and Practice Test.

If you elect to spend the time reviewing each chapter’s information you will be set for success. The next step is to take the Certification Exam. Regrettably there is a $15 charge which is collected online, via a credit card. The state has taken security precautions to protect your credit card info (much like the DMV does when you renew your registration.) Unfortunately the collect fee applies regardless of weather you pass or fail the exam.

Now the good news: if you pass the test, which a score of 80% or better, you will receive your certification by mail. There are even provisions to print a temporary certificate. Why is this important?

Besides the obvious fact that you are much smarter about operating your vessel and safeguarding the lives of yourself and your guests, your insurance company will be very interested that you passed. This should be taken into account when your insurance fee is developed by your agent. Send a copy of your Virginia boating safety education certificate to your insurance agent and start receiving your insurance savings!

We will look at one more non traditional boating safety program next week to conclude our series. Until then…Boat Safe…Boat Smart and if you get a chance, on November 11th thank a Veteran for their service – because of their sacrifice we are a free country!