4 Important Reasons to Get Your Boater Safety Card

By Tom Keer

Feb 15, 2018

Winter is a terrific time to brush up on boat safety.  Take a class, study online, and be ready to splash come spring.

As of January 1, 2018, California boating laws requires people over the age of 16 to have a boater safety card.  And if you're between the ages of 12-15 years of age you'll be required to have adult supervision by someone 18 years or older.  Here are 5 reasons why it's good to have a boater safety card whether or not your state requires it.

1. Boater Education Saves Lives

Getting a boating safety education id card makes sense for boaters of all ages. Boat safety handling reduces water accidents and injuries.  In fact, 80% of our states have educational requirements for running a boat andthe more you know about boat safety the more fun you'll have on the water.

2. It's about Practical Knowledge

Taking a boater safety course is different from taking high school trigonometry.  While I have yet to apply lessons learned in trig class I directly apply lessons learned while earning a boat safety certificate.  Of the 8,000 accidents last year, 70% were operator error. 

3. Having a Boat Safety Certificate may reduce your Insurance Premium

As there are lower rates for drivers of vehicles who are accident free there are discounts for those with boating safety education id cards.  By taking a  boater safety course you're likely to save some money.  

4. In some States it's the Law

Every boater needs to follow the law, and a safe boating course is the easiest way to learn the material. Take a boating course online or in a classroom setting sanctioned by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.  The material ranges from educational prep, chapter quizzes, and a final test.  Winter is the perfect time to take an educational course, so check 'em out today.  Spring is right around the corner and that means we'll be preparing our boats for a shakedown cruise!

Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.