How To Find Boating Classes Near you

By Debbie Hanson

Jan 10, 2017

Take a safe boating class in your area or take an online course to learn your state's boating laws. Know the boating rules of the road; boat responsibly.

Perhaps you've been thinking to yourself, "this year I'm going to find a list of boating classes near me and sign up for one." Well, there's no better time than the present. Boating classes will help you learn how to boat safely so that you can make lasting memories on the water. If you're not sure how to find a list of boating classes in your area, you can start by checking these resources.

U.S. Coast Guard Boating Classes 

The U.S. Coast Guard National Public Education Calendar Database is a national online database that gives you the opportunity to search for all public boating education courses that are taught by the U.S. Coast Guard across the nation. One of the benefits of searching for "boating classes near me" and attending a classroom course is the opportunity to meet and network with other boaters in person. In addition, a classroom setting will allow you to ask questions and interact with other classmates. 

Boat Ed Boating Courses

When it comes to convenience, it's hard to beat online boating classes. If you think you would prefer to take an online boating course instead of a classroom course, you check into a Boat Ed online course. Boat Ed online courses are approved by the state agency responsible for the administration of each state’s Boater Education Card (often referred to as a boating license). While you don't need an actual boating license in Florida, for example, you do need to provide proof that you have completed a state-approved course in order to operate a boat if you are under a certain age.

BoatUS Foundation Boating Courses 

The BoatUS Foundation offers free online boating courses that have been developed specifically for each state, and you don't need to have a Boat US membership in order to sign up. The BoatUS Foundation online boating classes are recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard and have been approved by state boating license agencies. 

US Sailing Certified Safety at Sea Seminars 

While you may think that a boating class or seminar offered by the US Sailing Association might only be appropriate for sailboats, that's not always the case. You can sign up for a Safety at Sea Seminar that applies to operating a wide range of boats. The experienced sailing professionals who teach these classes make a point of including topics that are specific to the conditions and challenges of the waterways near you.

American Canoe Association Safety Courses

If you plan to spend time canoeing or kayaking this year, you can check into a safety and rescue course near you that is offered through the American Canoe Association (ACA). There are various levels of ACA classes that can help you obtain the skills and knowledge necessary to explore your local waters by canoe or kayak with confidence.

Using these options, you can stop thinking, "this year I'm going to find a list of boating classes near me" and actually sign up for one. As an added bonus, many insurance companies will offer a boat insurance discount if you have successfully completed a boating safety course or boat license test.

Don’t have your own boat yet? No worries, you can use the boat comparison tool to help you decide which type of boat would be best depending on the type of activities you enjoy most. 
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.