Online Boating Courses Teach You These Surprising Things

By Debbie Hanson

Mar 25, 2016

Free online boating courses are a good way to learn more about boating laws and safety from your own home or office.

Free online boating courses are a good way to learn more about boating laws and safety from your own home or office. In fact, you'll probably be surprised by some of the things that online boating courses can teach you about boating. Check out a few examples of the types of helpful tips you can learn by taking an online boating course.

  1. Boat Preventative Maintenance. You'll learn why it's important to change your engine oil each season, inspect all belts and hoses, check fluid levels, and check the condition your boat battery. Proper boat maintenance helps keep you and your crew safe while helping to avoid unnecessary repairs.
  2. Gross Axle Weight Ratings and Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings. Online boating courses don't just teach you about how to operate your boat safely once it’s in the water. You'll also learn about gross axle weight ratings and gross vehicle weight ratings so that you know the amount of weight that your vehicle and trailer can safely tow.
  3. Fuel Conservation. You can learn about how to save fuel by keeping your boat in good operating condition, leaving extra "stuff" at home that you don't need, evenly distributing your cargo and passengers, and paying attention to your boat gauges.
  4. Pre-departure Checklist. Boat trips are much easier to prepare for when you use a pre-departure trip checklist. This list may include, but is not limited to, personal flotation devices, sound-signaling devices, navigation lights, flashlight, visual distress signals, an anchor, fenders, fire extinguishers, and necessary documentation. Find out how to create a checklist that includes everything you need for a fun and safe day on the water.
  5. Aquatic Nuisance Species. Aquatic nuisance species are defined as non-indigenous species that threaten the diversity or abundance of native species, the ecological stability of infested waters, or commercial, agricultural, aquacultural or recreational activities that are dependent on such waters. Online boating courses will teach you how to thoroughly examine your boat and gear for aquatic nuisance species before leaving a launch area.

Now that you know about a few of the surprising things you can learn from online boating courses, find out which local and national organizations offer boat safety courses and register for a course today!

Photo Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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.