Boating is not a new hobby that people discovered recently. It has already been a way of life for many others and a perfect weekend recreation for families. Whether you like to enjoy river cruising or love to spend an afternoon by the lake fishing and having a BBQ with friends, boating is a great experience.
However, like any other recreational activity, incidents, and risks still exist even in boating. There’s still a potential danger, especially for those who are not well-equipped with information and knowledge on properly maneuvering a boat.
But this can only be mitigated if you know the introductory boating safety course. Furthermore, extent knowledge and harnessed skill are important for someone who has a boating license. These boating basics allow boaters to enjoy the experience fully. Read on and find out what makes them important and why you should consider getting one.
Having a boating license has many benefits that you can’t ignore. But first, let’s discuss the different types of boating licenses that you can have and why you need to have one.
There are two types of a boating license: the Master License and the OUPV or the Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels License.
A boating license is required when you’re running a boat craft that has a motor. So, if you are operating or currently have one in your possession, you need to have a boating license. When you have taken and passed the boating license test, you can use your boat in different recreational activities. In Canada, BOATsmart Pleasure Craft Operator Card is granted to an individual who takes up a boating license test.
However, this changes if you decide to use your boat for another reason, such as a simple weekend recreation. If you have thought of using your boat to operate a small fishing charter or start a sightseeing tour business, you need an OUPV license. This license is also known as a 6-pack license, allowing you to carry up to six passengers and load up to 100 gross ton vessels.
On the other hand, the Master License can carry more than six passengers, and a USCG (United States Coast Guard) commercial inspection standard is observed. The master license is the most expensive license between the two types of licenses.
However, if you already possess an OUPV license, you’ll get to save bigger if you want to upgrade your OUPV license to a master license. You wouldn’t need to take up other requirements, unlike directly getting a master license.
One thing every boater should remember is that water police patrols exist, especially in busy waterways. They are in charge of conducting license checking for all operating boat crafts. Thus, to avoid getting and paying for fines, you should get your boating license ready.
The same law is applied for any boater who is operating any business using their boat. The USCG has all the right to inspect your boat and check if you possess the right license. Aside from avoiding fines and penalties, having a boating license grants you the right information and knowledge on how to properly operate your boat.
You’ll learn things that will improve your technique and experience, know what to do during an emergency, harness your skills in coastal navigation, deck knowledge, and understanding the “rules of the road”. With this, you wouldn’t face trouble and confusion whenever you’re in the water.
Getting a boating license can also widen your knowledge of different boat terminologies, light and sound signals, boating safety, learning the tides, reading the nautical charts, and understanding the boating regulations.
Let’s just put it this way: if you want to try freediving, you need to take up a freediving course before being in the water alone. The same goes for boating.
Even though you have tons of experience, the waterway is a wild field, and you can’t predict if anything goes south unexpectedly. There are many blind spots that you think don’t exist before but exist now. So, to be fully prepared for these instances, taking up a boating safety course is highly recommended.
Fact: Did you know that 80% of fatalities happened on boats where the operator didn’t receive any boating safety course? This report comes from the United States Coast Guard, which is why they have stringently required any boaters to take up boating safety courses to prevent such unfortunate events from happening or lessen the damage to the property.
Boating is a fun thing to do and great recreational activity. Yet, you need to follow the state laws to be eligible in operating one. Getting a boating license and taking up a boating safety course is mandated not only for formality but also for preparedness and safety. A boater that’s well-equipped with training and knowledge can enjoy boating while keeping both the passengers and the vehicle safe.
Lauren is a professional content writer and has been in the industry for five years. She writes anything and everything under the sun. Recently, her main topics are about boating and outdoor recreation. She soon found a new love of watercraft and likes to spend her vacation through sailing. Her writings always include an emphasis on giving importance to safety.