Everyone knows the procedure for obtaining a driver’s license to drive a car. After studying the rules of the road, you are required to pass a written exam, then a practical behind-the-wheel, on-the-road test.
It’s a little different for boating. You study the rules of the water and pass a written exam. There is no practical on-the-water lessons nor proficiency testing.
In Canada, you obtain a "pleasure craft operator card". In the United States, the card is issued by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).
Canadians must carry the Card in Canada and when visiting the US. Reciprocally, Americans must carry their Card in the United States and when visiting Canada.
For more information about Canadian Boat Operator Cards, consult this website- http://www.tc.gc.ca/acts-regulations/GENERAL/C/CSA/regulations/100/csa108/csa108.html
Boater Cards issued by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) are recognized for citizens of the United States. For more information visit http://www.nasbla.org.
Operator Card On Line
There are many companies and organizations offering the boat operator card test. Most of them are set up at Boat Shows. But, did you know you can take your test on the internet? Have your whole family get a "Pleasure Craft Operator Card". Now is the best time, before the boating season gets started. Get your Boating License Online!
Boat Handling Instruction
For the practical side of docking and handline a boat, you are on your own. Once you have "The Card", it doesn’t mean you automatically know how to drive the boat. You still need to get boat handling instructions.
Some people may be able to find a boat handling instructor, but they are few and far between--mostly uninsured and expensive.
Doug Dawson has prepared Docking e-Lessons of approximately 30 pages each for just $14.95 including:
Just download the docking system appropriate for your drive system. Print them at home, then take out on your boat with you, and repeat the lesson as often as required.
Learn how to dock your boat the "Better Way" from a pro. Soon, you’ll dock with confidence. Boating will become more enjoyable and safer for you and your First Mate.
Learn the Tips and Tricks of Docking.
Doug and Brenda Dawson
For trailered boats, make sure the drain plug is on your checklist! It wasn't on mine and I mistakenly expected that the shop who summerized and delivered my boat had installed it. They didn't, and I didn't check for it, and didn't realize it wasn't there 'till I got back to my backyard dock and saw the water coming up thru the ski well. I'm now known as "soggy-boy" after falling off the boat into the lake while trying to install the plug from above; would have been a lot easier on the launch ramp! Fortunately, nothing was damaged but my pride . . . Cheers
Dave Keyser, Soggy-boy