Want to learn the basics of powerboating or brush up on your skills? A partnership between the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), and Freedom Boat Club will bring affordable on-water boat training courses taught aboard single-engine powerboats to the Tampa Boat Show held at the Tampa Convention Center Sept. 20-23. “Intro to Boating” and “Women Making Waves” are three-hours long and offered for $149. A course just for teens age 13-17, “Junior Captain,” is 90-minutes and priced at $99. Class size is limited to four students per vessel, ensuring each student gets sufficient time at the helm under the watchful eye of a U.S. Coast Guard-certified instructor.
Boats are provided by Freedom Boat Club Tampa and the Annapolis School of Seamanship. The “Intro to Boating” course covers shifting and steering, basic docking, open-water handling and basic navigation. The ladies-only course, “Women Making Waves,” offers the same curriculum and is the perfect opportunity to spend a half day learning boat-handling techniques in a supportive environment. Both courses are taught aboard 20-26 foot powerboats.
“Junior Captain” is offered under a partnership of National Safe Boating Council and the Annapolis School of Seamanship and gives teens the opportunity to learn shifting, steering and throttle control, stopping, station holding, understanding the “weathervane” effect and how to use “the boater’s eye” technique to safely navigate. It’s taught aboard 14-foot rigid-hull inflatable boats.
The courses also offer area residents the chance to try out recreational boating
The goal of the courses is to address the high costs typically associated with at-the-helm training, making hands-on boating education more accessible. The courses also offer area residents the chance to try out recreational boating and give boaters the opportunity to improve their boat-handling skills. In addition to the Tampa Boat Show, the BoatUS Foundation, NMMA and Freedom Boat Club have partnered to offer courses at the upcoming Norwalk Boat Show and the 2019 Miami Boat Show.
“Intro to Boating” is offered Friday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Women Making Waves” is offered Friday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. “Junior Captain” is offered Friday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3 p.m., and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Space is limited. Students for “Intro to Boating” and “Women Making Waves” must be 21 years or older. “Junior Captain” students must be age 13 – 17. To sign up for any on-water training course from the BoatUS Foundation, go to BoatUS.org/On-Water.
About the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water:
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Funded primarily by donations from the more than half-million members of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the nonprofit provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America’s waterways and keeping boating safe for all. A range of boating safety courses – including 36 free state courses – can be found at BoatUS.org/Courses.