Boater Education is it Necessary?


You bought a boat, wave runner and you are going to sail the open waters, party with your homies, show off your new toy, suns out guns out.   

But driving a boat is just lake a car, right?  Do I really need to have boater education?? What difference does it make?

What is boater education?

Most states require that boaters complete an official and certified boater education course. The Boater Education Card (sometimes called a “boater's license”) is proof that you have successfully completed your state's official & approved boating safety course.

Why is boater education important?

Boating safety education is important because it helps reduce personal injury and property damage associated with the use of recreational boats. ... Boaters can keep themselves and their crew safe by learning about responsible boat operation, etiquette, and the rules of the waterways.

Where boating instruction was known, 77 percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had not received boating safety instruction. The Coast Guard recommends that all boaters take a boating safety course that meets the National Boating Education Standards prior to getting out on the water.


Thousands of boat crashes occur each year, and although a number of factors contribute, most collisions share similar characteristics, and many may have been avoidable if the driver had taken additional precautions

Without a doubt, the most common causes of boating accidents include not wearing a personal flotation device (pfd)/lifejacket; falling overboard; capsizing/collisions; & operating a vessel while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.


Boating Education requirements varies from state to state.  Missouri's Boater Education Law went into effect January 1, 2005. The law states that any person born after January 1, 1984 must successfully pass a Missouri Boater Education class/test before operating any motorized vessel on the waters of the state.

 On successful completion of a boating education class several insurance companies may offer a discount., on your premium. There is actually received two advantages. The first with your insurance company and the second; but not least, you and your family became a better and safer boaters.

 The most asked question, asked is my boating education card good in every state? Good news! If you’ve successfully completed an official boating safety course such as boat-ed or ilearntoboat, your boater education card is welcome in every state that requires mandatory boater education.

 The slogan, “Safe Boating is no Accident,” encourages every boat skipper to become involved with the safe boating process by enrolling in one of these classes, but the process does not stop there. Safe boating is a family affair and together the learning process can not only provide the entire crew with valuable information but become a fun and learning experience for all.

Now most boating education courses are in a classroom and or behind a computer.  This is good for the basis and learning the regulations / rules of the road.  But unless you put your book learning to real world use actual on the water experience is the best enforcement of what you learned.

 Suggestion is to locate a United States Coast Guard credentialed Captain, have them go out on your boat. have them explain what you need to have on board including but not limited to learning how to leave a dock, slip, how to dock your boat.  Learn the difference in handling an outboard, vs a inboard.  learn how to perform close quarter turns, how station a boat.

 With classroom education and on the water time your boating confidence, and skill will pay off in a positive and fun boating experience.

 If you are in the Lake of The Ozarks area, please take time to attend the 5th Annual Water Safety Seminar, May 21.2022 from 8:00am to 2pm at Margaritaville Lake Resort Lake of the Ozarks.  This is a free event.


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