Operating a vessel is not an easy task. Without question, many factors work against the driver. The challenges include wind, current, underwater obstructions, and more. I have worked as a captain and can tell you first hand that operating a boat is challenging. For this reason, it is well worth taking boating lessons to keep not only yourself but your friends and family safe. Boating lessons near me are available in some locations. However, you need to know why taking boating classes is important. 

The Dangers Of Boating

People who are new to boating are often oblivious to the dangers of operating a vessel. The list of dangers is nearly endless, however, I will touch on a few. The few reasons listed are more than enough to know why it is critical to take boating lessons near me. 

Boating Collisions

Year after year, boats collide, often leading to disastrous outcomes. Unfortunately, vessels crash because of the failure to understand the right of way. 

In addition to not having a firm grasp on the right of way, regulations are operating at excessive speeds. Without question, speed plays a critical factor in collisions as the time to react is reduced significantly.

Failure To Safely Navigate

Without a doubt, the vast majority of new boaters do not understand the most basic navigation rules. 

Understanding how to read channel markers in addition to other navigation markings is essential when it comes to safety. 

All too often, boaters run aground by inadvertently leaving marked channels. Additionally, vessels strike reefs and other objects beneath the surface because they fail to read the water ahead. 

Severe Injury Or Death

As an avid boater, I pay close attention to maritime accidents. Unfortunately, they have happened within close proximity to where I live all too often. 

Each and every year, boat operators, friends, and families are severely injured or killed. There is no question about it: boating accidents are preventable. Accidents are prevented when proper training is combined with utilizing the skills learned while out on the water. 

How To Find Boating Lessons Near Me

I’ll start off by saying that finding on water training is challenging based on location. Not all parts of the country offer hands on courses. 

To locate boating lessons in your area, search for boating lessons near me on a phone, computer, or tablet. Determine if on water training is available in your area. Unquestionably, you are more likely to find these services along coastal waters compared to small inland lakes. 

However, if you are unable to locate a local business offering training, more options are available. 

In all situations, when money is exchanged, the person providing the training must be a captain. This is considered a for hire position, which requires the trainer to be a certified captain

Local captains are likely to be more than willing to offer training when being compensated. Ask around at marinas for local captains who offer one on one training compared to classes with a multitude of people. 

Boating Safety Certificates Are Not Enough

As a former captain, I can tell you that boating safety courses will not give you hands on experience. 

The boating safety course is excellent at teaching what is important on paper but not when it comes to operation. 

Sitting at a computer while taking a class does not help to gain experience navigating in the most difficult situations. 

Tides And Currents

Unfortunately, tides and currents quickly set a boat out of position and into danger.

When you are out of position, you are at risk of colliding with docks, vessels, or shallow waters. For this reason, it is essential to understand how to navigate in stiff tides and currents.

Extreme Weather

As a boater, you will face inclement weather at one point or another. I have been caught in tropical storms, high seas, and excessive lightning. 

While a captain isn’t going to expose you to danger, they are more capable of explaining what to do while boating in severe weather. Of course, the best course of action is avoidance, but it is not always an option. Weather sneaks up quickly. 

High Traffic

I have operated boats in some of the highly navigated waterways in the country. Even as a captain, my blood pressure rose as a result of pressure to navigate safely. 

In high traffic areas, a captain will give you real time experience on understanding who has the right of way and how to proceed based on a situation. A book and online course will not guide you through these situations. 

Leaving And Returning To The Dock

Unquestionably, leaving and returning the dock presents a multitude of challenges. The challenges are escalated by winds, currents, and most notably, traffic and congestion. Unfortunately, all of the challenges result in the operator becoming panicked. 

A captain teaching you on the water will guide you in overcoming obstacles when leaving and returning to the dock. 

Fueling

Yes, fueling makes the list. I have witnessed boat owners put themselves and their passengers at risk by failing to properly fuel the vessel. 

All too often, boaters do not follow the most basic safety precautions when fueling. Some of the safety precautions include properly securing the boat, asking passengers to step off the boat, and when to run the blower for inboard vessels. 

Take Boating Lessons Near Me

Taking boating lessons from a captain is well worth the money. The experience is invaluable as you will be better prepared when faced with challenges. Even today, despite my extensive experience, I pay extra attention during certain situations. Keep you, your family, and your friends safe by going the extra mile and taking on water lessons.