Coast Guard grant paves way for boating-skills classes

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The National Safe Boating Council, in partnership with the Association of Marina Industries, received a Coast Guard non-profit grant to develop Marina Pro, a cadre of trained and certified professionals across the country who can teach on-the-water boating skills to the boating public.

The first of five Marina Pro classes will be held Sept. 10-13 at Nestegg Marine in Marinette, Wis.

Applications are being accepted for the four-day class, which includes classroom and on-the-water training. Those applying must have relevant public speaking or teaching experience, have successfully completed a basic boating safety course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and have five years of boating experience.

The course fee and lodging are offered free through a grant from the Sportfish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the Coast Guard. Four more courses will be offered in various locations throughout the country; 12 students are anticipated at each site. Those who complete the training will be expected to have a plan in place to work with area marinas to begin training boaters on how to maneuver in the marina basin and out in open water.

The curriculum for the course is based on the National Safe Boating Council’s Close-Quarters and Open Water Boat Control Instructor programs. Students will be able to train in both applications upon completion.

“The Marina Pro concept is that each marina will have on staff or on call a trained and certified professional who can teach customers boat-handling skills on their own vessels. The hope is marinas will make it a priority to have all of their boaters trained to be safer and more confident in the water,” AMI grant coordinator Wendy Larimer said in a statement.

Click here for the full release.


5 comments on “Coast Guard grant paves way for boating-skills classes

  1. Bob

    The United States Power Squadrons is offering a recognized on the water training program right now. Berea Power Squadron is offering this training for free on Lake Erie in the North Central Ohio area, West of Cleveland. However, some of the other units are charging a fee for this training. Our instructors have had years of training and experience, and are experts at small boat handling. Even if your local Power Squadron does not officially offer this type of training, I would encourage potential students to join their local Squadron. Once they get to know some of the other members, I am sure another member would be happy to offer assistance learning. It’s what we do.

  2. CaptA

    I thought the Federal Government is hurting for money?!?!?

    How are these programs different or better than:

    1) For Powerboats—Courses given by the US Power Squadrons;
    2) For Sailboats–ASA or US Sailing Courses; and/or
    3) USCG Auxillary taught courses.

    What makes MarinaPro so different? Sounds like a boondoggle.

  3. CaptA

    OK–I checked the website.

    This “training program” is designed for boat sales men/women. It does not appear to be comprehensive. It is used as a tool to give sales people the appearance of credibility of concern for customer safety.

  4. Virgil Chambers

    First permit me to address the the funding issue. This is NOT USCG money, it is funds administrated by the USCG Boating Safety Division. The grant funding is from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. This money comes from the tax of gasoline used for motor boats and other boating and fishing taxes. Secondly, the information on the the boat handling training program is listed on the page you are directed to go to, yes, the first training listed is the Point of Sales. This is an excellent training program for marine retailers, however if you scroll down you will see the explanation on the Close-Quarter and Open Water Boat Control Training programs. I have taught boat handling for over forty years I have yet to see or participate in a training program as systematic to skills development. The National Safe Boating Council’s (NSBC)training program focuses on what to do and when to do it. It is skilled-based, using factors such as the wind and current to assist the operator to put the boat where you want it to be. I encourage you all to try the program before you say it’s already out there. The program isn’t the end all to boat handling instruction but it is an excellent introduction to how and what to teach when dealing with presenting boat control to novice boaters. If you have any other questions please contact the NSBC. The problem we all have is making judgement before we have the facts. Thank you.

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