NYS Boaters’ Safety Course

NYS Safe Boating Certified Operator

A Course on the Safe Operation of Boats and Personal Watercraft

A New York safe boating certificate may be obtained by completing the New York Safe Boating Course. The course is designed as a comprehensive boating course, teaching the fundamentals of safe boating operation. This course requires a minimum of eight (8) hours of classroom instruction.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Teach the basic boating skills necessary for safe and enjoyable boating.
  • Instill in each student a sense of responsibility when operating a boat.
  • Develop an understanding of the consequences of careless boating.
  • Encourage common sense and courtesy toward other waterway users.
  • Prompt students to invest the time and effort to learn more about boating.

Persons required to complete a safety course

The law in New York requires the following people to have a Boater Safety Certificate (for anyone born on or after May 1, 1996):

  • Anyone who is at least 14 years of age and wishes to operate a personal watercraft (PWC)
  • Anyone who is at least 10 years of age, but less than 18 years old and wishes to operate a motor boat (not a PWC) without adult supervision

If you are less than 10 years old, you may not operate a motorboat alone. Someone over 18 years of age must be on board with you.

You don’t need to obtain a Boating Safety Certificate if you are:

  • A certified New York Safe Boating Course instructor
  • A holder of a valid New York State Public Vessel Operators license
  • A US Power Squadron instructor
  • A member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary
  • Licensed to operate boats by the US or Canadian Coast Guard

In addition, police officers, peace officers, fire and rescue personnel and lifeguards may operate boats without a boater safety certificate while carrying out their official duties.

A class must consist of a minimum of 6 persons and a maximum of 24 in order to be offered.

A group of 6 or more will be scheduled within three weeks of registering. Individuals may have to wait until we have 6 registered students. We will keep you advised. One idea to avoid delay is to contact some friends and arrange to take the course as a group.

At the end of the 8th classroom hour, a test will be taken by all attending students. The test consists of 50 questions. Minimum passing grade is 75 (twelve wrong = 76, thirteen wrong = 74 and failure). The average time taken by students is approximately 30 minutes to complete the test. The instructor will remain until all students have completed the test.

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