With a history going back a little over 100 years, America's Boating Club has been the premier provider of boating education. Whether you're just starting out or if you've been boating for your entire life, we have subjects that will help you expand your boating horizons and deepen your understanding of the hobby we all enjoy.

Education programs fall into three general categories:

Public Boating Courses and Services

America's Boating Course - An 8- or 12-hour course designed to help you earn your state boater safety card. Within New York State, taking this class will put you in compliance with Brianna's Law, which requires all boat operators in New York State to have completed a safe boating course.

Hands-On Training (HOT) - Just get a new boat and worried about starting off on the right foot? Been boating for years but keep getting caught by the same nagging problem repeatedly? Consider signing up for a 2-hour, one-on-one session with one of our experienced instructors to help you get past the day one jitters or that persistent thorn so that you can get on with enjoying boating. This session is done on-the-water, in your boat, with an instructor matched to your specific needs. 

Vessel Safety Check - A free service offered by America's Boating Club so that you can be sure you are in compliance with all local laws and regulations. Have one of our examiners meet you at your boat and go through a checklist so that you can be assured that you haven't overlooked anything important. And if you did, we'll show you how to make it right.

Formal Boating Education Programs

America's Boating Club has a full suite of courses and seminars that can take you from paddle boarding on your pond to crossing oceans and everything in between. Courses are organized into a program known as the Boat Operator Certification program, and it consists of four levels of internationally-recognized levels of certification:

  • Inland Navigator - Courses to prepare you for boating on inland rivers and lakes.
  • Coastal Navigator - Courses to prepare you to boat in coastal areas and larger lakes such as the Great Lakes.
  • Advanced Coastal Navigator - Advanced courses to prepare you for dealing with tides and currents and navigating where landmarks may not always be visible.
  • Offshore Navigator - Courses to make you a self-sufficient navigator and prepare you for extended voyages across great distances.

The certification levels above are patterned after those described in United Nations Resolution 40, International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft. (Click here for more details.)

Informal Knowledge Sharing

Many of our local chapters also offer informal seminars or "knowledge sharing" sessions in which a subject matter expert walks you through a topic of interest. Examples include:

  • Boat maintenance hints and tips.
  • Fiberglass repair and painting.
  • Marine refrigeration installation and maintenance.
  • Sailboat repowering.

The message here is that, if you don't see a course or seminar that you'd like to learn more about, ASK! We'll find a way to help you gain the knowledge you're looking for.