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Are you a licensed boater? Do you have YOUR boater safety license?  Are your kids driving your Sea-Doo watercraft? Are they licensed? These are important questions to ask BEFORE you are stopped by Marine Patrol on your local waterways. Many PWC riders and boaters have learned this lesson the hard way with a hefty fine.

Each state in the US has different rules and requirements related to age and licensing restrictions for both boats and personal watercraft. For instance, in the state of Florida you can legally ride a Sea-Doo personal watercraft at 14.  Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, who operates a vessel powered by 10 hp or more, must pass an approved boater safety course.  In Minnesota, boaters ages 12-17 who wish to operate a boat with greater than 25 hp or PWC operators ages 13-17 must complete a course approved by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The Boat US Foundation has a comprehensive website where you can simply click on your state and read the outline of the boating safety rules relative to your geographic location.  This map can be found at www.BoatUS.org.  They also offer a free on-line boater safety course that consists of 6 lessons and a final exam. Each lesson has a 10-question quiz at the end that you must pass before advancing to the next module.  The final exam is 75 questions and you must pass with a score of 80% or better to receive your Boater Safety license.  Once you obtain this card it is good for a lifetime. It takes about 3 hours to complete the exam, if you were to complete it in one setting. The course does allow users to take modules separately and save your progress, so you are able to complete the course at your leisure.

This course covers everything from Navigation Aids and Emergency situations , rules of the road, safety to protecting the marine environment. Upon passing, you can print a certificate of completion and finally, on your way to becoming an aware and educated boater.

Click HERE to access the BoatUS website.