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Earn a Massachusetts Boating Safety Certificate

 

Who Needs a Boating Safety Certificate?

Do you have a child under the age of 18? If so, he or she will need to meet certain requirements to operate a boat on Massachusetts waters. Massachusetts does not require a boaters license. However, minors may need to have and to carry onboard a Boating Safety Certificate. Passing an approved basic boating course – such as the United States Power Squadrons® America’s Boating Course  is necessary to be issued a Boating Safety Certificate. Massachusetts law spells out requirements depending on what kind of boat and the age of the operator. Here are the basic rules:

HUMAN PROPELLED BOATS  Paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and rowboats, etc. may be operated by anyone, at any age.

SAILBOATS  May be operated by anyone, at any age, UNLESS they are fitted with a motor.

MOTORBOATS  Motor/power boats are those propelled by any of the traditional motors —outboard, inboard, gas, diesel or electric. See below for water jets (Personal Water Craft or PWC).

    • Persons under 12 years may operate a motorboat only if accompanied on board and directly supervised by a competent person of 18 years or older.
    • Persons 12 through 15 years may operate a motorboat only if they:
      • Have passed a state approved basic boating course and received a Boating Safety Certificate, OR
      • Are accompanied on board and directly supervised by a competent person 18 years or older.
    • Persons 12 through 15 years operating without adult supervision must carry their Boating Safety Certificate when underway.
    • Persons 16 years or older may operate a motorboat without restrictions.

PERSONAL WATER CRAFT (PWC)  In Massachusetts special rules apply to water jet propelled craft.

    • Persons under 16 years of age may not operate a PWC under any circumstances.
    • Persons of 16 or 17 years of age may operate a PWC only if they have passed a state approved basic boating course and received a Boating Safety Certificate.
    • Persons 16 through 17 years must carry their Boating Safety Certificate when underway.
    • Persons 18 years or older may operate a PWC without restrictions.

Additional state laws apply for operating your boat on ponds, children’s life jackets, required boat safety equipment and more. Click here for the Massachusetts Boating Law Summary. Among federal regulations are safe vessel condition and operating near other boats (the Rules of the Road). You should also know about weather, first aid, towing and other best practices on the water. All this is covered in our America’s Boating Course (the ABCs), which is honored by Massachusetts (and all other states) for their basic boat licensing requirements.

America’s Boating Course (the ABCs)

Boating is fabulous family activity. But you shouldn’t leave the dock without basic boating skills. As next season approaches, be sure you have the right safety equipment, know the Rules of the Road, and are prepared for the unexpected. Whether you own a paddle boat, sail boat, or powerboat, this course is designed for both skippers and crew alike. Plus, it is approved for a Massachusetts Boating Safety Certificate. The United States Power Squadrons® have taught basic boating courses to well over one million students!

 

America's Boating Course • Spring 2019

Two Course Sessions to Choose From • Westwood & Walpole

DateTimeLocationFeeRegistration
Westwood
4 Consecutive Tuesdays February 19 – March 12
PLUS - Bonus Charting Session Mar 26
6:30 – 9:30 p.m.Westwood Senior Center
60 Nahatan St, Westwood, MA
Fee & Student Manual/Charting Tools: $99
Two persons sharing materials: $149
Info Flyer (PDF)
Registration
Walpole
4 Consecutive Wednesdays
April 3 – 24
PLUS - Bonus Charting Session May 1
6:30 – 9:30 p.m.Walpole Public Library
143 School St, Walpole, MA
Fee & Student Manual/Charting Tools: $99
Two persons sharing materials: $149
Info Flyer (PDF)
Registration
Contact

Joe Kelliher • 508-668-8149 • abc@abc-gbh.org

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