Boating Safety Classes

Aquatic Centers

Aquatic Centers operated by universities, colleges, local public agencies, and nonprofit organizations, provide classroom and on-the-water boating safety education in kayaking, canoeing, water skiing, powerboating, sailing, personal watercraft operation, and other aquatic activities.

United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Safety Class List

For information on the nearest US Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCG Aux) Boating Safety/Handling course, call (toll free) 1-800-SEA-SKIL (732-7245) or visit the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary website.

The USCG Aux offers a variety of public educational classes including Boating Skills and Seamanship (BS&S) for powerboats, and Sailing and Seamanship (S&S) for sailors. BS&S and S&S generally last 13 weeks and cover legal requirements, rules of the road, aids to navigation marlinspike seamanship, charts and compasses, and boat handling. Some Auxiliary flotillas also offer classes in Basic Coastal Navigation, Boating Safely Course, Advanced Coastal Piloting, Advanced Coastal Navigation, Personal Watercraft, Sailing Fundamentals, Boats 'N Kids, and Water 'N Kids.

To register, call the telephone numbers listed below. (If no response, try after 5:00 p.m.) Classes usually meet once a week. If a class has already started, an auxiliarist at the telephone number listed for your area can provide you with information on upcoming classes. There is a small charge for text materials.

For more information, contact the Director of the Auxiliary Office in Alameda (Coast Guard Island) at (510) 437-3315, or (310) 521-6172 for a recording for the San Pedro area.

United States Power Squadrons Boating Safety Classes

For more information about any United States Power Squadrons (USPS) educational program, examination or activity anywhere in California, call 1-800-SEASKIL or visit the USPS Courses Locator. For extensive description of USPS educational opportunities, visit the USPS Web page.

The USPS offer a number of classes and home study programs open to the public. Two classroom programs, "The Squadron Boating Course," a 6-7 session program, and "Boatsmart," an 8-hour program, are presented by squadrons at locations throughout the state. Topics in each program cover: operation and handling of your boat, marine radio telephone procedures, knots and hitches, anchoring, federal and state equipment requirements, state and local regulations, aids and rules for safe navigation, medical emergencies as well as boat operation in adverse conditions. In addition, "The Squadron Boating Course" provides specialized training in charting, piloting and position determination. Instruction is oriented toward outboard, inboard, Personal Watercraft (PWC) and sail. There is no obligation to join the USPS. There is a modest charge for course and test materials.

Other USPS personal study programs are available. Two video-based programs are available. "Jet Smart" is a fast paced video training package that provides basic PWC user information. "The USPS Video Boating Course" is an extensive in-depth program consisting of a video and a self-study text covering the basics as well as specialized boating topics. This video is 'closed captioned' for the hearing impaired. In California, Call 1-800-SEASKIL for price, shipping and availability of these video programs.

A USPS Certificate of Completion is awarded after successful completion of "The Squadron Boating Course," or "Boatsmart" and the course examination. Special arrangements for examination can be obtained upon completion of "The USPS Video Boating Course" personal study program.

The USPS Certificate of Completion awarded for the successful completion and examination satisfies or exceeds all educational requirements of all 50 states and the territories.