The Benefits—and Necessity—of Taking a Boater Safety Course 

Why Boating Safety Courses Are Important

One of the wonderful things about Key West is that it’s beautiful, sunny, and perfect for outdoor activities all year round. With the beautiful waters surrounding us and all of the great boating, sailing, fishing, and other watersports activities at the Key West Historic Seaport and Key West Bight Marina, many folks are inspired and decide to become boaters themselves! But first things first: safety. Before you go out on the water operating a boat, make sure you’re prepared. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Read on to learn the 411 about boating safety courses and best practices.

Orange survival life ring buoy hanging on a boat.First, we probably don’t need to tell you why boat safety is of the utmost importance, as it can literally make the difference between life and death while out on the water by yourself or with company. With that said, with everything going on in our busy lives, it’s easy to lose track of the last time you took one. In fact, you may not remember whether or not a boater safety course you HAVE taken is approved in your jurisdiction.

Non-residents can buy a boat in another state and register it. However, they must still take a boating safety course in this state if they wish to operate a vessel in Florida. The course is free to take and is available online. According to a post from Mayday Marine, the course is simple and can be taken at your own pace, whether you wish to finish it in one day or take it little by little over multiple days.

girl wearing a red life jacket and looking out at the sunset.

When Should Someone Take a Boating Safety Course?

Boating safety courses are available for recreational boaters of all ages, and the great news is that you can take a wide variety of boating safety courses online and for free! You can take them from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, and you’ll receive critical and valuable information on how to safely operate a boat and all of the laws, rules, and regulations in whichever jurisdiction your boat is located.

How to Find The Right Boating Safety Class

BoatUS Foundation logoFinally, if you’re looking to take your own boater safety course or know anybody who does, you can search through a wide variety of available options on the BoatUS Foundation website.

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is an innovative leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Check out their course catalog here! In addition to the BoatUS Foundation, other organizations, including the U.S. Coast Guard and other state and local agencies, also offer high-quality classes.

Courses cover many aspects of boating safety, from boat handling to reading the weather, and from a “Water ‘N Kids” class to courses for boaters who want to learn electronic navigation skills. The most popular basic courses generally have from 6 to 13 lessons to provide a foundation of operational and safety instruction.

For more information on all of the beautiful amenities at the Key West Bight Marina and all of the shops and activities right at the Key West Historic Seaport, visit and


Key West Bight Marina at the Key West Historic Seaport:

Your Gateway to Everything Key West!

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