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Try the boating life: Take a 3-hour on-water training course in Severna Park this spring/summer

by Scott Croft 29 Feb 2020 06:05 PST
Learn boat-handling basics or improve your skills with a range of courses offered on select Thursday afternoons this spring and summer at Severna Park Yacht Basin. © Stacey Wigmore

Want to get a taste of the boating life or improve your on-water boat handling skills? The nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water offers a choice of four fun and affordable at-the-helm on-water training courses for beginner and experienced boaters taught aboard single-engine powerboats: "Intro to Boating," "Women Making Waves," "Precision Docking & Boat Handling," and "Open Water Boat Handling." Courses are available on select Thursday afternoons, all beginning at 4 p.m. on April 23; May 7, 21; June 4, 18; July 2, 16, 30; and August 13, 27.

Each course is priced at $149, is three hours long and taught at Severna Park Yacht Basin located at 454 Severn Rd. The minimum age to participate is 18 years old and class size is limited to four students per vessel, ensuring each student gets sufficient time at the helm under the watchful eye of a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captain.

The "Intro to Boating" course covers shifting and steering, basic docking, open-water handling and basic navigation. The ladies-only course, "Women Making Waves," offers the same curriculum and is the perfect opportunity to spend a half-day learning boat-handling techniques in a supportive environment.

For those with some boating experience, "Precision Docking & Boat Handling" covers 180-degree turnarounds, docking on both port and starboard sides, departing from a dock, and how to use S.C.A.N. procedures to avoid distracted boating.

For students with some experience and who have completed Precision Docking and Boat Handling, "Open Water Boat Handling" includes utilizing boat trim, displacement and planing modes, object avoidance, ferrying and emergency stopping.

The goal of the courses is to address the high costs typically associated with at-the-helm training, making hands-on boating education more accessible. Courses sell out quickly so early registration is encouraged. To sign up for a course or seek out others, go to BoatUS.org/On-Water.

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