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Affordable 3-hour on-water boat training courses start April 10 in Wickford

by Scott Croft 3 Mar 08:27 PST

If you have never tried getting behind the wheel of a boat before, now is your time. Beginning April 10, In-Command Seamanship Training together with the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water are offering an easy and affordable way to try out recreational powerboating.

Four courses, from "Intro to Boating" and "Precision Docking and Handling" to "Open Water Boat Handling" and "Open Water Advanced Maneuvering" are taught aboard single engine powerboats and offered on two weekends each month through the end of June. Course details and signup can be found at BoatUS.com/On-Water.

Each course is three hours and taught at In-Command's location at 1 Phillips Street. Courses start at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., 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 instructor. The minimum age to participate is 16 years old, and training follows all COVID safety protocols.

The "Intro to Boating" course covers centering the wheel, shifting gears, predeparture checklist and station holding, or staying in one place while wind or current effect the boat. "Precision Docking & Boat Handling" covers 180-degree turnarounds, docking on port and starboard, departing from a dock, and how to use S.C.A.N. procedures to avoid distracted boating.

"Open Water Boat Handling" includes utilizing boat trim, displacement and planing handling, ferrying, and emergency stopping. "Open Water Advanced Maneuvering" addresses crossing waves and wakes, person overboard retrieval, sharp turns on plane and advanced avoidance maneuvers.

The goal of the In-Command Seamanship Training and BoatUS Foundation courses is to address the high costs typically associated with at-the-helm training, making hands-on boating education more accessible. Early registration is encouraged.

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