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Take to the water with 3-hour on-water boat training courses in Southport, N.C.

by Scott Croft 30 Mar 08:24 PDT

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

Five courses, including "Intro to Boating," "Precision Docking and Boat Handling," "Open Water Boat Handling," "Women Making Waves," and Women's Precision Docking and Boat Handling" are being held every weekend and Wednesdays through May 30. Course details and signup can be found at BoatUS.org/On-Water. Additional dates are expected to be announced.

Taught aboard single engine powerboats, each 3-hour course is priced at $249 and begins at US Powerboat Training's location at 606 W. West St. #202 at 9 a.m. or 1 p.m. 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 certified to teach the National Safe Boating Council curriculum. The minimum age to participate is 15 years old, and training follows all COVID safety protocols. Early registration is encouraged and there is a two-student minimum for courses.

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. "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.

Both "Precision Docking & Boat Handling" courses cover 180-degree turnarounds, docking on port and starboard, departing from a dock, and using 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.

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