On Water Training


  • Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is BoatUS On-Water Training?

    BoatUS OWT is a program administered by the BoatUS Foundation, to bring safe and responsible powerboat instruction to locations throughout the United States.

  • Where are these courses held?

    BoatUS OWT courses are held at a variety of locations. Boat clubs, boating schools, community events, dealerships, and marinas host our events.

  • Who are the trainers?

    Trainers for the BoatU.S. OWT program are Coast Guard OUPV -6 holders and above, who are drug tested by their employer or are part of a drug testing consortium. If they work for Freedom Boat Club they are trained in their curriculum, and if they are working directly as a contractor to BoatUS they are trained to instruct a number of different curriculums including but not limited to; NSBC, NASBLA, and US Powerboating.

  • What types of boats do we train on?

    While this can’t be guaranteed, we typically strive to provide center or dual consoles, or bowriders-all with a single outboard or Inboard/Outboard. These boats range from 18’-26’. Occasionally we will offer specialized courses where we will utilize a boat with dual engines.

  • How many students are there per instructor?

    In order to maximize “helm time” for each student, we only allow a maximum of four students per instructor/session.

  • Will BoatUS OWT satisfy my State’s requirement for a “boating safety certificate”?

    No. Currently our courses are for personal enrichment and skill development only. In no way do these courses satisfy any state or other legal requirement for boater safety education. Currently, there is no state requirement for on water training. The Coast Guard, states and other boating safety experts all recommend on-water, hands-on training as follow-up to a NASBLA-approved boating safety course to cement knowledge and improve safety and as well as confidence on the water.

  • Is the BoatUS OWT program/courses approved by the National On-Water Standards Program?

    At this time, the BoatUS OWT program is NOT approved by NASBLA or the On-Water Standards Program.

  • Do I need a boating safety certificate or “license” to participate?

    No, you do not need to have a boating safety certificate or license to participate in this program.

  • Will I get a certificate for completing the course?

    After completing the course, you may be emailed a certificate of completion for the specific course you completed. Again, this certificate does not satisfy any state or government requirement for boating safety education.

  • How long does the course last?

    Our courses are typically offered in modules with a length of 3 hours and can vary slightly depending on the number of students on the vessel.

  • Is there an age limit to take an OWT course?

    For courses held at Freedom Boat Club, all students must be 21 or older. For courses at other locations, students must be 18 or older, unless stated otherwise. This is subject to change based on the boat provider’s requirements.

  • What if there is bad weather?

    We will make every attempt to conduct your course on the date and time selected. Wind specifically, can impact the type of boat we train on and the effectiveness of the instruction. However, safety is our number one priority and if the forecast calls for conditions that are deemed unsafe or unsuitable for instruction, the course will be cancelled and a refund will be issued.

  • I want to take another course…now what?

    Please visit www.boatus.org/onwater to see our full schedule of courses.