A professional can teach you all about this great sport,if you decide to take this up as a hobby. Instruction is essential. Boating instruction entails much more than just showing you how to operate a boat. It also encompasses boating safety along with boat and engine maintenance.When you receive boating instruction, you’ll be learning about boating as a sport, but it will do so much more for you. It can make boating much more enjoyable, make you more skilled as a captain, and can even save you money! Getting boating instruction through certified classes could provide you with a discount on your boating insurance!There are many places where you can find reputable boating instruction. Start with a local marina. Like a golf pro shop, the marina will have a “boat pro” on staff that will be happy to help you with your boating education. Many marinas have classes you can take on site that will teach you everything you need to know.We live in an Internet world. It just goes to say, then, that there is boating instruction available online. Studying all aspects of boating from your armnchair is a great way to start. However, keep in mind that you won’t have the benefit of a live person to ask questions of.What should you look for in choose a boating instruction class? Here are a few of the components that the class should include:* Certified instructors with proper qualifications* Boat operation* Boat mechanics and maintenance* Boating safety* Navigation rules* Coast Guard requirements for safe boats* Proper seamanshipAnother great advantage to taking a boating instruction course is that it will help to qualify you for your boating license. Like getting a driver’s license, you will have to take a test to obtain your boat license. Having the advantage of a class that can teach you what you need to know will prepare you in the best way possible.Boating instruction will also tell you how to register your boat, best ways to store your boat, and how to ramp your boat – all things that the responsible skipper should know well. You can also get the best information on proper boat maintenance as well as basic engine repair.When you decide to captain your own vessel, boating instruction is a big part of becoming a responsible skipper. Get as much as you can as often as you can – even if you are an experienced boater. A refresher course along the way never hurts. Boating instruction is your way of telling everyone “I know what I’m doing, and you can trust me!”Boating SafetyThe most important part about responsible boating is to always practice good boating safety. The United States Coast Guard says that almost all boating accidents could have been prevented if the captain of the ship had taken a boating safety course prior to getting on the water. Boating safety is tantamount to responsible boating and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.There’s no way we can cover all aspects of boating safety in this short article. What we can do, however, is to give you some basics to go from in your quest to become a responsible boater. There’s nothing that can replace a good, certified boating safety course taught by a qualified individual, but everyone has to start somewhere!* Always know the safest distance to keep away from other boats. If someone is going slower than you are and you want to pass them, know how to do so safely and with the proper signaling. Boats don’t have turn signals, but you should know how to alert the other boater you will be passing them.* When you are putting your boat in the water, be sure you know how to do this quickly as well as safely. Boating safety has to be present even before you get your vessel on the water. Knowing how to do this the right way can make the difference between friendly and unfriendly boating.* If alcohol is part of your boating trip, be sure you are very conscious of what alcohol can do to your body when you are operating a fast-moving vehicle on top of a body of water. Alcohol use by the captain should occur in moderation above everything else. Most of the boating accidents that occur today can be directly attributed to alcohol as a contributing factor. Be smart when it comes to alcohol consumption on the water.* Make sure that all people on board your boat have access to a life vest. Never let a child be in your boat without wearing a life vest at all times. The number one cause of death on the water is due to drowning. That is caused by people falling overboard without a life vest. This is the number one boating safety rule stressed by all instructors.* Boating safety depends on everyone following general rules of etiquette when you are out on the water. While you can’t control what the other boaters do, you sure can control what you do. Always be polite on the water and know that you are doing your part to keep the waters safe.Like we said previously, every boater should really take a certified boating safety course. Besides making it easier for you to get your boating license, you will be a much better boater after you take a boating safety course.