Coast Guard to offer boating skills and seamanship class

by Samantha Santana
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach Coast Guard Auxiliary will be offering boating skills and seamanship classes to both experienced and novice boaters starting during January 2014. 

The North Carolina Boating Law requires any person 26 years of age or younger to have completed a boating safety course to operate a power boat. 

Public education officer Paul Best explained that there is a completion certificate. 

“For boaters under 26, it does satisfy the state education requirements for operating a motorboat,” Best said. “Our course does meet those requirements.” 

Flotilla 10-01 Commander Barry Rice said in addition to providing a certificate, the class also provides basic boating education, covering topics such as selecting the right boat and equipment, rules of the waterways, boat handling, elementary navigation, weather and communication. 

“It’s a basic boating class,” Rice said. “The course will teach you how to plot courses, how to use a GPS … basically, to make sure your boat doesn’t roll away. We try to give students a good understanding.”

Classes are open for pre-registration to both experienced and non-boaters alike. Best recommends that spouses of boaters also attend for safety reasons.

“Spouses are more than welcomed,” he said. “It is a great idea for significant others to take the course as well in case anything may happen.” 

Classes are divided into a five-week course on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6:30-9 p.m. starting Jan. 27 through Feb. 27 at Cape Fear Community College’s Burnett building. The fee is $40, which includes a textbook and instruction materials. 

For more information or to pre-register, contact Auxiliary members Barry Rice at 910-515-1685 or Paul Best at 910-686-5546 or visit the website at 

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