A national safe boating campaign kicking off March 17-23 encourages boat operators to take a certified boat safety course.
Spring Aboard – Take a Boating Education Course wants boaters to get educated prior to the start of the boating season.
State Game and Fish Department education coordinator Brian Schaffer recommends all boaters take the state’s boating basics course, however, North Dakota state law requires only youngsters ages 12-15 must pass the course before they operate a boat or personal watercraft with at least a 10 horsepower motor by themselves.
In addition, some insurance companies give adult boat owners who pass the course a discount on boat insurance.
The course is available for home-study from the Game and Fish Department’s Bismarck office. Two commercial providers also offer the course online, and links to those sites are found on the department’s website at gf.nd.gov.
While the home-study course is free, students will be charged a fee to take it online. The online provider charges for the course, not the Game and Fish Department. The fee stays with the online provider.
Upon completion of the online test, and providing a credit card number, students will be able to print out a temporary certification card, and within 30 days a permanent card will be mailed.
The course covers legal requirements, navigation rules, getting underway, accidents and special topics such as weather, rules of the road, laws, life saving and first aid.