Cape Fear area boaters and others interested in fun on the water can learn how to enjoy boating safely and enhance their nautical skills by signing up for any or all of the four courses offered in Wilmington this spring by the non-profit Cape Fear Sail & Power Squadron. Enrollment for the courses, the first of which begins March 13, is open now.
Three advanced courses, Piloting, Seamanship and Marine Communications, expand on the subjects taught in the popular two-day basic course, America’s Boating Course®. The next session of the basic course will be taught at the downtown campus of the Cape Fear Community College on the mornings of April 28 and May 12. An optional on-the-water class, held aboard squadron members’ boats, will be scheduled after the course begins.
America’s Boating Course® meets the educational requirements for boat operation in all states. Under North Carolina law, all persons under age 26 must complete such a course to operate a boat or personal watercraft with a motor of 10 horsepower or greater. The course is taught by certified instructors of the squadron. Instruction covers boating safety, navigation, communications afloat, state and local regulations, anchoring, GPS use, piloting, personal watercraft, trailering, docking, underway responsibilities, adverse conditions and emergencies, and local knowledge of the Cape Fear River and Intracoastal Waterway.
The cost of the course is $35, which includes the America’s Boating Course 3rd Edition textbook and other materials. The optional on-the-water class will cost an additional $15. Graduates of the course are eligible for free six-month memberships in the Cape Fear Sail & Power Squadron. Member benefits include reduced rates on courses, discounts on products and services, and participation in cruises, other boating activities and social activities afloat and ashore.
The advanced courses are taught one weekend evening a week. Piloting, which takes 7 weeks, starts March 13. Seamanship, which begins April 4, and Marine Communications, which begins April 5, run for eight weeks.
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