Friday, December 1, 2023

If you’re planning on operating a boat this summer, you might need to take this course

(WYDaily/File photo)
(WYDaily/File photo)

Those planning on operating a motorboat or personal watercraft this summer need to be prepared.

All boat and watercraft operators are required to have proper certification on board under Virginia state law, including a boating safety course completion card.

Next month, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Williamsburg Flotilla 67 is hosting a free, in-person Virginia boating safety education course.

Specifically, those operating a jet ski, Sea Doo, Wave Runner or motorboat with a motor greater than 10 horsepower are required to take the course.

The course will be at the James City County Recreation Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 18. There is a one-hour lunch break.

Advance registration is required, which can be done by visiting a registration webpage or emailing Dan McKinney at

The course can also be taken online.

The certificate is valid for life, meaning boaters only need to take it once.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary also inspects motor boats and paddle craft for safety. Vessel inspection stickers are valid for one year, so boat owners need to get watercraft re-inspected annually.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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