If you are interested in operating a boat, make sure that you know all the requirements so that you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of the law. It is mandatory to adhere to all the requirements set by the Florida boat governing body in Florida. There has been a revision of the regulations as from 1st January 2010.
Boating is one of the many ways to help you relax and have a good time and bond with your family, and so if you are considering it, please ensure that you are aware of the guidelines as outlined below. And to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law you can get licensed at aceboater.com online.
Step #1 – Understand what you need.
A significant rule to note is that if you were born on or later than 1st January 1988, you must get a Florida Boating Identity License that will permit you to operate a motorized watercraft. However, if you are not in this age bracket, you will not be required to get the license. However, it is wiser that you do.
For you to operate a boat, you need to be at least 14 years of age. It is unlawful to allow underage children to take charge of speed boats due to the risk involved. Please note that you have to be an adult to qualify to rent a watercraft.
Step 2# – Take the boater education course
The next step is that you must take a short course to equip you with various skills while in the water. The training helps to meet the safety needs set by the State of Florida.
So what is the importance of taking the course?
- Research has revealed that taking the course has helped minimize injury and also save lives.
- You receive basic knowledge of operations and maintenance.
- Awareness of Florida state rules and regulations keeps you on the right side of the law since ignorance is no defense.
- You may receive subsidized boat insurance premiums but only if you qualify.
- The knowledge you get will help you handle emergencies the right way and avert a tragedy. You are free to enjoy the water while keeping it safe at the same time.
You can decide to take the online course offered by aceboater.com or any of the registered sites available, or you can take training from the comfort of your home. If you choose the home study option, you will receive books and manuals from the trainers.
On the other hand, for you to get personalized attention, consider joining a classroom. Please note that you will be required to attend the class either one full day or evening if you chose the classroom option. The one day class will take you eight hours to complete, while the evening class consists of 12 sessions.
Ensure that you prepare before you take the exam since 80% is the acceptable pass mark. After successful completion of the course and exam, you will receive a completion certificate. Minors are permitted to take the course since there is no minimum certification age, but authorities will not allow them to operate the boats.
Step #3 – Sending in your information
In addition to the certificate, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the regulatory authority, will be notified and issue your Boater Identification Card. However, this will be done only if Florida mandatory boater recognizes you.
In other instances, you have to personally send your certificate and personal details to receive your identity card. This card is non-renewable and is issued once unless when getting a replacement.
Boat rides can be a fun way to unwind and relax but can also be a source of misery unless these safety measures are observed:-
- Before stepping into the boats, ensure you have enough life-jackets for everyone on board. Confirmed research reveals that 80% of boat tragedies could be averted if life jackets were worn. Always ensure that the life jacket fits properly to prevent water from reaching the face. Purpose to carry out essential maintenance and ensure that inspection is done on life jackets to provide buoyancy.
- All boats should undergo necessary inspection and maintenance to avert technical challenges while in the water. Accidents happen due to negligence or trivializing technicalities that need attention. Boats should receive regular and proper maintenance and repairs done immediately. Poisonous gases occasionally accumulate, so ensure you know where the exhaust outlets are in your boat.
- Inexperience and lack of attention is another cause of accidents. It is wise to engage a qualified operator and gain confidence before embarking alone. Be vigilant and look out for other boats or people while at sea. Additionally, engage in speeds you can control and avoid boating next to other vessels.
- Steer clear of alcohol and drugs when operating a boat but if you have to drink, let someone else be in charge as this could make the difference between life and death.
- While boating, it is always advisable to carry a first aid kit in case of an accident. Ensure you have adequate supplies for everyone on board since medical attention may not be easy to access.
- Don’t forget to carry a tools kit to assist you when stuck in the middle of the water or in case of a technical hitch. Basic tool kit consisting of hammers, screwdrivers, extinguisher, and flashlights.
Boating is an excellent way of relaxing and bonding with family and friends as long as there is observation in all safety protocols. Try and contemplate a romantic holiday getaway with your better half or opt to take your family on a boating adventure. Create memorable moments for your family or discover new friends while on a boat excursion.
If you are a lover of adventure, take up boating as your new hobby. You may find yourself immensely enjoying it. Lack of knowledge on operating a boat is no excuse since there is a lot of information and help available.
With the competitive prices on the market, owning a boat is not an impossibility. Contemplate owning either a second hand one or a new vessel. The prices may surprise you since they are not as expensive as you imagined.