Boating Basics Online - Basic Boating Safety Course
Chapter 6 - Operations

Boat Operator Responsibility

It is the skipper’s responsibility, as operator, to take charge of his/her own proficiency by taking a boating safety course. The operator should also have a constant awareness of weather, water and other environmental conditions to ensure the safety of his crew and his passengers.

Operators of recreational vessels should continue to invest in their own education beyond the boating basics. You should continue to learn to be a better boater - no matter how much boating experience you have, there's always more to learn.

Prior to departure, you should review emergency equipment and procedures including:

Three quarters of all reported boating accidents and half of all fatalities involve operator controllable factors.

Inform your crew and passengers of the rules of safe boating and try to insure that at least one other person aboard is capable of operating the vessel in the event of an emergency.


You should explain and/or demonstrate the following during loading of passengers and gear:


Everyone who uses or enjoys the waterways of our country, whether boating, walking along the shoreline or actually living on the water’s edge has the same rights to enjoy the tranquillity of the water. Boaters should respect the rights of others who live or play on the shoreline. You should not disturb private property owners by docking on their land. You should be careful about the amount of wake that you are leaving when operating close to shore. You are responsible for any damage you cause with your wake. Control your speed and obey speed limit signs.

Because sound carries farther over water than over land, especially at night, you should keep voices, music and other noises to a minimum if anchored near a waterfront property.

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