No license is required in the United States at a federal level for recreational boaters....some states are starting to require that you pass a test and get a certification or license for them at a state level...I don't believe RI has done that yet though. You don't even have to go to the school or get ASA/USAA certifications unless you are interested in chartering bareboats.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.