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capnsamuels 09-30-2006 10:07 AM

Coast Guard Certification
I plan on starting sailing lessons next summer.
How many hours of instruction are required
for Coast Guard Certification?
Is it a set number of hours, or, simply a
completed class (like the three-five day)
offered at sailing schools
Will I automatically receive the certification
when the school is over with, or, must I go
to the Coast Guard and test for this Certification'

camaraderie 09-30-2006 10:54 AM

Cap'n...there is no coast guard certification. Perhaps you are referring to the classroom sailing course run by the CG Auxilliary in many places. This is an excellent course and at the end of it you do get a certificate which is useful if you want to charter a boat. More teaches you the rules of the road and basics of sailing and coastal navigation...but there is no "on water" component. You don't "need" any type of certificate to go sailing.
The coast guard captains course (6-pack) is more geared to those who plan to take on charter customers or drive boats professionally. It is not for beginning sailors.

SailinJay 09-30-2006 11:33 AM

It's been a number of years since I took the basic and intermediate ASA sailing courses, but they were three days and two days, respectively. They covered all the basics--the terminology, essential knots, rules of the "road," parts of the boat, use of a tiller, how to set and trim/ease sails, man-overboard drills, docking, anchoring. We would start out in the classroom for a hour or two, then take the boat out to apply the lesson.

capnsamuels 09-30-2006 01:24 PM

Thanks guy's
So as I understand it, I go to the school
and then all I have to do is rack up experience
there is no license I am required to have to go
sailing, just a boat and desire to go sailing. CORRECT?

sailingdog 09-30-2006 02:16 PM

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.

camaraderie 09-30-2006 09:24 PM

SD...what state(s) do you know of that require anything of adults to drive a boat?

PBzeer 09-30-2006 10:27 PM

I believe Alabama has a state licensing requirement now, and think New Jersey has or is getting ready to have one. Can't say for sure, but seems I remember reading this.

sailingdog 09-30-2006 10:30 PM


Might want to look at this web page. Currently, it says that only Alabama requires a boating license, but there have been articles in several magazines recently, that have mentioned changes that are being implemented in some other states, so I can't say how up-to-date the web site is. This is an area of law that is currently under transition or discussion in many states.

Might also want to check the boating safety blog:

kjsailingSpring 10-01-2006 12:13 AM

NJ requires a boater safety course
Just a little FYI...NJ now requires a coast guard boater safety course.

Here is a link that takes you to each state's boating/maritime law representative's site. From there you should be able to navigate throught their website to find what you need for your state.

camaraderie 10-01-2006 04:17 PM

Thanks guys...I didn't realize ther had been so much legislative encroachment...must be those damn powerboaters!

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