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 Windsong Dockbox: Windsong Dockbox - November 2013

Windsong Dockbox
By Capt. Bruce & Capt. Wendy Longman

While many people think the end of summer means the end of boating, this statement couldnít be any further from the truth! Autumn and winter are some of the best boating, fishing and shelling in our area. But we already knew that!

In this issue we want to discuss the importance of safe boating. In Florida, anyone born on or after January 1, 1988, who operates a vessel powered by 10 horsepower or more must pass an approved boater safety course and have in his/her possession photographic identification and a boater safety identification card.

Here in Gulf Harbors,

the Power Squadron teaches courses several times throughout the year. The classes are generally 8 to 12 hours of classroom instruction and cover a myriad of topics. The cost is anywhere from $4575. You may contact them directly at:
Another alternative is BOAT US. You can take your Boater Safety Course for FREE online at their website.

A person driving the boat is exempt from this requirement if there is another person on board who was born before January 1, 1988 or is at least 18 years of age and holds a boater education I.D. card. This person must be attendant to and take responsibility for the safe operation of the vessel and for any violation that occurs during the operation.

You are also required to take a Boater Safety Course if convicted of a criminal boating violation, any boating infraction resulting in a reportable boating accident, or two non-criminal boating safety violations within a 12-month period. You must attend and successfully complete an approved boating safety course and file proof with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The violatorís privilege to operate a vessel in the state will be suspended until proof of course completion is filed.

Whether or not your state requires a boater license, all boaters have a responsibility to learn about boat operation, communications, navigation, and life-saving techniques before taking to the water. An educated boater is a safer boater!

The advantages of possessing of a Safe Boaterís Certificate:
- Oftentimes a discount on your personal boatís insurance
- Itís valid for life
- Itís recognized by 31 other states
- Makes a great ice scraper when visiting friends and family up north

Even though you may have been boating for years, weíre confident youíll learn something new by taking the course!

Donít forget, email your questions to

Posted On Sunday, November 3, 2013

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