Opening Day of Seattle’s boating season is May 7th and another hot summer on the water looms before us. Make sure that you are equipped with a Boater’s Education Card! All boaters born after December 31, 1954 in Washington State are required to possess a Washington State Boater Education Card if they operate a boat with 15 horsepower or greater. There are exemptions to this requirement (listed in RCW 79A.60.640), but let’s just say that unless you are a commercial fisherman or a member of the U.S. Coast Guard with a marine license, you’ll need a Boater’s Card.
How do you get your Card? Go to http://parks.state.wa.us/442/Mandatory-Boater-Education/ for approved boater education classes and step by step instructions for obtaining the card. You can attend classes or take an on-line course in the privacy of your home or on a laptop at the beach.
Once you get your card, you must carry it with you while boating and have it available for inspection by an enforcement officer. If you don’t have a driver’s license, can you get a boater’s card? Yes. Even if your driver’s license is suspended or revoked you can still obtain a boater’s card. Driving a boat is still deemed less dangerous than driving a car apparently.
Planning on a paddleboard, kayak or canoe adventure this summer? Although paddle sports do not require a boater’s card, all participants are responsible for learning their state laws and regulations. Be safe and be smart on the water. Learn more at https://www.boat-ed.com/paddlesports/.