The good news is that more and more Americans, often seeking an escape from the pandemic, bought powerboats last year than ever before. The bad news is that at least some (many?) of them were new to boating, and were not familiar with the Rules of the Road or even basic boat-handling.
Now the Brunswick Corp. is doing something about that. Brunswick, the corporate parent of Mercury Marine, Bayliner, Boston Whaler, Crestliner, Cypress Cay, Harris, Heyday, Lowe, Lund, Princecraft, Quicksilver, Rayglass, Sea Ray, Thunder Jet and Uttern boats, plus the Boating Services Network and the Freedom Boat Club, just announced it is launching BoatClass, an on-water training program designed to teach boating safety and help owners become more confident at the helm.
“Safety isn’t a trend, it is an everyday focus for us and our consumers,” said Brunswick VP Bijoy Jha. “We are welcoming new boaters into our industry every day, and it is imperative that they have access to the best safety and boating education experience.”
BoatClass offers two three-hour courses: basic and intermediate. They are led by a Certified U.S. Coast Guard Captain, and consist of 100 percent on-water training, including such basics as shifting, stopping, backing, docking, anchoring, and returning to the dock.
The first training sessions start at Marker 24 Marina on Merritt Island, Florida, and then they will expand throughout the U.S. At the Marker 24 classes, all boats will be disinfected before and after class; face masks are required. The boats have four seats per class. Costs are $149 for the first seat and $50 for each additional seat, or you can reserve the entire boat for $299. Read more: