Part of the plan to sell the house (which will hopefully happen very soon) and buy a boat to liveaboard and eventually cruise, entails learning how to operate the boat.
I have never owned nor operated a boat. I sailed once when I was a teen, in a 3 day race, but I was not alone. It was a group of 10 teens and a sail instructor. The sailboat was 25′. We were all supposed to partake in the race, but it so happened that I was the only one putting us in the lead. The others, wanting to win (teens can be very competitive) insisted that I do the sailing for the better part of the 3 day challenge. So, I did, and won, and with very little instruction. That is the extent of my boat operating experience.
The boat that we are planning on purchasing is a “big” boat relatively speaking, giving that I have zero experience; 65′, heavy displacement, power. The biggest challenge of our new lifestyle will be learning how to run the boat safely and successfully.
We (adult crew-my mom and I) have registered for every course that we can find in Massachusetts. Most of them don’t begin until September and October. However, I did find a Power Squadron Course in New Hampshire, America’s Boating Course-3rd Edition. It’s about an hour and a half drive, (not bad) that takes place on this Saturday. So, we decided to go ahead and take the ride.
It is an 8 hour course that is described as follows:
America’s Boating Course – 3rd Edition is all new with a completely updated manual, outstanding graphics, and two bonus computer disks. The course manual is divided into five chapters. The first four cover the required topics that all recreational boaters must know. In addition to the rules of the road, the four chapters cover the various types of boats, required safety equipment, navigation aids, lights and sounds, anchoring, communications afloat, adverse conditions, water sports safety, trailering, personal water craft safety, and knots and lines. The fifth chapter provides an introduction to digital charts and GPS waypoint navigation, a key skill for boating on larger lakes and rivers and coastal waters. This optional fifth chapter provides the background for more advanced piloting courses.
This will be our first step in a long haul of boater education and training. We are very excited to get started!!!