CT Safe-Boating Courses for 2015

Illustration by New England Boating
Illustration by New England Boating

Connecticut law requires that residents of the state, or persons owning a CT-registered boat, obtain a Safe Boating Certificate, issued by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, in order to operate a vessel in state waters, fresh or salt.

A Safe Boating Certificate (SBC) will allow an individual to operate any recreational vessel registered in Connecticut except a personal watercraft (“Jet Ski” type vessel) in Connecticut waters. A Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO) will allow an individual to operate any recreational vessel including a personal watercraft.

Any person required to have a Safe Boating Certificate or a Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation must have the certificate onboard at all times while operating the vessel.

Certification Requirements

In order to obtain a Safe Boating Certificate, you must successfully complete an approved basic boating course (see below for course schedule). Applicants for a Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation must successfully complete a combination Safe Boating and Personal Watercraft course, or receive a passing grade on an equivalency exam administered by the DEEP.

Equivalency Exam

The DEEP Equivalency Examination was designed for the experienced boater who knows the rules and regulations for safe boating on all Connecticut waters. The examination covers all aspects of a basic boating course including: general information and safety topics, Connecticut State law, trailering, waterways, canoes, motorboats, sailboats, PWCs, rowboats, etc. A score of 80% or better is required to pass. A score of 78% or below is a failing score and the examinee would then be required to take an 8-hour course that is approved by the State of Connecticut and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

No one textbook covers all areas of the exam, but many of the topics are covered in the Connecticut Boater’s Guide.

The examination fee is $75. Testing is by appointment only.

Certification Reciprocity

Effective January 3, 2007, any person who possesses a Safe Boating or Personal Watercraft Operation Certificate issued by a state having an agreement of reciprocity with the Commissioner of CT DEEP (this currently includes Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and New Hampshire) may now present such certificate as evidence to satisfy the educational requirements for issuance of a Connecticut Safe Boating Certificate or Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Boating Certification

 

Combination Safe Boating/Personal Watercraft Classes

These classes are 10 hours long. Most run 2 weeks, 2 nights per week and qualify a person for the Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation.

Personal Watercraft Classes

Personal Watercraft Classes are for individuals who would like to upgrade the Safe Boating Certificate to the Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation.

Canoe and Kayak Safety Classes

Canoe and Kayak Safety classes are voluntary. They are about 2 hours long and are designed for beginning paddlers.

View the full schedule of boating-safety classes HERE: