Want to learn the basics of powerboating or brush up on your boat handling skills? The non-profit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water has teamed up with In-Command Seamanship Training in Wickford, RI to offer a choice of three fun and affordable on-water boat training courses taught aboard single-engine powerboats: Intro to Boating, Precision Docking & Boat Handling, and Open Water Boat Handling on April 6, 7, 27, 28, and May 11, 12, 18, 19, with additional dates to be added throughout the summer.

Learn boat handling basics during affordable three-hour on-water training courses on select weekends in April and May at In-Command Seamanship Training in Wickford, RI. © BoatUS

Each three-hour course is taught at In-Command’s location at 1 Phillips Street in Wickford. Both morning and afternoon weekend sessions are offered, with courses starting at 10:15 am, 10:30 am, 2:15 pm and 2:30 pm. Class size is limited to four students per vessel, ensuring each student gets sufficient time at the helm under the watchful eye of a U.S. Coast Guard-certified instructor.

The Intro to Boating course covers shifting and steering, basic docking, open-water handling and basic navigation. Precision Docking & Boat Handling covers 180-degree turn-arounds, docking on both port and starboard side, departing from a dock, and how to use the S.C.A.N. (Search, Concentrate, Analyze, and Negotiate) method. Open Water Boat Handling includes utilizing boat trim, displacement and planing modes, object avoidance, ferrying, and emergency stopping.

The goal of the BoatUS Foundation and In-Command Seamanship Training courses is to address the high costs typically associated with at-the-helm training, making hands-on boating education more accessible. Space is limited, and students must be 16 years of age or older. To sign up for a course or seek out others, go to BoatUS.org/On-Water. ■

Scott Croft at BoatUS contributed to this report.