If you boat and fish in Suffolk County, NY, you have probably heard that new boating laws will be going into effect on November 6, 2013. The new regulations will require those who drive boats to take an approved boating safety course, pass an exam, and carry their boating safety certificate when operating a vessel on county waters. This shall come in addition to existing New York State boater education laws.
In order to promote awareness and compliance with these new laws, the Boat Owners Association of The United States (also known as BoatUS) is distributing free, one-page fact sheets through six Suffolk County West Marine Stores. These include the Huntington, West Babylon, West Islip, Patchogue, Port Jefferson and Riverhead locations. They are also available for download by visiting www.BoatUS.com.
According to BoatUS Government Affairs correspondent, Nicole Wood, BoatUS wants to take a proactive stance to help Suffolk boaters and their members “understand the requirements so they have plenty of time to take a National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boating safety course.” She also prefaced that a “free” BoatUS Foundation Online Boating Safety Course now being offered satisfies the new requirements for those 18 and older.” Boaters can enroll for this free course by visiting BoatUS.org.
If you rather take a traditional 6- to 8-hour classroom course, that will work, too. Fees for these courses range from $30 to $100 but this method of instruction does off the benefit of hands on tutelage.
For a list of NASBLA-approved Suffolk County courses visit: www.nysparks.com.