The First Step!

Taking a Boating Safety Course is the best first step in preparing yourself to become an accomplished boater. While I took all of my courses with my husband, I believe that it can be advantageous to take the course by yourself. While I am not familiar with each of your relationships, many if not most function with the man acting as protector, especially in a male dominated sport like boating. Therefore, when we women take the course with our significant others, we have a tendency to listen with the ears of a secondary or supportive person instead of the primary and responsible individual. To truly learn how to become the skipper of your vessel, you need to absorb the material as though you are going to be in charge, the actual decision maker.

When my husband and I lived aboard we did become partners, even though I knew that he was the more equal partner! My real power came into play when I was not strong enough to handle the lines on our live aboard and I had to dock the 48’ beauty. Docking the vessel, in my opinion the most difficult part of maneuvering the boat, put me (at first reluctantly, then hesitantly, and finally confidently) in a position of responsibility that forced me to absorb the finite details I would have overlooked in a totally secondary role. Therefore, with or without the blessing of your significant other, take the course as though you were going to be alone on the vessel.  I don’t want to suggest that you take over the control of the boat; as a matter of fact I have seen some women berate their significant others in a very distasteful way. I am just trying to have you create the mindset that will allow you to digest the subtleties of the subject matter so that you know what is going on and, if needed, can bring the boat back safely to shore in an emergency.  This will reward you with a great feeling of self assurance and will make you and your significant other safer.