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Boating Courses Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions about Flotilla 77's About Safe Boating Course

Do I need to take the class? Connecticut requires that most power boaters hold a state Safe Boating Certificate, with endorsements for personal watercraft and towing passengers. The Connecticut certificate is good for life, and is accepted by several other states. If in doubt, consult Connecticut's FAQs to answer most questions.

How long is the Safe Boating Certificate valid? It is good for life. Since it never expires, it is called a “certificate” rather than a license.

Do I need to own a boat? No boating experience is needed. Many people obtain the certificate just in case they ever need to pilot a boat.

What if I have a U.S. Coast Guard OUPV or master's license? You may still need to take the course to tow water skiers, inner tubes, or other boats with passengers aboard. Our course includes the Connecticut Safe Waterskiing Endorsement, which covers towing.

How long is the class? We are required to teach eight hours; we do this in one day, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. including lunch and the required final examination. Class starts at exactly 8 a.m., so please arrive a few minutes early.

Where is the class held? At Flotilla 77 in Fairfield; directions are available on the menu at left.

What is the cost? $70, non refundable, including lunch. Payable by cash or check. Sorry, no discounts for groups, and we cannot accept credit cards by telephone or email. In addition, Connecticut separately charges a one-time $50 fee to issue the Safe Boating Certificate; this is paid on the state web site after you pass the examination.

What if I must cancel? The fee is non-refundable; if you reschedule at least 24 hours before the class date, we can usually accommodate you in the next session. Generally, we hold one class per month during the Connecticut boating season, March to October; there is no August class.

What is the lunch? Sandwiches and drinks; the sandwich choices are usually ham, turkey, tuna and vegetarian. You can bring your own lunch and snacks, but the class fee is the same. If you decide to leave for lunch, you are responsible for returning by the announced time.

Is there a minimum age? No, but students should be able to pass a middle-school level exam. Preteens must be accompanied by an adult during the entire class; preteens without a responsible adult will not be allowed to remain in the class.

Can anyone take the class? Yes, but Connecticut requires a driver license or Social Security number to obtain the Safe Boating Certificate; this is not a Coast Guard requirement.

How to I prepare? A Connecticut Conservation ID number is required to obtain a Connecticut safe boating certificate. Register here for the free CCID, and provide the number when you sign up for the safe boating course; if you hold a Connecticut fishing or hunting permit, you already have a CCID and it is shown on the license. The Coast Guard does not issue the CCID (sometimes called a “DEEP number”), and Connecticut requires a driver license, state ID card or Social Security number to obtain one.

When do I get my Safe Boating Certificate? Within a week of passing the exam, the state of Connecticut will have your Connecticut Safe Boating Certificate and Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation ready for purchase. You can print it yourself anytime after paying Connecticut's one-time fee on their web site.