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Flotilla 41-4 Boating Classes

This U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary boating course provides instruction to boaters at all levels, from beginner to advanced.  Experienced and knowledgeable instructors committed to the highest standards of the U.S. Coast Guard teach our classes. Upon completion of the course and a successful completion of an exam, participants will receive a certificate of competency. 


NOTE: In Illinois anyone born on or after January 1, 1998, must take a boating safety class to operate motorized water vessel.  

Wisconsin does not accept the US Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Safety Card as proof of having taken a class. Classes taught by the Auxiliary in Wisconsin may be eligible to get a State Issued card. Check with a Wisconsin flotilla for more information. For this reason, we only accept students in IL, MI, and IN.



2024 Classes Available

All classes will be held virtually.  Cost is $40 per person.

The cost of the class is $40. NOTE: You must be at least 12 years old within 90 days of the class date to take this class, and your card will be dated for your 12th birthday.  Once you register you will receive more details via email within a few days and also a reminder before class so please ensure you enter the correct email address. You will also receive a PayPal request for payment before the class date. 

All classes are held from 8:30a-5pm Central Time and will be held via Zoom. Each student needs to have video and their own device. 

Please complete registration form below for each attendee. A confirmation email will be sent with payment instructions. Thank you!



This beginner boating class will give you the knowledge needed to obtain a boat license or safety certification in many states. Many boat insurance companies will offer discounts on boating insurance to boaters who successfully complete About Boating Safely.


Introduction to Boating - Types of power boats; sailboats; outboards; paddle boats; houseboats; different uses of boats; various power boating engines; jet drives; family boating basics.

Boating Law - Boat registration; boating regulation; hull identification number; required boat safety equipment; operating safely and reporting accidents; protecting the marine environment; Federal boat law; state boating laws; personal watercraft requirements.

Boat Safety Equipment - Personal flotation devices ("life jackets"); fire extinguishers; sound-producing devices; visual-distress signals; dock lines and rope; first aid kit; anchors and anchor lines; other boating safety equipment. About Boating Safely

Safe Boating - Bow riding; alcohol and drug abuse; entering, loading, and trimming a boat; fueling portable and permanent tanks; steering with a tiller and a wheel; docking, undocking and mooring; knots; filing a float plan; checking equipment, fuel, weather and tides; using charts; choosing and using an anchor; safe PWC handling; general water safety.

Navigation - The U.S. Aids to Navigation system; types of buoys and beacons; navigation rules (sometimes referred to as right-of-way rules); avoiding collisions; sound signals; PWC "tunnel vision."

Boating Problems - Hypothermia; boating accidents and rescues; man overboard recovery; capsizing; running aground; river hazards; strainers: emergency radio calls; engine problems; equipment failures; carbon monoxide (CO); other boating and PWC problems.

Trailering, Storing and Protecting Your Boat - Types of trailers; trailer brakes, lights, hitches, tires, and bearings; loading, balancing, and towing a trailer; towing (and backing) a trailer; boat launching and retrieving; boat storage and theft protection; launching, retrieving and storing a PWC.

Hunting and Fishing, Water-skiing and River Boating - Carrying hunting gear and weapons in a boat; fishing from a boat; water-skiing safety guidelines and hand signals; water-skiing with a PWC; navigating rivers, and other boating tips.