You learned the "rules of the road" before you sat behind the wheel of a car, and you should do the same before taking the helm. Just like studying to get your driver’s license, it is very important to have the boating information and certifications you need to be a safe boater before you hit the water.
In fact, a number of states require powerboat operators to take a boater’s education course and carry a license or certificate proving successful course completion any time they're on the water. By consulting a safe boating guide and obtaining the required certificates beforehand, you not only protect yourself and family but other boaters on the water.
To learn the basics of boat safety, review our 12 Safe Boating Tips.
Before you leave the dock, you'll need to ensure you have the right safety gear and equipment on your boat, as required by regulation.