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Getting into recreational boating isn't as easy as you would think - until now

by Scott Croft 21 May 17:10 UTC
Any of the on-water boat training courses can be set up for women only – a great way for the ladies to spend time learning together. © Chesapeake Boating Academy

The Chesapeake Bay may be a boating mecca, but getting into recreational boating isn't as easy as you would think. However, a new partnership between Chesapeake Boating Academy (CBA) and the national nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water makes it easy and affordable with a series of three-hour courses for beginner, women and experienced boat operators that start Tuesday, May 24, and run both weeknights and weekends through November. Courses are three hours long and priced at $199.

All instruction is offered aboard single engine, 21-foot powerboats that depart out of Wells Cove Marina in the Kent Narrows. Class size is limited to four students per vessel, ensuring each student gets sufficient time at the helm under the watchful eye of a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captain certified to teach the National Safe Boating Council modular curriculum.

Courses include Introduction to Powerboating, Precision Docking & Boat Handling, Open-Water Boat Handling and Open-Water Advanced Maneuvering. Women Making Waves, and all-women course, can be applied to any of the four modules of instruction. The minimum age to participate is 16 years old. Early registration is encouraged and there is a 3-person minimum for courses.

Woman-owned and operated, Chesapeake Boating Academy was established to empower boaters and promote safer, confident boating skills. "We create an inclusive learning environment where, regardless of experience, everyone can feel comfortable getting behind the wheel and improving their boat handling skills," said CBA owner, Capt. Sarah Lawrence. "Real-life practice and having fun is the best way to retain on-water knowledge and gain new skill sets," she added.

The CBA partnership is one of 14 locations across the U.S. with BoatUS Foundation on-water training programs. Sign-up can be found at BoatUS.org/On-Water.

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