Boating is a favorite activity for Delaware Countians, with a variety of reservoirs and lakes within easy driving distance.

This hobby, however, comes with a handful of rules and regulations designed to promote safety on the water. Specifically, if you were born after 1981 and you operate a boat greater than 10 horsepower, Ohio law requires you to pass a boating education course.

Currently that includes the Ohio Boating Education Course (OBEC) and classroom courses taught by US Power Squadron and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. It also includes some online courses and the OBEC Home Study Course.

A number of NASBLA-approved classroom courses are available in Ohio. Classroom courses are a minimum of 8 hours of classroom teaching. Some are scheduled all in one day (typically Saturdays); some are stretched out over a number of weeks (usually in the evening).

Most instructors use a variety of audio-visual teaching aids. Classes are geared to average learning ability (typically 5th grade reading level).

After you pass a classroom course, your instructor should forward your course record to ODNR Watercraft so that it can issue you a boater education card. It will typically take 1 to 2 weeks to get your card after your instructor forwards class information to ODNR.

There will be three Ohio Boating Education Course offerings in the County this spring, on March 23, April 20, and May 18, each of them taking place from 8:00 AM to 5: 00 PM at the HR Collins Classroom at the Alum Creek facility, 3307 South State Road. This is an 8-hour class in boating and water safety covering the fundamentals of safe boating: state-required equipment, boat operation laws, navigation Rules of the Road, basic safety and risk management, and aids to navigation. Classes are enhanced with videos, slides, overheads, handouts, and other visual aids.

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