Boating Education

Commitment to safe, responsible behavior and constructive actions concerning the use of Kansas aquatic resources

Any person between the ages of 12 and 20 who wishes to operate a vessel (PWC, power boat, sailboat) without direct supervision must complete an approved boater education course. Direct supervision means being able to take over in case of an emergency. For a PWC, this means on the same vessel not riding next to it. The supervising adult must be at least 18 years of age and either have completed a boater education course or be exempt because they are over they age of 21. No one under the age of 12 may operate a vessel without supervision regardless of boater education certification.

Boating education in Kansas is dedicated to assist all individuals in developing awareness, skills, and commitment to safe, responsible behavior and constructive actions concerning the use of Kansas' aquatic resources. Courses are organized and conducted by volunteer instructors in many communities across the state. To maintain U.S. Coast Guard recognition the states course must be a minimum of eight hours in length. The goal of the program is to reduce boating accidents and violations while promoting legal, courteous and responsible boating practices. Boating safety and responsibility are stressed throughout the course. Additional topics include ethics and courtesy, accident prevention, general information about boats, safe operating procedures, required safety equipment, boating laws and general boating safety concerns.

Courses are offered in three different formats: traditional classroom, home study, or internet based. Traditional instruction is provided by trained volunteers, KDWPT Natural Resource Officers, and members of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. Home study and online internet course work is provided by approved agents of the State of Kansas.