America's Boating Course (ABC) ~ A Basic Boating Safety Course

If you are interested in an exciting, in-depth boating safety course, check out America's Boating Course. This course can be taken as a classroom course or as an interactive, PC-based home study course for people whose schedule and obligations would make it difficult to attend a classroom course.

Many boat insurance companies will offer discounts on boating insurance to boaters who successfully complete America's Boating Course. And, this beginner boating class will give you the knowledge needed to obtain a Texas boater's license.  (The Texas boater's license is required for anyone born after Aug. 31, 1993, who operates a boat over 15 hp, a PWC, or a sailboat over 14 feet long in Texas.)

DSPS Offers ABC & Texas Boater's License Exam


Dallas Sail & Power Squadron offers the classroom course, including a proctored exam for the Texas Boater's License.

Click HERE to see a list of upcoming courses.

Upcoming Courses


Boating Safety Topics
The boat and water safety course topics include:
  • 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.
  • 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 (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.