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So, you bought a boat. Or, maybe you’re thinking of buying a boat in the near future. Do you feel confident enough to take your new vessel for a spin at this very moment? We receive several inquiries throughout the year asking, ‘which class is best for me?’ As the only U.S. Power-boating and IYT accredited and certified boating school in the area, we value boating education! We’ll help you prepare for the basics and unexpected issues before hitting the water.

Whether you are just getting started with the basics or would like a refresher or advanced course, here is your guide to education:

ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION:

Safe Powerboat Handling Class
Learn how to operate and handle powerboats on the water and also the basic preparations before getting on the water. If you own a boat or are looking to operate a boat with direct thrust (outboard engine(s) or stern drive(s)) then this is the class for you. The boat handling skills that you will learn in this class will directly translate to over.
This is a 2-day course.
Certificate earned: US Powerboating Safe Powerboat Handling

Basic Powerboat Cruising
If your boat has twin true inboard engines, meaning they have a through hull shaft with a prop and rudder underneath the boat, then this is the class for you. You will learn all of the same classroom materials taught in the Safe Powerboat Handling class. In addition, you’ll learn all of the on-the-water driving skills and techniques that you’ll need to be successful when operating in close quarters and docking your boat.
Certificate earned: US Powerboating Basic Cruising

Marine Radio Operations
This is one of those small details that so many overlook – until they need to use it. The VHF radio will be your best friend, should an emergency pop up. You’ll learn how to effectively communicate with the Coast Guards, Marine Police as well as other boats.

ADVANCED EDUCATION:

Coastal Cruising and Night Navigation
Prerequisites: Basic Powerboat Cruising

This course will focus on risk management skills and technical knowledge needed to cruise beyond the Chicago waters. If you plan to take your vessel out for an extended excursion, this course is for you. Many of our graduates from this class have gone on to charter boat in places like the British Virgin Islands, Croatia, Belize and more.

Certificates earned:
US Powerboating Inshore Powerboat Cruising certificate
US Powerboating Night Operations

Locks & River Passage Making
Now that you know how to operate your vessel, let’s make sure you know how to navigate through Chicago’s river locks. There are several rules to follow and this can be tricky to go into uneducated, especially in high-traffic situations. Don’t be one to get stuck in a stressful situation, unprepared!

Play Pen Anchoring
Being one of Chicago’s hottest summer destinations, it’s best to go into this area feeling cool and confident. This is a highly populated area and we’ll teach you how to safely anchor a boat with extreme precision.

PRIVATE LESSONS:

If you are not the classroom type and would still like to build up your boating knowledge – or maybe you just want a refresher session – we offer private lessons! This is great for students who want lessons aboard their own boat or simply want the 1:1 attention that they may require.
Ask us about a private lesson here!

Any other questions? Feel free to reach out to Captain Scott Souders any time at scott@chicagoyachtworks.com or at 312.666.6670.

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