Darien to offer virtual coastal boating course

A new virtual boating course is open for registration this month in Darien.

A new virtual boating course is open for registration this month in Darien.

Contributed photo

DARIEN — A virtual safe boating course will be offered by the Darien Sail & Power Squadron beginning Feb. 23, and continuing on consecutive Tuesday evenings for five classes with a review and an exam.

The course is via Zoom, but may include an on-the-water session later in the spring. Graduates of the course are awarded a diploma that qualifies for the Connecticut Safe Boating Certificate, which is a state boating license, along with the coastal boater endorsement and the new safe waterskiing endorsement. The coastal boater endorsement recognizes students who complete courses that are more comprehensive than the minimum state requirements.

Mark Dam, the commander of the Darien Squadron, noted that boating activity was limited last year, but said the prospects are better for this summer.

“We know that there will be many new boaters anxious to learn about safe and practical boating, while they earn their Connecticut boating certificates as well. The squadron’s boating course does all this, and does it very well,” he said.

Instructor Peter Adler said the focus in the Long Island Sound area is on coastal boating skills.

“This is a ‘course’ and not just a ‘class’ on state regulations,” Adler said.

The course also covers radio, ropes and charts, which Adler is “vital to good seamanship on Long Island Sound.”

The virtual course will cover seamanship and basic boat handling, equipment and regulations, an introduction to charts and aids to navigation, basic piloting, and navigation rules. The course is directed at general, practical issues of interest to all boaters, and is not targeted to either power or sail.

The cost of the $95 class includes the text book and charts, with significant discounts available for multiple members of the same household.

Registration and payment of the fee for the course can be found at www.dspsct.org. Those interested can also email to dsps.ct@gmail.com for more information.