A Safe Boating Course will be presented at Darien’s Noroton Yacht Club, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4, continuing on consecutive Tuesday evenings for six classes, a review and an exam.

The course will be presented by members of the Darien Sail & Power Squadron. It is the last presentation of the course for this boating season.

“The focus in this part of Long Island Sound is on basic coastal boating skills, significantly more than the minimum requirements set by the State in their one session classes. This is a ‘course’ and not just a ‘class’ on State regulations,” notes Geoffrey Axt, Commander of the Squadron. “We can say it covers the State requirements for the Certificate, but then it also covers “Radio, Ropes, and Charts” - which is a short way of saying that there are many major topics that can be covered when you have a course that meets over a period of weeks. We use “Radio, Ropes and Charts” to call attention to the fact that while these topics are not covered in the short State classes, the Squadron believes they are vital to good seamanship in our area of Long Island Sound.”

“We are also very pleased to announce that members of this course will be included in the Squadron’s “Spring Refresher” —a morning of “On-The-Water” activities scheduled for May 18,” added Mark Dam, Executive Officer of the Squadron and also an instructor for the course.

“This new program will allow students to actually practice what they learned in the classroom - the use of charts, radios, lines, anchoring, as much as time will allow.” Dam also noted that this new program mixes classroom and on-the-water activities, and that it has become very popular as students are assigned to boats in small groups, with everyone taking part in the exercises. “We again expect about ten boats on the water, with approximately 40 students. We know that the weather is going to be great in May when this happens — this is a great way to spend a Saturday morning with the class.”

The course covers basic boat handling and seamanship, 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. Graduates of the course are awarded a diploma that qualifies for the Safe Boating Certificate, along with the Coastal Boater Endorsement and the new Safe Water-skiing Endorsement.

The Coastal Boater Endorsement recognizes students who complete courses that are more comprehensive than the minimum requirements.

The state’s Safe Boating Certificate regulations apply to all operators of vessels registered in the state, regardless of age.

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

Although pre-registration is not necessary, class materials may be reserved by filling in the form at www.dsps.darien.org or by phoning (203) 656 -1129 for further information.

You may also send an e-mail to dspsct@gmail.com to receive a schedule of classes listing the topics that will be discussed on each date.