Category Archives: Boating Education Requirement

2016 Boating Safety Regulations: Updates

New and updated regulations on the requirements for: NACON2016
(1) operating a boat in Virginia waters; and
(2) having the correct safety equipment on board are detailed here:  2016_Boat Safety.

Because of these new regulations, particularly related to boat operator safety education, it is expected that law enforcement personnel will significantly increase their vessel boarding and inspections in our area.

Suddenly In Command

Dymer Creek Boaters,

Suddenly In Command boating safety class offered in the Northern Neck

Suddenly In Command boating safety class offered in the Northern Neck

US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 33 (Kilmarnock) will be presenting an important boating safety course, SUDDENLY IN COMMAND, in Kilmarnock, VA on Saturday 21 March.  This four-hour short course is primarily aimed at the spouses of boaters who may have a limited knowledge of boat operations and do not know what to do of the vessel’s skipper becomes incapacitated.  This course has the potential to save lives and should be taken by spouses, other family members, and friends of boaters.  This course will have all-female instructors who will cover emergency situations such as: (1) How to handle the boat; (2) How to get help; (3) Communications; (4) How to save your crew; and (5) Handling other emergency situations (engine failure, fires, storms, injuries, person overboard, etc.).

A poster providing details on this course is attached to this email.  Please download, printout this post poster and pass it on to members of your family, neighbors, and friends who may be able to benefit from this course.

If you have any questions on this course or any other local boating course, please get back to me.

David H. Herndon
* Chairman, DCEPA Boating Safety Committee
* US Merchant Marine 100-Ton Coastal Masters License (Power, Sail, Towing)
* US Power Squadrons (Port Captain – Chesapeake/Fleets Bay area)
* US Coast Guard Auxiliary (Vessel Examiner)
* Owner/Master, Wayward Wind (1978 Fisher 25 Motorsailer)

Home/Office: 804-435-2056

Virginia Boating Education Requirement



In 2007 Virginia established a boating safety education compliance requirement. The requirement is being phased-in over several years and applies to all Personal Watercraft (PWC) operators (“jet skis”) and operators of boats with motors of 10 hp and greater (including sailboats).

The schedule for compliance is as follows:

  • July 1, 2014    Age 45 and younger
  • July 1, 2015    Age 50 and younger
  • July 1, 2016:   All boaters
  • All PWC operators (a person must be 14 years or older to operate a PWC)

To be in compliance you must pass an approved boating safety course.  Check this link for information about classroom and approved online options.

Dave Herndon, a Dymer resident and boating safety authority, has identified local course options:

1.   A free Boating Education Course from the local flotilla of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGAux). Information on local courses can be found online here.  The Local (Kilmarnock area) CG Auxiliary Flotilla (Flotilla 33) website is hereWalter Montross is the Flotilla 33 Public Education Staff Officer and can set you up for a boating class in the Kilmarnock area.  Walter’s contact information is Home Phone: 580-2250; Cell: 724-3454; Email:

2.  Another free Boating Education Course option is from a local squadron of the United States Power Squadron (USPS). These courses can be found online here.  The local Northern Neck Sail and Power Squadron (NNSPS) website is found hereDave Cook is the NNSPS Education Officer for boating safety courses in the Kilmarnock area and can set you up for a boating class.  Dave’s contact information is Home Phone: 438-6029; Email:

Once you complete a course, you do not have to “register” with the DGIF.  Keep your course completion paperwork onboard with you. You may purchase an optional Lifetime Virginia Boating Safety Education Card. This is a credit card style wallet card available for a $10.00 fee. Click here for more information.

If you are checked by the Virginia Marine Police and you are not in compliance the penalty is a $100 fine.