America’s Boating Course – open to the public

The America’s Boating Course presented by SPSPS is available to anyone 12 or older.

Instruction is free. Cost of the text and materials is $45.00 plus $10 for each additional family member.
Classes are held once a week (2 hours each Monday), for 7 weeks. The 2017 course start dates are: 23 January, 27 March, 14 August, and 16 October.

If you are not able to attend classes, online and at-home study is also available from USPS for $39.95 plus S&H. Click here for details.

Completion of this course will enable the student to skipper a boat with confidence. Because most skippers will attend only one safety course, we believe it should be as comprehensive as possible. Plus, graduates are eligible to join the squadron and take advantage of all the other great educational opportunities afforded to SPSPS members.

Graduates receive a Florida Boating Safety Education ID Card and may qualify for insurance discounts.

This course covers

  • Boat Terms & Types
  • Boat Handling
  • VHF Radio
  • Required Safety Equipment
  • Nautical Charts and Chart Symbols
  • Latitude & Longitude
  • The Rules of the Road
  • Basic Piloting Techniques (such as course plotting and dead reckoning)
  • Boat Trailering
  • Personal Watercraft and
  • State and Federal Regulations.

All instructors are volunteers and the student to instructor ratio is 5:1. The course is approved by the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and insurance companies traditionally provide discounts to graduates. Graduates also qualify for the Florida Boater's Education Card which is required for those under the age of 21.

Six sessions are used to cover the course material; the seventh session is a proctored final exam. Sessions run from 7 PM to 9 PM and are held at the Sailing Center, 250 2nd Avenue SE, on Demens Landing in downtown St. Petersburg. 

Payment may be made by check, cash, or credit card (Mastercard, Visa, Discover, Diner's Club) at the first session.

Students must also provide their own pens/pencils.

Each person (including spouse, children, etc.) who will be taking the course MUST register individually. This is to guarantee an available seat in the course AND so that you will receive the appropriate certificates at the completion of the course.

Register online here or email

2018 course start dates

  • 8 January - CLOSED
  • 19 March - CLOSED
  • 4 June - Register now
  • 10 September - Not yet open

Class location

St. Pete Sailing Center
250 2nd Ave SE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701