Pandemic Leads to Spike in Online Boater Education



The Water Sports Foundation recently reported a notable surge in boater education across the country, as well as an increase in online education offerings. The surge and increase in online boater education is a direct result of the rise in boating and first-time boaters due to the pandemic, as well as efforts by various boat safety organizations to offer virtual learning and certification options in the midst of the pandemic.

“We are pleased to report that demand for boater education is on the rise,” says Water Sports Foundation Executive Director Jim Emmons. “With 415,000 first-time boat buyers taking to the waterways and traditional classroom instruction temporarily stymied in 2020 and much of 2021 due to Covid mandates, there was initial concern that new boaters might not have access to critical boating safety education. However, an informal survey of several leading boating safety education providers conducted by the Water Sports Foundation has revealed a positive uptick in instructional enrollment along with emerging trends in online delivery methods.” 

Boaters today have greater access than ever before to online safety education through places like BoatU.S., the U.S. Coast Guard Auziliary’s Recreational Boating Safety programs and more. Along with an increase in virtual learning, there has been an accompanying rise in boater participation in online boating forums as well.

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