Here’s Where You Can Find Boater’s Safety Courses in Southwest Michigan
Just like our license plates say, Michigan truly is a "Water-Winter Wonderland"! Between the Great Lakes and thousands of inland lakes, our state is certainly a boater's paradise. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Here's what you need to know about boater's safety in Michigan.
Although it is not required that Michigan boaters posses a specific "boating license", a boating safety certificate is required for boaters born after June 30, 1996. In addition, those born after December 31, 1978 and are at least 16 years old must obtain a boating safety certificate to legally operate a personal water craft (PWC). With summer fast approaching, you may want to brush up on your safety knowledge!
According to the Michigan DNR there are several ways boaters can obtain their safety certificate: online, in-class courses, or with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Says the DNR,
Although there are some people who do not need to obtain a boating safety certificate to legally operate a boat or personal watercraft, Michigan conservation officers and county sheriffs encourage everyone operating a boat in Michigan to enroll in a course.
The Allegan County Sheriff's Office says they will once again be offering boater's safety courses to the public throughout the summer, with some starting up as early as mid-May! According to their website, classes are open to anyone 12 years of age or older and are provided in 1 or 2 day sessions. Typically there is no fee for boater's safety courses, although some facilities charge a facility use fee or online fee. Several courses offered throughout west Michigan include:
- May 17th & 18th - Wayland Middle School, Wayland
- May 21st, June 4th - Coldwater Lake Association, Coldwater
- May 24th, June 2nd - St. Joseph River Yacht Club, St. Joseph
- June 18th - Sandy Pines Resort, Hopkins
- June 15th & 16th - Saugatuck Yacht Club, Saugatuck
- July 13th & 14th - Saugatuck Yacht Club, Saugatuck
View the complete list of Michigan boater's safety courses here.