5 Benefits Of Getting A Boater’s License

Boating safety courses are offered in almost every state. There are different courses offered for varying ages and purposes. Whatever it may be, the goal is for you to have a boater’s license. When you have a license, it’s expected that you know everything about boating – from the basics to the technical details of properly driving a boat. 

Whether you’re new to boating or this is something you’ve been doing for so long now, it’s a plus to take your proverbial anchor of completing a boater’s course, so you can be a licensed boater. It’s an extra effort and cost, yes. But, for instance, you live in Virginia and boating is something you do every so often, a VA boating test, among others, is one worth taking.

Here are some of the benefits of getting a boater’s license:

1. It Keeps Your Passengers Safe

Even if you’re not a commercial captain, if your family enjoys boating, you, at least, need to go the extra mile and obtain a boating license. Safety should always be a top priority, and ,this is something you can assure them of when you’re licensed.

No boating license will ever be granted without first passing the course and necessary exams. This fact alone gives you an edge over all other boaters who don’t have a license. Just think of this as similar to that of obtaining a driver’s license. You can navigate the traffic safety rules better when you’re a licensed driver.

2. It May Enable You To Save On Insurance Costs

The whole premise of insurance is to insure the subject property from risks. Consequently, one of the factors that can drastically increase insurance premiums is a higher risk. If you have a boat, that’s one added property to insure, on top of your home and your vehicle.

Without a boater’s license, the cost to insure your boat may be higher. The reason behind this is that the insurance company will consider you to be a higher risk. Compared to those with boating licenses, you aren’t as well-versed with the rules surrounding navigation and boating safety. 

If you have a boating license, the trust that insurance companies can place on you is higher. They’ll be able to classify you as one with lesser risk, simply because you have the proper training and certification to maneuver a boat. 

Even if your state doesn’t require you to have a license, it’s still a prudent idea to have one. Your wallet will thank you for that.

3. It Helps Reduce The Risk Of Personal Injury And Property Damage

The risk of personal injury and property damage is higher with boating captains who have no clue on what they’re doing. Or, they’ve simply learned by watching a few videos here and there. Even the simplest and smallest of all boats can be dangerous, without proper training.

The danger being referred to here doesn’t just pertain to the passengers of the boat per se. When you’re navigating a marina or a high-traffic body of water, you can also cause danger and harm to other boaters around you.

When this happens, unfortunately, you’ll be held liable for the property damage and personal injuries. Boaters can maneuver a boat safely when they have the proper license.

4. It Allows You To Go On More Boating Trips

This fourth benefit applies if you’re the type of person or family who loves to go on boating adventures. Do note that the boating restrictions and laws in every state or nation may differ. There could be some states that’ll prohibit non-licensed boaters from driving boats. If that’s the case, then you’re significantly limiting the boating trips you can go to if you don’t have a license.

If boating is an activity you love to enjoy so frequently, then having a boater’s license is a must. With one, there’s no stopping the possibilities of places you can visit.

5. It Gives You Knowledge On Boat Etiquette And Rules

Yes, there’s such a thing as boat etiquette, too. On a busy waterway, who gives way to whom?  How do you maneuver your boat in bad weather?  Who do you call in case of an emergency?  What safety equipment and gear are you required to have on board?

All those questions can be answered on your road to obtaining your boater’s license. 


Boating is a favorite weekend hobby for many, for good reasons. There’s a lot to do on a boat, out in the great outdoors. You can go fishing, snorkeling, diving, or simply have a day out swimming. Particularly if you live in a coastal area, it may be normal for households to have a small boat. As fun as it may be, however, it can also be dangerous, particularly when you don’t know what you’re doing. You have to approach boating with caution, beginning with taking boating courses so you can be licensed.