Education classes are available across the state during March and April
PRATT -- There’s more to preparing for the boating season than just getting the boat ready. Kansas boaters can help ensure the safety of themselves and their passengers by completing a boater education course. Since many insurance providers offer discounts for boater education certificate holders, they may also save money on boat or personal watercraft insurance premiums.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) is offering boater education classes in communities around the state in March and April. Following is a list of scheduled classes:

  • March 11 -- Liberal
  • March 18 -- Lawrence
  • March 25 -- Perry, Topeka, Dodge City
  • April 1 -- Topeka, Garden City
  • April 8 -- Vassar
  • April 15 -- Hays, Great Bend
  • April 22 -- Leavenworth
  • April 29 -- Cheney
  • May 5-6 -- Fort Scott
  • May 13 -- El Dorado
  • May 20 -- Lawrence

Boating education courses are organized and conducted by volunteer instructors in many communities across the state. To maintain U.S. Coast Guard recognition, the state’s course must be a minimum of eight hours long. The course covers navigation, trailer usage, equipment requirements, personal watercraft, safety tips, drug and alcohol impairment, self-rescue, and marine theft.

A free home-study course is also available by calling KDWP at 620-672-5911, ext. 170, or by sending an email to . For a $15 fee, an internet course is available at .

Any person born on or after Jan. 1, 1989, must complete an approved boater education course in order to operate a motorboat or sailboat on public waters in Kansas. This requirement does not apply to a person under the direct supervision of a person older than 17 who either possesses a certificate of completion of an approved boater education course or is legally exempt from the requirement.

Boating education courses that are approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and recognized by the United Sates Coast Guard meet these educational requirements. Nonresidents who boat in Kansas must comply with the education requirements. All states provide a NASBLA-approved course that meets Kansas boater education requirements.