Boater Education: Then and Now

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This is Passport to Texas

The Texas Boater Education Program has stressed boating safety and responsibility for more than 30 years.

06— Boater education started with a little mail-in home study program called The Skipper’s Course back in the late 70s.

Tim Spice oversees the Boater Ed program at Texas Parks and Wildlife. Spice says the Skipper’s Course prevailed until 1997 when legislation passed mandating boater education.

17— If you remember when jet skis or personal watercraft started – that was in the mid-90s. And people were afraid about young people operating them with no education or training. So, the Texas Legislature and the public passed a law that teenagers 13 to 17 had to take boater ed.

The new Boater Ed program was modeled after TPW’s successful Hunter ED program, and standards established by the Coast Guard, through the National Association for State Boating Law Administrators.

12— And that’s the basis for the boater education program then and now. It’s a classroom course with a test at the end. It’s modernized little bit over the last five to ten years with online.

The legislative session of 2011 brought more changes to Texas boater education; and we’ll talk about that tomorrow.

Support provided by Ram Trucks. Doing what’s right and good regardless of the degree of difficulty — takes guts. Those are the people who build Ram trucks. RAM.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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