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Do you need a license to drive a boat in the United States? Getting a boat license is not a requirement in every state of the U.S. In fact, many states like Tennessee, Texas and Washington state require that boat drivers complete a state-approved boaters safety course instead of applying for a formal license. Some states require all boat operators to apply for a Estimated Reading Time: 9 mins.
Boat Driving License
Before you move the boat at all, check that all your passengers are wearing life jackets or another personal flotation device, or PFD. The life jackets should fit properly and be in working condition. You should also have a cushion on the boat that you can throw to someone in the water in the event they are in distress. Make sure you have a full tank of gas in the boat, as this will ensure you can drive the boat on the water safely.
You should also have a working radio system on the boat that you can use in the event of an emergency. Check that items like fishing rods, wakeboards, coolers, and extra life jackets are all secure before starting the boat.
You may use bungee cords to secure wakeboards and fishing rods. You can also push coolers against the sides of the boat so they are secure. The trim is how deep the motor on the boat sits in the water. Make sure the button is set at a higher number so the motor is just in the water. This will make pulling out of the dock much smoother. Never pull out with the motor trimmed all the way up, as this will cause the boat to kick up water and could damage the engine.
The motor should be touching the water when you pull out. As they release the deck ropes, gently shift the throttle in reverse so you can back out. Make sure the person has regained their balance and is sitting firmly in the boat before you reverse the boat. Do not pull it in reverse too quickly, as this can cause you to lose control of the boat. Look around you and behind you to make sure there are no obstructions, such as another boat or an animal.
Then, back out of the dock slowly using short, controlled bursts on the throttle. Back out until you do not have any obstructions or boats in front of you or around you. You want your bow to be facing into the wind, as this will help the boat to navigate smoothly in the water. Increase your speed in increments until you are cruising at a reasonable pace. Do not push down on the throttle hard and move off too quickly, as this can cause you to those control of the boat.