State law requires boat operators to carry a Washington State Boater Education card when operating motorboats with 15 horsepower or greater (including personal watercraft or any motorized watercraft). See our Education Card page for details.
Coast Guard Approved Training Captain's License Course
United States Power Squadrons: Organized in 1914, USPS is a non profit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation and related subjects. Local squadrons offer boating safety courses on a regular basis to boaters in our communities. These courses are open to the public and there is no age limit for participants.
The handbook is designed to introduce new boaters to their responsibilities for safe, environmentally sound boating practices and to provide updated information to those who have had experience on the water. Boaters are encourage to carefully read the material provided in this handbook and make a commitment to always practice the safety rules when on the water. Boaters also will find important environmental tips that if followed, will help ensure others have the same opportunity to enjoy Washington's wonderful aquatic resources. Keep a copy of the Boating Handbook on board your vessel to be used as a ready reference.
The Adventures in Boating – Washington Handbook may be ordered through the Washington Sate Department of Printing by the following methods:
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Over 1,500 children and teens die every year in the U.S. from drowning. In Washington state, an average of 25 children and teens drown every year. Most of them are swimming, boating or just playing in or near water. The Washington State Drowning Prevention Network and Seattle Children’s work together to provide you with information and resources on water safety and drowning prevention. We can prevent drownings if we all do our part! >>> See more on Water Safety and Drowning Prevention for All Ages at Seattle Children's Hospital.
Have Fun and Be Safe
Boating and alcohol don’t mix!
Every boater needs to understand the risks of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Check out this video and see how a group of boaters went out for a day of fun but ended it in disaster. Boat responsibly!
Northwest Boater Training:
United States Power Squadron | District 16, which services Washington State, has come out with a great updated site for boat classes and on the water training.
Whether you are new to boating, want to take a course that qualifies you for your Washington State Boater Education Card, or just want to tune up your skills, you should visit Northwest Boater Training.
NW Boater Training is an easy way to contact the United States Power Squadrons (USPS) to find out where and when boating classes are scheduled in the State of Washington. They feature OTW training with basic course, ABC (America's Boating Course), as well as their advanced courses like Seamanship, Piloting, Advanced Piloting, Navigation, or Sail. Click here for course locations near you.
Seattle Harbor Patrol:
Water & Boating Regulations & Information
This booklet has been prepared for you by the Seattle Police Department for your boating and
water safety. You will find charts of regional waters, explanations of local laws, equipment and licensing requirements, and answers to frequently asked questions, including a
directory of local marine safety agencies.
Please note this 2008 “Seattle Water & Boating Regulations & Information” booklet replaces the outdated “Boating Regulations and Information for Seattle Waters” booklets.