Recreational boater survey looks to develop national boating standards

Recreational boater survey looks to develop national boating standards

In an effort to help increase safety and enjoyment on the nation’s waterways, the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Boating safety Advisory Council is continuing its strategic plan to develop a national On-Water Standards for three boating operations: sail, power and human propelled recreational boating operation.

The most recent survey that closed in Sept. 4 will help develop a consensus-based National On-Water Standards for entry-level recreational boat operation that will incorporate a combination of on-water experienced-based instruction and classroom knowledge/theory-based teaching.

“We are trying to increase the level of safety and enjoyment that recreational sailboat operators experience on the water,” said K. Brian Dorval, On-Water grant facilitator. “If we can provide more on water training in the sailboat itself, which can increase the quality level of sailboat operators.”

A total of 53 sailboat operation standards have been identified in the rubric.

The most recent survey builds on the one that was issued August 2013 and focused on human propelled recreational operation. In that survey, rowing instructors, kayaking experts and stand up paddle boarding instructors, were asked to participate in the survey.

Responses from the 2014 survey that centered on sail boat operation will be used for field testing the Sail Standards during the winter, spring and summer of 2016.

Operating under grants provided to U.S. Sailing by the Coast Guard, the study aims to develop and refine on-water entry level standards as part of the National System of Standards. Powerboating, sailing and human-powered vessel operations are included in the study. Responses will be analyzed by subject matter experts to update and to develop a list of standards for the field-testing program.

When completed, the five-year study will provide one national system of standards for classroom and on-water training instruction.

The system of standards will be recognized by the Coast Guard as components that will be incorporated in recreational boating education programs that will be available to anyone who would like to design and deliver a program that is consistent with “the highest quality standards for developing skilled, knowledgeable and safe boaters.”

This is your opportunity to impact the development of free recreational paddling and rowing (canoes, kayaks, rowboats, paddleboards, etc.) standards/rubrics that can be voluntarily used by educators when developing boating courses.

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