by Adam Weisburgh, Adirondack Chapter Vice President

from Fourth Watch Newsletter Summer 2022: VIEW FROM THE REAR COCKPIT

* Please note that all ACBS members should take note of this article. While the article is specific to New York State, here at ACBS Headquarters we know many other States are now requiring most or all boaters to have a Boater Safety Certificate, and when you travel for a show, you will need to check that State’s laws as well. Visit the US Power Squadrons’ website to see listings by State.

As many of you have heard, New York State has a new law that will fully go into effect on January 1, 2025 mandating that all boaters take a
8 hour NYS boaters safety course. Here are just a couple small points of the new law.

No person is exempt from this, even those who have been boating forever. We all must take the time and take the course. There are a couple ways to complete the course, one is to do it online and the other is sit through the 8 hour class in person. If there is interest to take the course as a group, let us know and we will try to set something up.


*The BoatUS Foundation is one of the websites where many States allow you to take your course online:


  1. Great article Adam! Boating Safety is not really intuitive. So getting certified is always a great idea! We live in the Les Cheneaux Islands in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where boats are required to access summer cottages, visit friends and neighbors or just to get around. Our community’s Les Cheneaux Islands Association recognizes the importance of assuring our waters are as safe as possible. For that reason, we sponsor free youth (12 and older & adults welcome) Boater Safety Certification twice a summer. These certification classes are taught and certified by the local county Sheriff department. We provide each student with a commemorative LCIA PFD upon completion of the course. We think it’s important that community organizations engage the public in this area to help assure local waterways are a safe place to motor and sail!

    For those in the LCI area: Sign ups available now for the LCIA August 9&10 Youth Boater Safety session!! At and at

  2. An extra note on the New York State regulations from Ray Hull:
    If you have a “U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Skills and Seamanship Course Certificate” (as I do from 1990) it will be accepted by New York State in lieu of this new training class etc. I raised this question here in Albany with the head of the program in Parks and Recreation Dept, and he ran it by his legal and administrative staff and wrote back to me that my old blue card is valid. The main reason is the course was approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the same group now administering the bureaucracy of the new law and whose Ship’s Helm logo is on the back side of my card. He did caution me for others, that you would have to have the old card in your possession, because those USCGA records are no longer available. And for my efforts, I was able to take the card to my DMV office and have the certification appended to my new NYS Driver’s License, so I don’t have to carry the fragile card around.

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