SAfe Power boat Handling

Why do students take this course? 

  • They already ...
    • have (or can obtain) their required state boating license AND
    • have prior boating knowledge OR have taken a classroom/online boating course
  • To improve their boathandling skills
  • To get a discount on their boat insurance
  • To obtain US Powerboating's Safe Powerboat Handling certification

What is it? How is it different from the state-approved course?

The Accelerated SPH course is just a shorter version of the state-approved SPH certification focused on practicing boat handling skills. This accelerated course is 8-12 hours and 80% of that time is on-the-water instruction. To receive the US Powerboating certification, students will be tested via a written exam (50 Qs) and practical assessment. Successful students are those who have studied the books and materials before the class begins. We are available to answer questions about the material via email/phone/Skype. This accelerated course is more flexible than the standard Safe Powerboat Handling (SPH) because it does not include the lengthy classroom portions. Therefore, it can be customized with additional modules (listed below). Email us if you would like something covered that is not listed on your course syllabus! 

Every class is different because each state has different laws and some courses are customized. So, we will include any course-specific information (including cost) in the calendar event description for each course.

Topics covered on exams: equipment requirements, rules of the road, vessel types, propulsion, engine systems, aids to navigations, preparation, environmental regulations, safety and emergencies.

Requirements: You MUST have any required state certification/license prior to taking this course. Accelerated courses are not NASBLA/USCG approved and therefore do not meet most state requirements to obtain a state boating license. If you have any questions about your state's requirement click HERE for more information or email us directly. [CA courses: If you are a CA resident and fall within the age requirements you must have passed a CA approved course to obtain your CBC prior to taking this course.] Also, if you are looking to gain an insurance discount confirm that your insurer accepts this course prior to registering.

Course Customization

On-the-water Objectives

  • Safe towing methods for multiple sailboats
  • Anchoring *
  • Familiarization with your programs vessel
  • Assisted capsize recovery methods **
  • VHF radio communications**
  • Towing: astern & alongside **
  • Williamson turn **
  • Steering a range in/outbound **
  • Intercepting & maintaining position with moving vessel **
  • Use of bearings & GPS **
  • Search pattern **
  • Steering a range *
  • Proceeding to a destination *
  • Docking *
  • Leaving & returning to a slip *
  • Person in water rescue/MOB * **
  • Tying up coach boats and sailboats
  • Coming alongside sailors
  • Operating around a capsized vessel
  • Setting and retrieving marks
  • Holding Position near a stationary object


  • Hoist launching powerboats
  • Towing a trailer for traveling coaches
  • Close-quarters maneuvering *
  • Engine & Electrical Systems *
  • Starting Procedures *

Classroom Objectives:

  • CPR & First Aid
  • Safety, prep & weather briefings *
  • Rules of the Road
  • Navigation
  • Maneuvering concepts *
  • Challenge test-out *
  • VHF radio procedures **
  • Safety & rescue equipment & procedures **
  • Towing concepts **
  • Search patterns concepts **
  • Plotting a position **
  • Calculating tides & currents **

    Don't see what your looking for? Are we missing a topic that you would like covered? EMAIL US!

    * skills required for US Powerboating Accelerated SPH certification

    ** skills required for US Powerboating Safety & Rescue Boat Handling certification

    NOTE: SPH certification is a prerequisite for the S&RBH certification (may be taken concurrently)