Boat Operator Certification

Knowledge + Skills = Confidence

Boat Operator Certification

Boat Operator Certification

Cost for each certification: $40 for members, $265 for non-members.
This price does not include the cost for required courses/seminars though equivalencies are available for prior experience/courses on an individual basis.
Dates: TBD
Location: TBD

In addition to multiple levels of classroom training, USPS now offers the Boat Operator's Certification Program.  This is a mix of classroom work and hands-om, on-the-water training that will certify individuals at various levels of recreational boating proficiency.  It is expected that these certifications will be recognized across the boating community, both domestically and internationally.

To receive certification, a person must be at least 16 years of age, be mentally and physically capable of operating a boat, and have sufficient visual and auditory sensory ability to do so (holding a driver’s license will suffice to certify meeting these requirements).

The first level, Inland Navigator, requires completing a NASBLA approved boating course; the USPS Seamanship, Engine Maintenance and Marine Electrical Systems courses; the How to Use a Chart, Using GPS, Using VHF Marine Radio, and Onboard Weather Forecasting seminars. You must also demonstrate your ability to use a fire extinguisher and successfully complete a basic powerboat handling skills demonstration.

Three optional endorsements are available for those boating Inland Waterways, Paddle Craft (canoes/kayaks), or Sailboats.

The second level, Coastal Navigator requires holding an Inland Navigator certification; completion of USPS Piloting, Weather, and Marine Communication courses; the Mastering the Rules of the Road, Anchoring, Marine Compass, Tides & Currents, and Marine Radar seminars. You must also demonstrate your on-the-water navigation skills and use of pyrotechnic distress signals.

Two additional/optional endorsements are available for those boating Canadian or Mexican waters, plus those for the Inland Navigator.

The Advanced Coastal and Offshore Navigator certification requirements are currently being developed and tested before implementation.

Send an email to to get information on where and when BOC programs are being offered in your area.