9 Best Online Boater Safety Courses in 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks

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Are you worried about your safety while boating? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the countless boating safety courses available online? You’re not alone. Many boaters face this same concern, but there’s a simple solution to ease your mind: the best online boater safety courses of 2023.

As a boater with over 16 years of experience, I understand the struggle of finding the perfect boating safety course. That’s why I’ve tested and reviewed the top online boating safety courses, so you don’t have to.

Enroll, study, and ace your exam from home or anywhere with an internet connection with just a few clicks! Dive into various online boater safety certifications, from offshore sailing to boating on a tranquil lake. Go ahead and explore our top picks for the best online boater safety courses available!

The 9 Best Online Boater Safety Courses

boat safety at sea

1. Boat Tests 101 – OUR TOP PICK!

BoatTests101.com is the premier online destination for boater education and safety in the United States and our top recommendation for you.

With their official, government-approved courses and exams for nearly every US state, you can easily get boating license in Florida, Hawaii, and even Canada.

You can be rest assured that you’re receiving the best instruction in the industry. All courses are NASBLA and state/provincial body approved, so you know you’re getting top-notch education for safe boating and up-to-date information. Don’t miss out on this incredible boating safety course – visit BoatTests101.com and sign up today to secure your spot!


  • Our top pick for boater safety education offering the best value for money
  • Official, government-approved courses and exams cover the US and Canada
  • NASBLA, Transport Canada, and state or provincial body approved
  • Comprehensive curriculum covering various boating topics


  • May not offer specialized courses for specific watercraft
  • Limited international availability

Join the thousands of satisfied boaters who have already obtained their licenses through BoatTests101.com. Secure your spot on their website today and gain the knowledge and skills you need to stay safe on the water!

2. Boat-ED

Boat-ED is a leading online boater safety course provider, offering certification for all 50 states and Canada. With material approved by NASBLA, Transport Canada, and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Its comprehensive courses cover essential topics, such as safe operation, boating etiquette, and waterway rules, making it a highly respected resource among government boating agencies.


  • Fully online course with printable certificates
  • Available for all 50 states & Canada
  • NASBLA reciprocity for easy credential use elsewhere
  • Potential for better insurance rates through Global Marine Insurance
  • Comprehensive materials for safer and more educated boating


  • Payment is required to print the certificate
  • Additional state fees may apply, increasing the overall cost

3. Boater Exam Safety Courses

Boaterexam.com offers online boating license courses for 44 states, D.C., and Canada. This comprehensive platform also provides a tool for insurance quotes and a 2-week free trial of the Waave Boating app.


  • Engaging videos and animations for an enjoyable learning experience
  • Online testing options for all US states
  • Partnership with Global Marine Insurance may lead to lower rates
  • NASBLA and USCG approved
  • Over 2,000,000 certifications!


  • Supports fewer states than some competitors
  • Varying pricing based on location
  • Videos may not cover all exam material

4. Boat U.S. Foundation Boating Safety Courses

Boat U.S. Foundation Boating Safety Courses are free, online, and self-paced programs designed to provide a comprehensive education on boating safety. As a non-profit organization, Boat U.S. Foundation focuses on promoting safe boating through accessible education, ensuring that everyone can acquire essential knowledge without incurring any costs.


  • Free online courses
  • Self-paced learning
  • NASBLA and USCG approved
  • Mobile-friendly design


  • Limited availability in certain states
  • No advanced course options
  • Some states require additional proctored exams

5. I Learn to Boat

I Learn to Boat, a versatile online boater safety course, offers tailored learning experiences to suit your specific needs. Catering to both beginners and experienced boaters, the platform focuses on providing essential boating knowledge in a fun and engaging manner.

Its rich content, featuring interactive scenarios and quizzes, ensures that you’ll be well-prepared for safe boating adventures.


  • Customizable learning experience
  • Suitable for all skill levels
  • Engaging content with interactive scenarios and quizzes
  • 60-day money-back guarantee


  • Not available in all states
  • Gaming format is not suitable for everyone

6. America’s Boating Course

Developed by the United States Power Squadrons, America’s Boating Course offers an in-depth education through online, home study, or live classroom options.

The course, approved by NASBLA and recognized by the USCG, is designed to be engaging and thorough, featuring 287 pages of material developed with input from state boating agencies.


  • Additional hands-on chapter for charts and digital navigation
  • Personal assistance from U.S. Power Squadrons
  • Tailored courses for power, sailing, fishing, and paddling
  • Available in English and Spanish


  • Limited mobile device support
  • Time-consuming course (16-18 hours or 6-8 weeks)
  • Online certification is not available for all states
  • Unsecure website (no SSL certificate at the time of publishing this article)

7. NauticEd Safety at Sea Clinic

NauticEd Safety at Sea Clinic is an online course tailored to improve sailors’ safety skills through comprehensive training materials.

Focused on real-life scenarios and practical skills, the platform provides essential knowledge and expertise to help you navigate challenging situations while sailing.


  • Designed specifically for sailors
  • Real-life scenario-based learning
  • Covers essential safety skills
  • Flexible, self-paced learning


  • Takes too long to complete vs other providers courses
  • More pricey than other provider’s courses
  • Not suitable for powerboating or other watercraft types

8. Boater Exam Sailing Safety Course

The Boater Exam Sailing Safety Course is an online platform created for sailing enthusiasts looking to enhance their safety skills and knowledge.

This comprehensive course covers everything from basic sailing techniques to advanced safety measures, ensuring that you’ll be prepared for any situation while out on the water. With a flexible, self-paced format, you can learn at your own speed and convenience.


  • Comprehensive sailing safety course
  • Suitable for beginners and advanced sailors
  • Flexible, self-paced learning
  • NASBLA approved and USCG recognized


  • Not applicable to other types of watercraft
  • Additional fees for course completion certificate
  • May not be available in all states

9. Boat-ED Paddlesports Safety Course

Boat-ED Paddlesports Safety Course is a specialized online program designed to teach essential safety skills for paddlers. Whether you’re a kayaker, canoeist, or stand-up paddleboard enthusiast, this course provides invaluable knowledge to ensure your safety and enjoyment on the water.

With a mix of engaging visuals and expert guidance, you’ll be well-equipped to handle any paddling situation.


  • Focused on paddlesports safety
  • Engaging content with visuals and expert guidance
  • Suitable for kayakers, canoeists, and paddleboarders
  • NASBLA and ACA approved


  • Not a comprehensive boater safety course
  • May not satisfy all state requirements for boating certification
  • Course is pricey

Frequently Asked Questions: Best Online Boater Safety Courses

How long does it take to complete boater safety courses?

The duration of boater safety courses varies depending on the provider and your individual pace. Most online courses take between 3 to 8 hours to complete. Some providers allow you to work at your own pace, while others may require you to complete the course within a specific timeframe.

How much do boater safety courses cost?

Boater safety course fees vary depending on the provider and the type of course. Online courses typically range from $29 to $60, while in-person courses may be more expensive.

Some organizations, like the Boat U.S. Foundation, offer free online courses, but additional fees may apply for state-specific requirements.

What is the best online boating course?

Our top pick for the best online boating course is BoatTests101.com due to their comprehensive, government-approved curriculum and user-friendly platform. It’s essential to choose a course that fits your learning style and meets your state’s requirements.

Can you take boaters education online?

Yes, you can take boaters education online through various accredited providers. Many states accept online courses if they meet specific standards and are approved by NASBLA and the respective state boating agency.

How long is the online boating course?

The length of an online boating course varies depending on the course provider and the content covered. Generally, these courses range between 3 to 8 hours of study time.

Some providers allow you to complete the course at your own pace, while others may have a set deadline for completion.

Is a boating license good in all states? 

Boating licenses, also known as boater education cards, are generally recognized across the United States. Most states have reciprocity agreements that accept boating licenses issued by other states as long as they meet NASBLA standards. However, it’s essential to check the specific requirements of the state you plan to boat in to ensure your license will be accepted.

Final Verdict

Your safety and the well-being of your loved ones on the water should be your top priority and the best way to ensure this is by choosing the right online boating safety course.

After extensive research, our final verdict is that BoatTests101.com stands out as the premier choice for all boaters. Don’t let another day go by, knowing you’re risking the lives of those you care about by not taking this essential step.

By not enrolling in a comprehensive and government-approved course, you’ll be doing a disservice to yourself and those you love. Don’t be the one responsible for an avoidable accident or costly fines. Sign up for a boating safety course now to become a knowledgeable, responsible, and certified boater!

With BoatTests101.com, you’ll get the best education, ensuring you’re prepared for any situation on the water. Don’t live with the guilt of not taking action – invest in your safety and make the smart choice today!