The Darien Sail & Power Squadron will teach a course in “Coastal Boating Competence,” and will cover all the required topics necessary for the Connecticut Safe Boating Certificate. The course will be presented at Darien’s Noroton Yacht Club, beginning at 7:30 p.m. this Monday and continuing on consecutive Monday and Thursday evenings for six classes, a review, and an exam.

The course covers basic boat handling and seamanship, equipment and regulations, an introduction to charts and aids to navigation, basic piloting, and navigation rules. The course is directed at general, practical issues of interest to all boaters, and is not targeted to either power or sail. Graduates of the course are awarded a diploma that is recognized by the state in their award of the Safe Boating Certificate.

This course also meets the requirements for the Coastal Boater Endorsement, recently introduced by the State's DEEP Boating Division. This supplement to the Safe Boating Certificate recognizes students who complete courses that are more comprehensive than the minimum requirements.

The cost of the class is $95 and includes the textbook, charts and plotting equipment. There is a significant discount offered to multiple members of the same household taking the course at the same time.

Although pre-registration is not necessary, class materials may be reserved by filling in the form at www.dsps.darien.org or by calling 203-656-1129 for further information. Email dsps@optonline.net to receive a schedule of classes listing the topics that will be discussed on each date.

The course will be a blend of classroom and on-the-water instruction.

“We would like to give all the classes on the water, of course,” says Frank Kemp, the course leader. “However it’s better to do the classroom exercises first and then go out and ‘practice what we teach.”

“We are very pleased to announce that members of this course will be included in the squadron’s “Spring Refresher,” a morning of on-the-water activities in mid-May,” said Peter Kelly, also an instructor for the course. “This new program will allow students to actually practice what they learned in the classroom - the use of charts, radios, lines, anchoring, as much as time will allow.”