A safe boating course will be presented at Darien's Middlesex Middle School at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, continuing on consecutive Wednesday evenings for six classes, a review and an exam.

The class will be presented by members of the Darien Sail & Power Squadron.

Emphasizing basic coastal boating skills, 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 as a safe boating certificate.

The students will be invited to join in the Squadron's "Spring Refresher" -- a morning of on-the-water activities in mid-May. The program will allow students to practice what they learned in the classroom.

This course also meets the requirements for the Coastal Boater Endorsement, recently introduced by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's Boating Division. This supplement to the safe boating certificate recognizes students who complete courses that are more comprehensive than the minimum requirements.

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Fact box

The state's safe boating certificate regulations apply to all operators of vessels registered in the state, regardless of age.

The cost of the class is $95 and includes the textbook, charts and plotting equipment. 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.