Recently completed a USCG license course and testing in beautiful Guntersville Lake. Connecting to the Tennessee River makes this body of water one that requires Professional Guides that carry passengers for hire to obtain at least an OUPV, Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel license.
The course is not easy, just ask the nine courageous boaters that recently tackeled and successfully completed the training. You may ask yourself "Why do I need to know the conventional methods of navigation and boating?"
Besides the requirements set by the US Coast Guard National Maritime Center it is certainly a confidence booster, an objective that not many have accomplished. You can get training content anywhere on the internet or in written syllabus but the real secret to success of gaining Knowledge, Understanding, and Proficiency is with the person or instructor that delivers the information. It's more of a Transfer of Experience, Mentorship that makes all the difference. It does not follow just one path such as from instructor to student, it is a cultimation of the class as a whole.
The many years serving as a professional license trainer and writer has taught me one profound lesson; knowledge is essential to improving skills in all aspects of safe boating. Regardless of the body of water, the type of vessel, and other factors, it pays to understand the basics...more than you could ever imagine!
Next time you see a USCG Licensed Captain ask them "Why?" Contact me if you want to find out more. Plans are to develop another class this Summer. More to follow in future blogs.
I'll keep the Light House lit to help find your way. Hope to see you there...