Boating Lessons and General Learning

I teach people how to drive boats.

I teach boat handling and safety, but not just classroom stuff. I teach new boat owners how to drive and dock with hands-on learning at the wheel of their own boat.

I teach first-time owners who have never driven before, and experienced boaters when they need help adjusting to a bigger or different vessel. I give boat driving lessons, boat docking lessons, and general knowledge about the boat’s systems and accessories.

During my professional career in the marine industry, I worked for boat dealerships on the East Coast, in South Florida, and in the Great Lakes. When people would buy a new (or new to them) boat, it was my job to help them learn to operate their new vessel.

Boating Lessons and General Learning | Michigan Captain
School’s In…

No matter how big or small the boat, I would spend the day with the new owners to make sure they could comfortably and safely operate their boat.

If you trade up from a single to twin engines, or move from outboards to inboards, or trade a small boat for a bigger one, it is my job to teach you proper docking and operating procedures before you hit the open water. Or hit the dock.

I also teach new boaters how to drive even if they had never owned a boat before. If you are new to boating, I will teach you proper starting procedures, how to verify fluid levels, proper refueling, driving and docking, and the best methods for anchoring.

In other words, I will teach you how to use and enjoy your boat.

I love to teach boating safety and handling. Over the years, I have developed a system that allows me to teach all of my customers with a standardized set of instructions. That makes it easy for me to pinpoint the places they needed more help and focus on those topics until they take hold.

I have also fine-tuned methods to teach new boat driving and handling concepts with easy ways to relate to and remember the information. Keep it simple, but make it effective. That’s my approach to teaching.

***If you already own a boat, read on below. If you are looking to purchase a boat, please Click Here for info about my Pre-Purchase Inspections and Detailed Marine Surveys.

I offer boat driving lessons to all boat owners, no matter what their experience level. I provide boat operating lessons, boating lessons, boat driving lessons – whatever you’d like to call them, to boaters of all ages and experience.

I will teach you all about your own boat while we sit at your own dock. I will cover any of the systems you need to learn, some of which may be things you’ve never worked with before. We’ll cover electrical and plumbing systems, electronics and gauges, cabin accessories, generators, and engine room components. If it’s installed in your boat, we’ll cover it.

Next, we’ll discuss basic handling and safety concepts and procedures. We’ll talk about safely starting and operating the engines, shifting and throttles, and then cover driving and docking.

Last, we’ll put all of that new knowledge to work. We will go for a ride on your own boat while learning the proper way to handle it, rules of the road, and navigating from point A to point B. When we return to the dock, we’ll practice sliding in and out of the slip, using the wind and current to help you dock, and why you should never go full “octopus.”

I offer two types of sessions for new boaters or boaters with vessels that are new to them. I recommend starting with my four-hour class that covers as much of the boat and operating concepts as you need.

If that’s not quite enough, I also offer two-hour follow up sessions that just focus on docking. If you have other questions, we’ll knock them out too, but the bulk of our time will be spent making sure you can comfortably come and go from the dock or slip.

4-Hour Comprehensive – $3992-Hour Refresher – $199
Introduction to Driving BoatsThe Four Rules Revisited
Captain, 1st Mate Duties Engine Room Refresh
Engine Room Checks Momentum Refresh
The Four RulesDocking Practice
Momentum and Prop WalkOpen Water Driving
Rules of the RoadAdditional Docking
Docking Practice Systems and Accessories Refresh
Open Water Driving Dock Lines and Cables Refresh
Anchoring and MooringOpen Discussion
Additional Docking
Dock Lines and Cables
Ship’s Systems and Accessories
Open Discussion

Some students may need more attention in one area and less in others. For that reason, there are no set time limits on any section. We will cover what’s needed as needed.

The cost of each session covers two people. I highly recommend that you bring your spouse or partner the day of the class so they can also learn to handle the boat, work the radio, and use any onboard safety equipment to respond to emergencies even if they are not going to be the primary driver.

Please contact me to schedule a class as soon as you know your boat will be in the water and you’re ready to learn.

*** I am available to travel to you. However, please understand that there are additional fees when traveling two hours or more from Holland, Michigan.

Travel fees may be waived for classes that include additional students. For example, 4 students would require the purchase of 2 comprehensive sessions. For 4 people, travel requirements of 4 hours of drive time or less are waived. For 6 or more people, all travel costs except airfare are waived.