Being safe while enjoying your favorite outdoor activity just got more convenient.

Mathews Outdoor Club (MOC) is partnering with US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 66, based at Milford Haven in Mathews County, to provide Boating Virginia classes and Advanced Boating Skills courses starting this year.

The June 18th offering of Sailing Skills & Seamanship course is now full (12 participant maximum was reached in record time).

Email USCG Auxiliary Training Coordinator, Mike Moore, to be added to a waitlist for a future session:

Sailing Skills & Seamanship (SSS)

Saturday 6/18 9am-5pm, FREE.
The class will comprise of two sessions. The morning presentation will be aboard the newly-launched colonial sloop replica “Luna”. While secured to the dock, the class will go over sailing fundamentals such as nautical and sailing terminology, sail theory, the points of sail, sail shape and trim, tacking, gybing, and sailing a course. Running and standing rigging will be discussed as well as line handling and useful knots, hitches and bends. The morning session will end with an introduction to watch-standing and the Navigation Rules.

The afternoon session will be presented at the Auxiliary’s training facility in the Cole Building on Ballpark Road in Deltaville. The discussion on Navigation Rules will continue with an emphasis on right-of-way scenarios and commonly seen navigational aids. The day will end with a chart-plotting exercise to find and report a vessel’s position using a navigational chart.

The class will be the first step in the certification of prospective LUNA crew members. The only pre-requisite is completion of a state or National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) safe boating course. Space will be equally divided between the general public and those interested in joining LUNA as crew. This class will be limited to 12-students.

Have a courtesy Vessel Safety Check at your boat.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary has certified vessel examiners who will perform a free Vessel Safety Check (VSC) at your boat at a time of mutual convenience. There is no charge and no consequences if you don’t pass. The USCG Auxiliary goal is simply to help make boating as safe as possible for you, your family and your friends, through education. Personal pleasure craft only (non commercial craft).

Learn More & Schedule your VSC here

Did You Know. All Personal Watercraft (PWC)* operators age 14 and older and all operators (regardless of age) of motorboats with a 10 hp or greater engine need to take a boating safety course. Once you complete the course, the course completion certificate or card is what is required to operate a vessel.
*PWCs include motorized crafts such as Jet Skis, Sea Doos & Wave Runners.

VA boating safety education compliance requirement

Suddenly In Command (SIC)

Saturday 9am-noon, $20. Imagine you’re a passenger on a boat and the captain becomes incapacitated or falls overboard. Or perhaps you’ve just become a new, first-time boat owner. You are Suddenly in Command. This boating safety primer is designed for those not generally at the helm, and will provide basic boat safety to help you be better prepared for an emergency. The cost for this course covers all materials.

You will learn about your vessel, nomenclature, and operating principles such as starting the engine, basic boat handling, and your onboard equipment. We’ll review common boating mishaps and how to minimize them. This course is a must for family members in case something happens to the boat operator. Each participant will receive a course completion certificate and boat safety whistle.

Your Instructor: Meet Mary. Mary McCoig is the lead instructor for Suddenly In Command; she will be supported by other members of USCG Aux Flotilla 66. Mary is a certified crew member on Coast Guard boats and owns several boats of her own. She started boating recently so can relate well to the core concerns of class participants who are less familiar with the ins-and-outs of boating.

Boat Virginia Boating Safety Course

Saturdays 8:30 am to 4:30pm, Free. A USCG Auxiliary certified instructor will lead the sessions, held at the Coast Guard Station Milford Haven in Mathews County. This course is free to the public but advanced signup is required due to facility size limitations. A minimum of 5 participants is needed to conduct the course; the classroom maximum is 10.

Each participant will be notified when they are confirmed for each session – if registration exceeds the maximum of 10 participants, additional sessions may be added to accommodate. This course meets the requirement for VA Boating Safety Certification. Upon completion of the course & exam the participant will receive their safety certification card.

Boating Skills & Seamanship (BS&S)

Weeknights 6pm – 9pm, 12 weeks, $40. The U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Boating Skills and Seamanship (BS&S) course is a comprehensive boater certificate course designed for both the experienced and novice boater. The course consists of eight core required two-hour lessons, plus five elective lessons providing up-to-date knowledge for handling boats under all conditions.

Cost covers course materials; classroom locations may vary (in Mathews County). Course Modules include:

  • Which Boat Is For You? – Types of boats, hull design, uses of boats, materials for construction, types of engines, and buying a boat.
  • Equipment For Your Boat – Requirements for your boat’s equipment, legal considerations, boating accidents, and substance abuse.
  • Trailering Your Boat – Choosing a towing vehicle and trailer, balancing the load, the right ball and hitch, launching and retrieving a boat.
  • Handling Your Boat – Fueling your boat, single vs. twin propellers, anchoring, trimming, leaving the dock, small boat safety, and weather.
  • Highway Signs – Buoyage system, ATONS, light characteristics, chart symbols.
  • Rules of the Road – Boating traffic, stand-on and give-way vessels, traffic separation, diver-down rules, anchoring, narrow channels, restricted visibility, small boat safety, and inland waters.
  • Introduction To Navigation – Piloting tools, charts, plotting, and compass.
  • Powering Your Boat – Types of engines, ignition systems, batteries, and troubleshooting.
  • Lines and Knots – Line or rope, materials, measuring, knots, bends, hitches, splicing, securing lines.
  • Weather and Boating – Wind and boating, waves, fog, sources of weather information.
  • Your Boat’s Radio – Functions of radios, selecting you VHF radio, channels, radio procedure, and types of radio calls.
Session 10
Session 20
Session 30
Session 40
Session 50
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