To begin, boating safety courses are not only an excellent idea but required legally in most all states and U.S. territories (Except: Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Hawaii, South Dakota, Wyoming, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands). Volunteers with the Coast Guard run courses for all types of recreational boating of all ages. In addition, many boating companies will also run Coast Guard approved courses, though they are not statistically as effective as USCG courses.
These type of safety courses will cover proper boat operation, life saving devices such as PLBs or EPIRBS, how to boat in cold weather, water survival, what type of gear to wear in cold weather, proper procedures in severe weather patterns, driving speeds, drinking and driving, USCG requirements, etc. To learn more about where to take a boating safety course, click here. In a nutshell, these classes are all encompassing and should be mandatory for all boaters. The percent of people who were killed due to boating accidents who had received safe boating instruction was only 11%. Taking a course is both valuable and can save your life.
For more instruction on how to stay safe on a boat click here.