Basic Powerboat

Skill-based Training

America’s Boating Club has an on-the-water training program designed specifically for the new boater. Our Hands-On Training:  Basic Powerboat is a skill-based training program that covers the essential techniques of powerboat operation.  This program was developed under a grant from the U. S. Coast Guard and incorporates the National On-Water Standards for powerboat operation and instruction.

While it was created with the new boater in mind, our Basic Powerboat program will benefit experienced boat operators as well. They will gain a deeper understanding of boat operation, and learn new skills and techniques.  For both new and experienced boaters, this program will raise your boat handling skill level, increase your confidence on the water, and enhance your boating enjoyment.

How Does It Work?

This program is a one-day, 8-hour training session. It includes 3 hours of classroom training and 5 hours of training and practice behind the wheel of a boat.  Our approach includes a combination of blended learning techniques and sequential exercises that maximize your skill development. Instruction is provided by qualified USPS instructors.

What Will You Learn?

  • Safety equipment and procedures
  • Basic operation and controls
  • Maneuvering in close quarters
  • Operating on plane
  • Docking
  • Anchoring
  • Emergency maneuvers
  • Man overboard recovery
  • … and more!


  • No previous boating experience is required
  • Participants must have completed a state-approved boating safety course
  • Participants must be mentally and physically capable of operating a boat safely.
  • Students requiring accommodations need to contact the instructor prior to training.


The content of this course conforms to the American National Standard for on-water skills as verified through an independent third-party assessment process.

This program is offered free to America’s Boating Club Members ONLY on a first-come-first-served basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, previous boating experience isn’t necessary. All you need is to complete a state-approved boating safety class.

We usually conduct our classroom session even if it rains. If bad weather prevents us from getting on the water, we will work with each student to make arrangements to complete the training at their earliest convenience.

That will vary from state to state. If a young person passes a state-approved boating safety class and is entitled to operate a powerboat, that’s old enough for us. Students under 18 need parental permission.

The training is designed for single-engine boats under 26 feet in length. We prefer to use a boat in the 18’-22’ range because it offers the best experience for the students.

Unfortunately, no. Our training boats have to meet special requirements. If you want help learning about your own boat, we suggest that you contact America’s Boating Club Houston and request the training on your boat.

If you require special accommodations, please contact us prior to enrolling. That will allow us to make any necessary arrangements.

We’re happy to work with groups and large families, and we can arrange private training sessions that fit your needs.