Squadron offering safe boating course

The traditional Memorial Day start of the boating season is just three weeks away, but it’s not too late to complete a boating course to become a qualified vessel operator.

Because of interest, the Raleigh Sail and Power Squadron has added a two-session safe boating and skills course 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. May 14 and 21, said Tom Taylor, who coordinates the volunteers who will teach the course ahead of National Safe Boating Week May 21-27.

“We’ll cover two chapters on May 14 and two chapters on May 21, then we will give a review and an exam,” said Taylor, whose 150-member squadron is part of U.S. Power Squadrons.

The exam has 50 questions from the “America’s Boating Course” book, which covers craft including sail, power and personal watercraft, and 10 questions come from the N.C. Vessel Operator’s Guide.

“There are a few extra rules that North Carolina has, and we discuss them in the course,” Taylor said, including the same .08% blood alcohol limit for vessel operators that applies to drivers on roads.

State law requires anyone born after Jan. 1, 1988, to complete a boating education course to operate any vessel powered by a 10-horsepower or greater motor.

Passing the Coast Guard exam yields a certificate and a wallet card, which Taylor recommends laminating for on the water. Insurance discounts may apply. Participants also are invited to an on-water demo.

The course will be held at Resurrection Lutheran School, 100 W. Lochmere Drive, Cary. The $50 includes textbook and exam. A second person can share the book for $10. Contact Tom Taylor at 919-605-4078 or tomtaylor3@yahoo.com.

The course also can be taken online and the exam in-person. Learn more at www.rsps.org.

Gun show: The Dixie Gun and Knife Show, with nearly 1,000 tables, takes place 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10-5 Sunday in the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Admission is $9. Go to www.dixiegunandknifeshow.com.

Banquet: The Corinth Holders High School Ducks Unlimited Student Chapter will hold its banquet Saturday at the American Legion, 1300 Old Garner Road, Clayton. Doors open at 5:30. Tickets cost $20-$35 or $50 a couple. Go to http://www.ducks.org/north-carolina/events/42040/corinth-holders-hs-dinner. Contact Justin Bunn at 919-830-8999.

Boat show: The N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will host the 42nd Wooden Boat Show 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. Learn more at www.beaufortwoodenboatshow.com.

The seventh Beaufort National Boatbuilding Challenge, conducted by the N.C. Boat Building Heritage Foundation, also will be held. Go to www.beaufortchallenge.com.

Bass fishing: The inaugural Piedmont Bass Classics Anglers Invitational is Saturday on Kerr Lake out of the new Nutbush ramp. The just-for-fun event is for everyone who fished a PBC tournament from Feb. 21, 2015, to April 30, 2016. Entry is $100. Go to http://piedmontbassclassics.com.

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