About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Boat Vermont Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Vermont Boating Safety Education Certification Card.

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While on the water, a paddler prepares for safety by doing the following.

  • Always wear a life jacket (PFD), and know how to swim in a river current.
  • Never paddle alone. Bring along at least one other boater. When canoeing, two canoes with two canoeists each are recommended. Three crafts with two paddlers each are even better. If unfamiliar with the waterway, paddle with someone who is knowledgeable about it.
  • Never overload the craft. Tie down gear and distribute weight evenly.
  • Maintain a low center of gravity and three points of contact. Keep your weight balanced over the center of the craft.
    • Standing up or moving around in a small craft can cause it to capsize—a leading cause of fatalities among paddlers.
    • Leaning a shoulder over the edge of the craft also can destabilize it enough to capsize it.
  • Stay alert at all times; and be aware of your surroundings, including nearby powerboats. Be prepared to react when dangerous situations arise.