Boating safety course wants to make boating fun and safe

“Boating is always a learning process, you can never stop the learning,” Lenroy Ravalier Jr said.

Ravalier Jr. knows how to operate a boat. But that doesn’t mean he can’t take a boating safety course to refresh his skills.

“A lot of people think that ‘ok I am good at it’ but there is always something you can work on,” he added.

That’s where the St. Thomas Sail and Power Squadron come in.

Commanders and instructors are offering a certified basic boating and navigation class

And get this – it’s free.

“It’s a lot of fun and we love doing it because we know it is a great help for the community,” Captain Larry Benjamin, the instructor said.

Benjamin and his crew are all volunteers.

They keep the course running every Tuesday and Thursday night for three weeks.

Some students are new and others are return guests.

“It’s very nice very easy, all you have to do is study and there is a lot of help. The commander and the instructors help you out,” Joanne Peterson George a return student said.

Joanne Peterson George has been with the squadron for over two years. She said it motivated her to push her marine goals. The class is inspiring others too.

“I joined the power squadron and one of the requirements for moving is to attain certain certifications and this is one of them,” Maurice Donavan Jr said.

Donavan Jr. isn’t new to boating but is new to the class and is eager to gain that certification.

For him, he said, it’s in his blood.

“My father a boat captain, his father was a boat captain, his father was one. I mean we’re small islands surrounded by water.”

So whether it’s gaining your certificate or brushing up old skills, the boating safety course is here for any and all navigators, ready to take on the waters of the Caribbean, safely.

“I’d like to be confident that I am doing all the right things at the right time whenever the moment arises,” Alwin Richards said.

The classes are held in Yacht Haven Grande in St. Thomas.

The only cost is for the instructional books.

Call Cmdr, Larry Benjamin at 340-344-3106 for more information.