For those of you who missed it …
Suffolk County passed a law that will make it mandatory that anyone who intends to pilot a boat on Suffolk County (and adjacent) waters (no one’s really sure what "adjacent" officially means, but that's the wording) have completed an eight-hour safe boating class.
Procrastinators don’t have to panic yet, however. The law doesn’t go into effect until after the 2013 boating season (November 1, 2013), so you’ve got plenty of time to partake in nearly any level of procrastination. But beware ... there are only so many instructors ...and I'd venture to say there's an excellent chance this becomes a New York State law. Don't wait until the last minute (of course, if you don't then you're not an official procrastinator).
For the rest of you, you’ll be able to take the eight-hour course from a variety of outlets, on a free, pay-cost-of-materials, pay-course-fee basis from several organizations. I’m — as a boating safety instructor with the US Power Squadron — teaching a Paddling Safety course at West Marine in Riverhead on February 9, 2013 from 1 to 3 p.m. This ISN’T the required boating safety course, but if you’re a paddler you ought to check it out. Cost is $40.
As a New York State Boating Safety Instructor, myself and Capt. Ed Densieski will be teaching the eight-hour NYS Safe Boating Class at the Riverhead Free Library on March 2, 9, and 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The fee for this is $10 if you’re over 18; free if you’re between 10 and 18. Register at the Riverhead Free Library at 631-727-3228. Upon successful completion this will earn you your NYS Safe Boating Certificate, and you'll be compliant with the Suffolk County law.
You'll be a better and safer boater ... guaranteed.