Q: Do I need a license to sail a boat or drive a boat on the water in any location?
A: The answer is No. Nowhere in the US is it required to have any certification or training to own or sail or operate a boat. Anybody can jump on a boat, even a child, and attempt to sail it without any organization overseeing them.
Q: So why is there any certification offered?
A: To assure and protect the boat charter company from inexperienced boaters. There are plenty of people who have never been to a school and took some sailing at Summer camp or learned on a friend’s or family member’s boat or their own boat, and they are fine sailors that are allowed to operate a boat for pleasure sailing, as long as it’s not a business.
Q: Wow, so these schools that make it like you must have Certification are totally intimidating the student, making them think it’s required like a pilot’s license or something?