Course can help make people better boaters

Course can help make people better boaters If you could take a correspondence course that costs nothing, would make you a safer boater and save a little money on your boat insurance, would you sign up?

If so, the S.D. Game, Fish and Parks Department has an offer just for you. South Dakota Boating Basics is a correspondence course offered by Game, Fish and Parks that will do all of those things.

According to Boating Safety Specialist Bill Shattuck, people can get a copy of Boating Basics from any Game, Fish and Parks office or by writing to Boating Safety, Department of Game, Fish and parks, 523 East Capitol, Pierre, SD 57501-3182.

All that is required is to study the manual, complete the provided 50-question test, and mail the completed answer sheet to Shattuck's office. Those who pass the course are given a Safe Boater certificate, and many insurance companies offer a discount on boat insurance for completing the course successfully.

Gary Heintz, a Pierre insurance agent, said, "This course makes boat owners better operators and increases awareness of potential boating problems. Those who have passed the course can get a 10 percent discount on their insurance premium."

The average coverage for a $20,000 boat, motor and trailer costs about $200, so boaters stand to save $20 a year. "You get that savings every year you own your boat, and educated boaters are safer boaters," Shattuck said.

Heintz agreed, "The discount reflects the fact that this training makes them a better risk statistically. We pay fewer losses to people who have completed boating safety courses, so it is in our best interest to encourage people to take the course.

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