For free sailing and safety courses (fees for books), visit boatus.com/courseline or call 800-336-BOAT. Other lessons are offered by the Town of East Hampton, 631-324-2417 (2-week programs given at Fresh Pond in Amagansett, call for schedule); Narrasketuck Yacht Club, Amityville, 631-691-9292 or 516-319-1423, nycsail.com (junior and adult programs, call for schedule) and Port Sailing School, Orchard Beach Boulevard, Port Washington, 516-767-7245, portsailing.com. The American Sailing Association offers certification for beginner and advanced boating; check website, asa.com, for schedule. WaterFront Center, 1 West End Ave., Oyster Bay, 516-922-7245, ext. 29, thewaterfrontcenter.org, has private and group lessons for all ages (May-October), kayak rentals and junior summer programs, standup paddleboards; Dinghy Shop at South Bay Sailing Center, 334 S. Bayview Ave., Amityville, 631-264-0005, dinghyshop.com, open year-round, rentals beginning June 1; Islip Town, 631-224-5403, beginner to racing-level courses at West Islip Beach, lottery, call for information; Town of Smithtown, 631-360-7644, beginner, intermediate at Long Beach, July-August.
State law requires that all independent operators of personal watercraft (such as Jet Skis) be at least 14 years old, take an 8-hour safety course and pass a test. Boating Safety: New Requirements in New York State. Additionally, effective May 1, New York now requires all individuals born on or after May 1, 1996, to successfully complete an approved course in boater education to operate a motorboat. Any local boater-education requirement adopted by a locality (such as Suffolk County) prior to the effective date of this law is no longer enforceable. Required courses are scheduled in both Nassau and Suffolk counties most weekends throughout the year. To register for a course or to learn more about the regulations, call Safe Boating New York at 516-216-4410, or register online at safeboatingnewyork.com.