Operating a boat is a wonderful experience, but it also is a challenging one. If you are looking to learn additional skills so you can to be more confident, make a commitment to learn the skills of good seamanship. Whether you have never handled a boat before, or would just like to brush up on your skills, taking advantage of our personalized instruction is a great way to assure that you, your family and friends will enjoy many years of safe and enjoyable boating.

FYI is offering personalized instruction in seamanship and boat handling (Hands-on) in piloting, navigation, docking and anchoring. We have designed this instruction to coincide with your vacation, so that you may learn while your guests enjoy other activities. The instructor may accompany you on your cruise while giving instruction, or you may elect to take the training.

Below are a few questions our captains are asked frequently.

How many days is this course?
This is not a course. This is personalized instruction in the areas that you would like and need to learn. The captain will instruct you in the required procedures and skills so that you may be a more confident and safe boater. Depending on your past experience, this may take only one day or as many as five days.

What would be the cost for more than one person?
Our captains will instruct up to two people for the same daily fee.

How many hours a day will this be?
We have found that a five to six hour day makes it easier to understand and absorb the information.

What type of boat and size?
If you take our "custom package", the type of boat and size is up to you. You may select and charter the boat you wish to learn on, or you can use a boat that is owned by yourself or a friend. The size of the boat can be up to 150 feet. Provided you pay the captain's travel expenses, you may enjoy customized instruction anywhere in the country. However, most clients come to South Florida. If you are a beginner, the best size to charter is usually between 30-40 ft.

When I charter a boat what skills will I need?
Charter companies require certain skills and procedures to be performed. The required skills are: exhibiting proper understanding of charts, navigational signs, and equipment, client maneuvered the boat appropriately while at sea, demonstrating skill at handling all helm controls. Client must successfully move the boat off the dock, re-dock the boat and retie lines without any problem. All these required skills and procedures you will learn and more.

What will I learn from the captain?
You will be reviewing and learning the items below:

We will locate and inspect all U.S.C.G.- approved safety equipment onboard the vessel, as well as how to properly operate and maintain the safety equipment.

We will locate and inspect all navigational lights: sidelights, sternlights, masthead lights and anchor light for proper color and working order.

Boat Handling and Docking Maneuvering in narrow channels, clockwise 360 turns, counterclockwise 360 turns, pivoting off the dock using forward spring, pivoting off the dock using both engines, dock vessel using forward spring line, pull into a slip, backing out of a slip, backing into a slip, man overboard, Williamson turn, racetrack turn, line handling.

Anchoring Things to look for in a good anchorage, setting and retrieving an anchor, know the plow and where to use it, know the Danforth and where to use it, using the correct anchor, understand rode and scope, know the reasons why chain is used, how to pick up a mooring buoy (or ball), how to release a mooring buoy (or ball), determine the bottom from local chart.

Electronics and VHF Radio Depth finder, GPS, VHF radio, Channel 16, working channels, NOAA, weather channels, contacting other stations, Mayday, security, Pan Pan.

Engine Room Engine and generator coolant levels, engine and generator oil levels, transmission fluid levels, engines, generator, sea strainers, air conditioner sea strainer, checking for fuel, oil and water leaks, checking for exhaust leaks, checking hoses and clamps, checking for fumes, understanding alarms and gauges, testing throttle and clutch controls, testing steering, knowing how to change a sea water impeller, knowing how to change a belt, how to drain the water separators, how to change fuel filers, how to add oil and what type, how to add coolant and what type.

Shore Power How to connect and disconnect, stow the cables, the difference between 30 and 50 amp.

Generator Switching power, understanding DC and AC systems, function of breakers.

Fueling Precautions taken when refueling, fuel consumption , and how to calculate.

Head How to use, holding tank, where and how to pump out, Y valve - where it is and how to use it.

Knots Bowline, cleat hitch, clove hitch, figure eight, sheet bend, square knot, round turn and two half hitches.


The captain charges a daily instruction fee plus expenses. The additional expenses you may incur will be transportation and meals. You supply the boat - either by charter agreement or personal ownership. The captain will personalize the length, location, and intensity of instruction to your needs.
FEE: $200.00 per day plus expenses.

2 days of instruction aboard one of our 30-40 ft power boats. Live aboard the boat at our base in South Florida while you learn the basics of boat handling and navigation.
FEE: $900.00 per person/double occupancy
Maximum 2 students. Additional guests: $200 per person

Includes boat, captain, dockage, and fuel for 2 days/2 nights. Check-in 5 pm the night before. Instruction 9 am - 5 pm the following two days/Check-out 5 pm on last day. Based on availability and subject to vessel change. Invalid for holidays or between Feb 15-April 15.

Click Here To Fill Out The Instruction Request Form