Want to Become a Certified ‘Captain?’

Some jobs on Tennessee waterways require individuals to have their Captain's License from the U.S. Coast Guard while some boaters just want to gain the additional boating knowledge. Several businesses offer online courses but TrueCourse is the only business that periodically comes to Chattanooga to provide classroom instruction to obtain your Captain's License. (Photo: Contributed)

TrueCourse Captain’s School is looking for a few more people interested in becoming a licensed U.S. Coast Guard captain. Classes begin at Chattanooga’s Privateer Yacht Club on January 13, 2018.

Some boaters choose to become licensed captains simply to expand their boating knowledge. However many jobs require certification by the U.S. Coast Guard. Basically anyone who utilizes navigable waterways, including the Tennessee River, for commercial purposes is required to have a USCG Captain’s license. This includes tow boat operators, tour boat operators and fishing guides.

While there are several private organizations available to help boaters get through the stringent certification process required by the U.S. Coast Guard, TrueCourse is the only school that periodically comes to Chattanooga to hold classes. TrueCourse owner Captain Ron Getter says there are five people currently registered for the January class but they can accommodate up to 18. Other upcoming classes will also be held in Knoxville and Nashville.

The USCG requirements to obtain a captain’s license include a morass of red tape — stringent testing, criminal background checks, drug screening and health certifications. If they wish, individuals can work through the requirements on their own, following instructions on the USCG website [hotlink: ]. The private classes, however, are designed to aid and expedite the complicated and bureaucratic process. It costs more, but many individuals consider it money well spent.

The 56-hour course, and testing, for the basic OUPV Captain license costs $795.  Learn more or register here, or e-mail Capt. Ron Getter at captaingetter@truecourses.com or call 937-478-1947.

TrueCourse also offers online classes. Other organizations that also offer online classes include Mariners Learning System, SeaSchool and the Maritime Institute.

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