TrueCourse Captain’s School still has space remaining for an upcoming class to become a licensed U.S. Coast Guard captain. Classes begin at Chattanooga’s Privateer Yacht Club on January 5, 2019 continuing through Jan. 13.
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.
The 56-hour class will be conducted 9 am to 6 pm on weekends and 6 pm to 10 pm on weekdays.
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 comes to Chattanooga to hold classes. TrueCourse owner Captain Ron Getter says there are at least nine people registered for the upcoming class but they can accommodate up to 18.
The Chattanooga class will be taught by Capt. Ron Harr. Capt. Harr lives in Chattanooga and is retired from BlueCross BlueShield. He was also the President and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce in 2012. For 3 years, he led the Chamber to record membership growth and job creation before retiring late in 2014.
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. The private classes, however, are designed to aid and expedite the complicated and bureaucratic process.