Learning about boating in Hawaii starts with learning about boating in general. If you’re new to boating its a good idea to take a class. There are several online and classroom format classes that you can take and some are even free. The best place to start is with Hawaii’s required boater safety education course, in line with other US state’s requirements. In this class you’ll learn the basics such as life jackets, rules of the road and understanding the buoy system. Once you have this course completed, you might want to really learn the ropes and take a sailing class. Even you like the sound and thrill of an engine on your boat, a sailing class is a good way to really learn about boating as you’ll learn port from starboard, how to tie knots, how to interpret the weather, how to navigate and yes- even how to keep that engine running as sailors usually motor to and from the dock.
Finally, once you’ve taken the formal courses and learned how to crash someone else’s boat, check back on Hawaii Afloat and take a look at the various resources that we’ll post here about local knowledge and things that you should know about boating in Hawaii. Every local boating area has a unique character and its good to know what the locals know about the best anchorages and hazards to avoid.