Lights, Boating, Action!

We own a 14-foot 1936 Lonestar fishing boat with a low-horsepower outboard named “Crappie Style.” My son, Sam, just celebrated his golden birthday, turning 15 in June. One of his summer goals is to pass the online course from, approved by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, so he and a friend can create their own fishing memories (Or should I say tales?).

Lights, Boating, Action!
The author’s son, Sam, who hauled in this small northern pike last year, is taking the initiative to become a well-informed and licensed boater.

The four-step process includes signing up, studying materials for an exam, printing off a temporary boating license and legally operating a boat. He’s currently managing his progress in step two of the exam. reports it has certified more than 2 million boating students — an impressive statistic!

I shared this personal story because while reading through the test with him, I saw a chapter on boat navigation lighting that discussed everything from sailing vessels to mandatory lighting situations as well as light colors, passing guidelines and other rules of the waterways. Like personal flotation devices (PFDs), lighting can be an unheeded topic for new boaters. Thankfully, my son has been on enough fishing trips at dusk with dear old dad looking for that last northern pike bite to know the significance of properly lighting a boat AND wearing a life jacket.

I also bring it up because Discover Boating, powered by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and MRAA, recently shared the fifth episode of its “Top Safe Boating Tips” series, produced in collaboration with Progressive Insurance®. The video Know Your Navigation Lights: Essential Tips for Safe Night Cruising, covers the proper use of navigation lights.

All these videos are designed for dealers and other industry stakeholders to share with customers and boating enthusiasts to educate, inform and create safer boating practices to enhance boating for everyone. That means sharing the link in one of your consumer touchpoints, such as follow-up emails, socially, or in your dealership newsletter!

And, as a parent, it’s reassuring to know videos like this exist. Boater education and safety tips are critical to help provide young operators more confidence while eliminating on-the-water mishaps. I’ll leave you with wisdom from Monica Fuentes, Discover Boating Ambassador, who says in the new video “Safety is our anchor. Always light up your boat responsibly and do your part in keeping our water secure … stay safe and boat wisely!” 

View the entire Discover Boating Top Safe Boating Tips series.

Learn more about Discover Boating, here.