NOTE: All minimum qualifications and certification prerequisites must be met prior to enrollment in the OBEC Instructor Course.
What is OBEC? OBEC is Ohio's official boating education course. This standardized 8-hour course is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and is offered throughout Ohio to supplement other boating education opportunities. Course content focuses on Ohio and Federal boating laws including equipment requirements, operating laws, rules of the road, and buoy systems, plus topics of risk management, basic safety practices, and survival in emergencies.
What is the goal of OBEC? To reduce loss and injury due to boating related accidents and improve the boating experience in Ohio. The course teaches boaters to recognize that boating involves risks. For boaters to help manage the risk, knowledge of boating laws and safety practices is necessary.
Why does the Division of Watercraft want your help? To achieve the goal, boating courses must become more widely available across Ohio. The staff of the Division of Watercraft can accomplish this only by partnering with other agencies and boaters who wish to help achieve the goal of safer boating.
House Bill 502, which became effective January 1, 2000, created increased demand for boating courses. This legislation requires boat operators born after 1/1/82 to possess a boating education course certificate or complete a proficiency exam in order to legally operate a boat of more than 10 horsepower. Although requirements vary, a certificate is required to operate a boat when traveling in many other states.
To become a certified OBEC instructor: Download and print out the Instructor Applicant Packet [PDF; 258K]. Be sure to review the "Minimum Qualifications" and "Duties and Responsibilities," then complete the steps required to apply.
For more information, contact the Watercraft Public Information and Education Section at (614) 265-6652.