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Discover Boating Hands-On Skills Training

On Water Boating Skills Classes Available Only At The Boat Show

Location: Slips 100-103 on the Header Dock between Piers 1 and 2.

Nothing beats hands-on experience when it comes to improving your boating skills and learning new ones. Our exclusive on-water instruction makes learning fun—whether you’re just getting started in boating or want to gain more confidence at the helm!!

Learn from experts. All sessions are taught by USCG licensed captains who are professional, certified instructors. You'll learn basic and advanced skills that will last a lifetime!

Space is limited. Advance registration is highly recommended. Same day registration will be available at the Discover Boating Registration Center during the show on a space available basis. Please note: you must be able to work as an active crewmember while underway. 

Show admission is not included in event fee. Buy your ticket online HERE.

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Presented by: BoatUS

All boats provided by: Carefree Boat Club


  • Close Quarters Boat Control
  • Open Water Boat Handling
  • Anchoring & Rafting Up with Other Vessels


  • Basic Docking Skills
  • Advanced Docking & Precision Boat Control
  • Powerboating Made Easy

Hands On Skills Training at Miami International Boat Show- POWER BOATS

Hands On Skills Training at Miami International Boat Show - SAILING




2 PM & 5 PM daily

Class fee: $25 in advance/$35 at the show

Learn how to handle the boat in tight spaces and maneuver close to piers, docks and fixed objects with confidence.

This class covers important skills used in docking maneuvers including:

  • Steering and maintaining maximum boat control at slow speeds
  • How to manage momentum
  • Slowing and stopping quickly with maximum control and safety
  • Backing down a narrow channel in a straight line
  • Turning the boat around in tight spaces

For new boaters and boaters with some experience who want to polish their skills. REGISTER NOW


3:30 PM daily

Registration fee: $25 in advance /$35 at the show

Helmsmanship—the ability to steer and handle a boat well in varying conditions can’t be learned from a book or in a classroom. During this class you’ll take the helm to learn skills that will make you a more confident boater including:

  • How to use trim tabs and the engine tilt/trim feature to balance the boat
  • Powering up, slowing and stopping with maximum control and safety
  • How to handle large waves and cross big wakes safely
  • Determining who has right of way in commonly encountered situations
  • Recognizing and using navigational aids

For skippers and crew of all experience levels.REGISTER NOW


5 PM daily

Registration fee: $25 in advance /$35 at the show

Whether you're dropping the hook in a deserted cove for a quiet lunch or pulling into a crowded anchorage for the week, solid anchoring skills will increase your confidence and help assure the safety of your boat (and those around you!) This session covers:

How to select the best spot

Lowering the anchor correctly

Formula for putting out the correct amount of rode (anchor line)

Setting the anchor securely

What to do if wind, current or swell increases

Managing a dragging anchor

Techniques for rafting up with other vessels and much more

Designed for skippers and crew of all experience levels. REGISTER NOW



10AM & 2PM daily

Registration fee: $99 in advance /$125 at the show

If you'd like to significantly improve your close quarters maneuvering skills and increase your confidence in docking situations, this class is just what the doctor ordered. You will learn essential boat control skills including:

  • Maneuvering close to piers, pilings and other boats
  • Techniques for managing momentum and side slip in sharp turns
  • Backing down narrow channels in a straight line
  • Turning 180 degrees in tight spaces
  • Docking bow first in a slip
  • Docking stern first in a slip
  • Docking alongside a pier (fuel dock)

For newcomers and boaters who want to improve their confidence on water. No prior experience necessary REGISTER NOW


10 AM & 2 PM daily

Registration fee: $99 in advance /$125 at the show

Docking in gusty winds, strong currents and tiny spaces make even an experienced skipper's heart rate go up. The skills required to manage challenging conditions are usually acquired through LOTS of helm time, trial and error and usually some damaged gel coat. If you want to up your game and shorten the learning curve, this class is just the ticket. It covers:

  • Effective use of the three key "inputs"—steering, shifter and throttle—to make the boat do EXACTLY what you want it to do
  • Techniques for docking the boat confidently in windy conditions
  • Station keeping in the wind as a proactive safety tool
  • Using the wind to ferry the boat to port or starboard in docking situations
  • Using a "Weather Vane Turn" as a defensive maneuver and to to regain control in strong gusts

The techniques and principles taught in this class are universal and apply to any boat regardless of size or propulsion type. We can’t guarantee you’ll never be intimidated again but even the most experienced skippers will learn new skills that will measurably improve both confidence and ability.

Recommended for experienced boat handlers or those who've completed the basic docking skills class. REGISTER NOW


10 AM daily

Registration fee: $99 in advance /$125 at the show

Smart boating starts here. Take the helm to learn the skills every skipper needs to handle a boat confidently during a day on the water with family and friends. The class covers:

  • Docking and close quarters boat control techniques
  • Backing down and turning around in tight spaces
  • Open water boat handling and determining right of way
  • Using tilt/trim features to balance the boat while underway
  • How to take wakes and waves safely
  • Basic rules of the road and operating requirements
  • Anchoring and rafting up with other boats

For newcomers and crew members who want to take a more active role in boat operations. REGISTER NOW

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Demo Docks and Sea Trials

Compare and try before you buy!

Expanded demo docks feature more than 150 boats in the water for demonstrations and sea trials. See and board a variety of vessels—powerboats, cruisers, sport fishers and more—make side-by-side comparison and chat with dealers and manufacturers reps to explore your buying options.

Ready to buy? Ask for a sea trial—there’s nothing like testing the waters aboard a boat to know you’re making the right choice.

Outboard, inboard and stern drive engine manufacturers will also have boats powered by their products in the water for demos and sea trials.

 Demo Docks and Sea Trials Demo Docks and Sea Trials


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