ASHTABULA -- Though it is important to prepare one's boat before launching, it is just as important to get oneself ready.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Watercraft invites boaters and friends to take one of the upcoming Ohio boating education courses. A course is being offered on two consecutive Saturdays at the Ashtabula YMCA, starting this Saturday and concluding April 8. Additional classes are being offered at the Geneva Recreation Center.

Topics include federal and Ohio boating laws, navigation rules and safe boating practices.

State law requires any person born on or after Jan. 1, 1982, who operates a boat powered by more than a 10 horsepower motor, including personal watercraft, to complete successfully an approved boater education course or proficiency exam.

To preregister or for information on other course locations, contact ODNR's Division of Watercraft's Ashtabula (964-0518) or There is a $5 charge per person, which covers course materials.

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