Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Thursday, March 21, 2013
BILL: I am closing in on the age when I will need to have completed a boat safety course in order to operate my boat. I have been around boats all my life, so it is not likely that I need to go to a school. What is the quickest way for me to become certified as having met the training requirements?
J.J.: If you are an experienced boater with a good working knowledge of Virginia boating laws and navigation rules, you may take a challenge exam presented by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
The challenge exam does not require classroom or online study. You simply register by phone and show up at a prearranged location to answer 80 boating questions within a three-hour limit. If you get a passing score, you will be certified as having completed training.
This is a closed-book test with no reference materials allowed in the examination room. Even if you have good knowledge of boating, it is prudent to study the DGIF "Virginia Watercraft Owner's Guide" and other reference material before the test.
You can find information on study materials and exam times and locations on www.huntfishva.com. Search under "Boating."
Be aware that opportunities to take the challenge exam are limited and appear to be most abundant in Richmond and other larger cities. You may have to drive a bit.
READER INFORMATION: A bunch of readers have told me they have been having difficulty recently finding my Web site. The confusion is due to a redesign of roanoke.com.
I am told that in the future readers will be able to locate my column, notes and mailbag in two places, www.roanoke.com/outdoors/billcochran and www.roanoke.com/outdoors. The first site will be similar to my old URL, www.billcochran.com, in that it will contain my archives, but it is going to take some time for them to be in place. In the second site, I will share content with Mark Taylor.
Weather JournalStorm track isn't very snowy for us