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Bonita & Estero Magazine

Nurturing a Love for Boating: Local Courses Teach Safety on the Water

Apr 03, 2022 10:23AM ● By ANN MARIE O’PHELAN
Children love to go boating. One great way to build their understanding of safe boating practices and procedures is to give them lessons. Estero River Outfitters offers lessons and tours for kayaking and standup paddleboarding (SUP). “Students learn/practice basic paddling strokes and safety topics to consider such as weather, wearing a personal flotation device (PFD), not paddling alone, and entry/reentry of your paddle craft,” says operations manager Kristen Stuller. Estero River Outfitters offers kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and roof racks for demo, rental, and purchase. Also onsite is fishing equipment, bait, and licensing.   

Fort Myers-based Offshore Sailing School offers family sailing packages at South Seas Island Resort on Captiva and Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina on Fort Myers Beach. These include the Tweens & Teens Learn Free package, where up to three children ages 7-17 learn for free with two adults. This three-day course is part of a five-night resort vacation package. 

Ann Marie O’Phelan is a Southwest Florida resident and a regular contributor to TOTI Media. 


Estero River Outfitters 

20991 S. Tamiami Trail, Estero 

Offshore Sailing School 

16731 McGregor Blvd. Suite 110, Fort Myers 

888-454-7015, 239-454-1700; 

Florida Boater Safety Course 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission requires that boaters 21 and younger operating a personal watercraft or powerboat of 10 horsepower or more pass an approved boater education course, offered online. Boaters of all ages are encouraged to obtain the boater education card. Find out more at