The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is set to start a class Feb. 9 in Long Beach mainly about sailing at the historic fire station in Belmont Shore --- 5373 E. 2nd St. --- and it will include other topics that will lead to a California Operator Card for boaters.

Topics taught include sailboat types, how a boat sails, basic sailboat maneuvering, rigging and boat handling, safety equipment, trailering, introduction to navigation, auxiliary engines, marlinespike seamanship, weather, radio, among others.

The eight-week class, called Sailing Skills and Seamanship, will run from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. and is suitable for anyone 12 years old and up. The class is free but the materials cost $70.

Also, topics from another USCG Aux. class --- About Boating Safely --- will be included in the course, and students who complete it successfully will be awarded the Operator Card. That card has become required for boaters and will be phased in by age group this year, with 20 years old and younger being required to have it this year. Next year, boaters 25 years old and younger will be required to have it.

For further information. call instructor Bob Vatz, 562.493.3479; or email him, bobnflip@aol.com.

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