Spirit of America

Over the past 25 years, the Spirit of America Foundation has provided America’s premier youth boating education programs to tens of thousands of young people in 22 locations around the country.  Since 2014, they have partnered with the YMCA to offer the program here in Ashtabula County.  

The program, offered to anyone aged 12 to 15 years, aims to teach all aspects of boating.  Students begin by earning their Ohio Boater Education Certificate, which is required by law for anyone born on or after January 1, 1982 in order to operate any boat or personal watercraft over 10 horsepower in the state of Ohio.  Next is a drowning prevention and water safety awareness class held in the YMCA pool.  The remainder of the course is spent on the water, where students will learn, hands-on, how to safely and properly operate all kinds of watercraft including canoes and kayaks, powerboats, sailboats and jet skis.  At the end of the program, students will spend a day on a large vessel with the Coast Guard.

Due to the support of sponsors and grant funding, the cost of the program is only $100 per student, or $70 for Y members.  Financial assistance is available as well.

Registration is available at the YMCA or online.  The course is held each June, with registration typically open by the beginning of May.  For more information, email bpruitt@AshtabulaYMCA.org.


2019 Class Schedule

Application Deadline:  May 28

Parent Meeting and OBEC Session 1:  Saturday, June 1  9:00am to 6:00pm at location TBA

OBEC Review/Testing and Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Class:  Wednesday, June 5  5:00 to 9:00pm at YMCA

On-Water Course:  Saturday, June 8  9:00am to 5:00pm

                            Saturdays, June 15 and 22  12:00 to 5:00pm at Lakeshore Park or Kister Marina

PWC Class/Graduation:  Saturday, June 29  11:00am to 3:00pm
















All curriculum is provided by the Spirit of America Foundation.  Spirit of America also provides equipment, training and support.  Please visit the Spirit of America national website at http://spiritofamerica95.org.


All Ashtabula County YMCA boating programs are partially funded through a grant from the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft.