OAKS, Pa. (CBS) – Horsepower in the hundreds but little training needed to drive them.  It’s that time of year, when getaway seekers are visiting boat shows!

Captain Susan Humphreys, who I met at the Greater Philadelphia Boat Show, teaches new power boat buyers how to handle those sleek machines.  She tells anyone she meets that you can’t just turn the key and go.

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“The common misconception is that if I can drive a car, I can certainly drive a boat,” she said recently.  “That is not necessarily true.”

Conditions on the water — where there are no lanes and traffic lights are very different from those on the highway — can hold traps for the uninitiated.  And safe boating courses in a classroom setting just don’t tell the whole story.

“You can sit in a classroom all day and it’s not going to tell you what you have to do when approaching a dock, or backing into a slip.”  Or when other boats are coming at you from all directions in a busy harbor, she points out.

Captain Humphreys and her skipper husband, Richard — both US Coast Guard licensed Masters — teach boating operations on the water, in your own boat.

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“Within eight to ten hours we can have them comfortable enough to take their boat out on a short journey,” she says.

You can find them by visiting www.helmmasters.net.

Stay safe!

Reported by Jay Lloyd, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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