This article is from the Boats FAQ, by John F. Hughes with numerous contributions by others.
The short answer is: The US Power Squadron and The US Coast Guard
Auxilliary. Here's how to find more:
You can find out about the safe boating courses in your area by calling the
nearest Coast Guard station and asking. It's best to do this in late Fall,
since many of the courses take place during the winter and early Spring.
A beginning handbook 'Start Sailing Right' by US Sailing and the
American Red Cross is available from US Sailing. US Sailing also
manages many community sailing programs and can probably provide
information about courses available in various parts of the US. (sc)
BOAT/U.S. Courseline (800) 226-BOAT in Virginia (800) 245-BOAT Has
information about upcoming Safety Courses in your area. (dk1)
Coast Guard Boating Safety Hotline (800) 368-5647 Has information on
boat recalls and defects. Also you can report your safety problems here.
Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons 26 Golden Gate Court Scarborough,
Ont. Canada, M1P 3A5 (416)293-2438 or 1-800-268-3579 (pb)