Boat Rules & Regulations

Boating Regulation Handbook


Owners of boat propelled by a motor over 6 horsepower may not allow youths under 12 years of age to operate the boat, unless accompanied by a person at least 18 years old.

Life Jackets

Boat operators, when operating at greater than no-wake speed, are required to assure each child under seven years of age, is wearing a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket (unless the child is within a cabin or below deck).

Accident Reporting

After an accident, a boat operator must IMMEDIATELY give notice (by the quickest means of communication available) to the nearest Conservation Officer or other peace officer. In the event the operator is incapable of providing such notice, then another occupant of the boat involved in the accident must provide notification of the accident.

Personal Watercraft (PWC) Rules

  • Personal watercraft must be licensed, numbered, and operated in compliance with all state laws and regulations pertaining to motorboats less than 16 feet in length (Class A)
  • Except in an emergency, those under age 14 may not operate a personal watercraft unless there is another person on board who is 18 years or older
  • Each personal aboard personal watercraft must have a US Coast Guard approved life jacket
  • Personal watercraft operation is not permitted from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise unless proper navigation lights are displayed
  • If the vessel is equipped with a lanyard-type engine cutoff, the lanyard must be attached to the operator's person, clothing, or life jacket
  • A US Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher (Type B-1) is required
  • When within 150 feet of any dock, swimmer, swim raft, or non-motorized boat, your operating speed must be "slow no wake." This is defined as the slowest speed necessary to maintain steerage, but no greater than 5 mph.
  • It is unlawful to chase or harass wildlife


These regulations are specific to personal watercraft. Personal watercraft must also be licensed, numbered and operated in compliance with all state laws and regulations pertaining to Class A motorboats (motorboats less than 16 feet in length).