The Florida Boater’s Guide: A Handbook of Boating Laws and Responsibilities is the official boating handbook developed for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The handbook introduces you to Florida laws governing boating and provides general information about safe vessel operation on Florida waterways.
Surrounded by three expansive waterways—the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and a portion of the Caribbean Sea—the peninsula of Florida is a unique location for boating. From the Emerald Coast’s fishing spots to Key Largo’s shipwrecks and reefs, Florida offers many dazzling boating destinations.
Use this handbook to familiarize yourself with steps to make all your boating outings safe and enjoyable. Remember, safety on Florida waterways is the responsibility of all boaters.
You may have heard that you need a boating license to operate your boat, but what you really need is a boaters safety course. Whether or not your state requires education, it can reduce boating accidents and injuries on the water. Boaters can keep themselves and their passengers safe by learning about responsible boat operation, etiquette, and the rules of the waterways.
Any person who was born on or after January 1, 1988, operating a vessel powered by a motor of 10 horsepower or greater (including PWCs), must complete a Florida-approved boat education course.