The Handbook of Vermont: Boating Laws and Responsibilities

The Handbook of Vermont: Boating Laws and Responsibilities


The Handbook of Vermont: Boating Laws and Responsibilities is the official boating handbook developed for the Vermont State Police. The handbook introduces you to Vermont laws governing boating and provides general information about safe vessel operation on Vermont waterways.

Enjoy Vermont’s mountains and woodlands from the water while paddling or boating on quietly beautiful lakes such as Lake Champlain—sometimes considered the sixth great lake. If lakes aren’t your thing, Vermont has an abundance of rivers and streams ready for your adventures.

Use this handbook to familiarize yourself with steps to make all your boating outings safe and enjoyable. Remember, safety on Vermont waterways is the responsibility of all boaters.

Topics include:

  • Vessel Basics
  • Navigation Rules
  • Nighttime Navigation
  • Emergencies
  • Personal Watercraft (PWCs)
  • Vermont Boating Laws and Regulations
  • Required Equipment
  • Skiing
  • And much more…

Boater Education

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.

All persons born after January 1, 1974, must pass a Vermont-approved boat education course to legally operate any motorized vessel, including personal watercraft.