The Handbook of Delaware: Boating Laws and Responsibilities

The Handbook of Delaware: Boating Laws and Responsibilities


The Handbook of Delaware: Boating Laws and Responsibilities is the official boating handbook developed for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. The handbook introduces you to Delaware laws governing boating and provides general information about safe vessel operation on Delaware waterways.

Southern Delaware boasts a plentitude of stunning beaches, bays, and rivers. Between Delaware’s inland waterways and the Atlantic Ocean, boaters have the opportunity for both offshore adventures and trips along quiet streams and ponds while boating in Delaware.

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

Topics include:

  • Vessel Basics
  • Navigation Rules
  • Nighttime Navigation
  • Emergencies
  • Personal Watercraft (PWCs)
  • Delaware 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 operators born on or after January 1, 1978, must have successfully completed a Delaware-approved boat education course.