Boat Massachusetts: Your Guide to Boating Laws and Responsibilities is the official boating handbook developed for the Massachusetts Environmental Police. The handbook introduces you to Massachusetts laws governing boating and provides general information about safe vessel operation on the waterways of the Bay State.
Massachusetts' unique location makes it an excellent location for boating, whether you’re kayaking in a coastal estuary, power boating on a lake, visiting a nearby bay, or sailing off the renowned Massachusetts coast.
Use this handbook to familiarize yourself with steps to make all your boating outings safe and enjoyable. Remember, safety on Massachusetts 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.
Persons 12 through 15 years of age may operate a motorboat on state waters and persons 16 or 17 years of age may operate a PWC on state waters only if they have passed a Massachusetts-approved boat education course.