The Handbook of Georgia: Boating Laws and Responsibilities

The Handbook of Georgia: Boating Laws and Responsibilities


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

Georgia is home to some of the most ideal boating waters in the Southeast, where boaters can experience fun and relaxation on waterways such as Lake Oconee. Whether you prefer canoeing and kayaking or waterskiing and wakeboarding, Georgia has something every kind of boater.

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

Topics include:

  • Vessel Basics
  • Navigation Rules
  • Nighttime Navigation
  • Emergencies
  • Personal Watercraft (PWCs)
  • Georgia 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.

In some cases, passing a Georgia-approved boat education course allows youth to operate without being under direct visual supervision. Many boaters also take the course to save money on their boat or PWC insurance or to go boating in other states that require boat education.