The Handbook of Indiana: Boating Laws and Responsibilities

The Handbook of Indiana: Boating Laws and Responsibilities


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

Nearly 550 square miles of Indiana are waterways waiting for your boating adventures. Whether you choose to visit Lake Michigan, Lake Monroe, or Lake Wawasee, Indiana has opportunities for plenty of recreational boating, as well as fishing and sailing.

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

Topics include:

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

Persons at least 15 years of age who operate a motorboat or PWC but do not have an Indiana driver’s license must successfully complete an Indiana-approved boat education course.