The Handbook of Kansas: Boating Laws and Responsibilities

The Handbook of Kansas: Boating Laws and Responsibilities


The Handbook of Kansas: Boating Laws and Responsibilities is the official boating handbook developed for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. The handbook introduces you to Kansas laws governing boating and provides general information about safe vessel operation on Kansas waterways.

Whether you choose to go boating and fishing on Big Hill Lake’s 1,332 acres of sparkling blue waters, or kayaking along the rock formations at Wilson Lake, Kansas rivers and lakes offer fun boating experiences for all.

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

Topics include:

  • Vessel Basics
  • Navigation Rules
  • Nighttime Navigation
  • Emergencies
  • Personal Watercraft (PWCs)
  • Kansas 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 between the age of 12 and 20 who wish to operate a PWC, powerboat, or sailboat without direct supervision must successfully complete a Kansas-approved boat education course.