Boating and Personal Watercraft Age Restrictions

Motorboat Operation

If a person born on or after January 1988 desires to operate a boat powered by a motor of ten horsepower or greater unsupervised, they must have completed an approved boater safety course and have a Florida Boating Safety ID card and photo identification.

Suppose the operator was born after January 1, 1988. In that case, they will be permitted to operate a vessel powered by ten horsepower or more only under the supervision of an individual who is at least 18 years of age, possesses the required Boating Safety Education Identification card, and is responsible for the operation of the vessel.

Using a Personal Watercraft

Generally, in Florida, a person must be at least 14 years of age to operate a personal watercraft. Providing a personal watercraft to a person under 14 constitutes a second-degree misdemeanor.

Renting a personal watercraft requires a minimum age of 18 years. 

All persons water skiing or using another aquaplaning device and those who operate, ride on, or are towed behind personal watercraft must wear a wearable life jacket approved by the Coast Guard in Type I, II, III, or V size. These activities do not permit the use of inflatable personal flotation devices.



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