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Thanks to Lee Stephens for this article.
This article is beneficial to people who enjoy private yacht charter vacations or who operate their own private yacht or enjoy sail boat charters.
Boating safety education requirements have changed in Florida effective January 1, 2010.
Boat operators who were born on or after January 1, 1988 must pass an approved boating safety course and possess photographic identification and a boating safety education identification card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to legally operate a boat with a motor of 10 horsepower or more.
“We want to encourage everyone, regardless of when they were born, to take an approved boating safety education course, because all of us can learn something new, even if we have been boating all our lives,” said Captain Carol Keyser of FWC’s boating and waterways section. “For some, it is now required to take the course.”
There are a few exceptions. For instance, a person born on or after January 1, 1988, who operates a boat within 90 days after purchasing it, does not need a boating safety education identification card if a bill of sale, which meets the requirements of Florida law, is onboard. After the 90-day period ends, the boat operator needs to meet the educational requirements. Those who possess a current United States Coast Guard license are also exempt.
“Licensing is always a good thing when dealing with on-water motor vehicles. There are simple rules for right-of-ways, for example, that must be followed on the water. We’ve seen too many accidents on the water because of incompetence related to boating. I applaud the FWC for upgrading the licensing and rules so that everyone is on the same page on the water.”
For inquiries, contact FWC‘s Division of Law Enforcement at 1-850-488-5600.