Facebook Fan Question – Do You Need A Boating Certificate? – NY Requirements and MORE!
Yesterday, we had a great question from one of our Facebook Fans. ”do you need a boating certificate to operate a boat if your older then 18 years of age?”
(Become a fan on Facebook! CLICK HERE!)
The simple answer to this question is… No. But instead of just a simple No we wanted to educate everyone about the boating education requirements for New York State as well as if you are a NYS boater planning on boating or even just passing through some of the other neighboring states and even Canada. We encourage everyone to take a boating safety course regardless of age and/or experience. As the old adage goes… It’s better to be safe than sorry! The more you know about boating safety, rules of navigation and boating requirements the better.
To find a boating safety class in the State of New York goto: www.nysparks.com/recreation/boating/education
Age of Legal Operation/Education Requirements
• Children under the age of 10 may operate a mechanically propelled vessel only with direct supervision by a person over the age of 18.
• Children 10-18 years of age may only operate a mechanically propelled vessel with direct supervision of a person over the age of 18 or after successfully completing an approved boating safety course.
• Adults 18 years of age and older may operate a mechanically propelled vessel without an approved boating safety certificate.
New York requires that ANYONE operating a personal watercraft complete an approved course in boating safety or otherwise be accompanied, on board, by someone 18 years of age or older who is the holder of an approved boating safety certificate. Certificates are required to be carried at all times when operating the personal watercraft.
WHAT IS A BOATING SAFETY COURSE?
An approved boating safety course includes an 8-hour classroom session and a proctored examination. Certificates issued by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadron are acceptable alternative certification under state law. Previously issued young boater safety certificates, issued by the State of New York, are also acceptable.
WHAT IF I LIVE IN ANOTHER STATE BUT WANT TO OPERATE MY BOAT IN NEW YORK STATE WATERS?
An operator who is the resident of another state or country and is the holder of a valid boating safety certificate issued pursuant to the laws of the operator’s resident state or country is exempt from the NYS certification requirement however they must have the certificate with them when operating.
WHAT IF I LIVE IN NEW YORK STATE BUT WANT TO OPERATE MY BOAT IN NJ, VT, CT, PA OR CANADA?
The majority of the Hudson River is within New York State, however it does travel through part of New Jersey, Vermont and if you go through the canal system you can even get to Canada. Each state (and country) has their own regulations on boating. Some require all boaters (including PWC operators) to take a boating safety course and others don’t. Below was taken from the New York State Boater’s Guide which is issued by the NYS Parks Department. You can usually find this guide at your marina along with other safety and educational pamphlets or you can download the .pdf version here:
To Operate Your Boat or PWC In:
NJ – All New Yorkers must have a boating safety certificate issued either by the State of New Jersey or State of New York (minimum age to operate a boat or a PWC is 16)
VT – New Yorkers born after 1/1/74 must possess a NYS or NASBLA certificate in order to
operate a boat or PWC (minimum pwc operator age 16).
CT – New Yorkers may boat in CT for up to 60 days without needing to obtain a CT boating
certificate. A NYS certificate is required to operate a PWC (minimum PWC operator age 16).
PA – New Yorkers born after 1/1/82 wishing to operate a boat with an engine greater than 25 hp or a PWC (minimum pwc operator age 12) must possess either a NYS or other NASBLA certificate.
Canada – permits non-residents to operate a boat or PWC provided you meet the boating
education requirements of your home state. (minimum pwc operator age 16)
The following individuals are EXEMPT from the New York Educational Requirements:
Both U.S. and Canadian licensed commercial vessel operators, NYS certified boating instructors, certified instructors of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadrons, peace/police officers, fire/rescue personnel and lifeguards acting pursuant to their assigned duties.
We hope this information has helped clear up some questions on NYS boating safety requirements as well as operating in other states.