Boating 101 - Age Restrictions

LakeSinclair.com Boating Blog

When I was a boy there were no age restrictions when it came to boating.  We learned to boat from our parents and mastered the skill before we were allowed to go off on our own.  I started driving the family boat on my own around age 11 but we had rules and if we disobeyed them we were in trouble.  Know the rules are set into law and you have age limitations and education requirements for certain individuals.

Age Restrictions

Persons under 12 years of age

  • May not legally operate any boat 16 feet in length or longer or a vessel under 16 feet that is powered by a motor of more than 30 horsepower.
  • May legally operate a boat less than 16 feet long that is either non-motorized or powered by a motor of 30 horsepower or less only if they are accompanied by a competent adult.

Persons 12 or 13 years of age

  • May not legally operate any boat 16 feet in length or longer or a vessel under 16 feet that is powered by a motor of more than 30 horsepower.
  • May legally operate a non-motorized boat less than 16 feet long without restrictions.
  • May legally operate a boat less than 16 feet long that is powered by a motor of 30 horsepower or less only if they:
    • Have passed a boating safety course approved by the DNR or…
    • Are accompanied by a competent adult or…
    • Are under the direct supervision of a competent adult.

Persons 14 or 15 years of age

  • May legally operate a non-motorized boat less than 16 feet long without restrictions.
  • May legally operate any other boat only if they:
    • Have passed a boating safety course approved by the DNR or…
    • Are accompanied by a competent adult or…
    • Are under the direct supervision of a competent adult.

Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1998 must pass a Georgia Boaters Course and obtain a Boater Education Card.

Contact Alan Haley at Lakeside Realty if you have any Lake Sinclair real estate needs. alanhaley@lakesinclair.com    Phone: 478-457-6840