Boating: safety & Education

Saturday July 22, 2017

NC Mandatory Boater Education Law

Senate Bill 43: Mandatory Boater Education has been signed into law in North Carolina. The new law requires that anyone who is a resident of North Carolina who is younger than 26 on or after May 1, 2010 will be required to have proof of successfully completing a boater education course in order to pilot a boat in North Carolina waters.  For more information see the text of the legislation.

With larger and faster boats and an increasing number of boaters enjoying Lake Wylie, it is more important than ever that everyone understand boating safety laws and regulations and abide by them each time they are on the water. This includes kids. It's never too early to learn to be safe!

Boating Safety Education Class

Lake law enforcement officers and the Lake Wylie, Lake Norman and Mountain Island Marine Commissions strongly encourage boaters of all ages to take a live 6-8 hour approved boating safety education class. Home-study and online courses are available but are discouraged because they are far less effective than courses taken in person.   

  • In North Carolina, anyone between the age of 14 and 16 years of age
    must complete a NASBLA approved Boating Education Course and carry a certification card and proof of age in order to operate a personal watercraft on the waters of the state. No one under age 14 can operate a PWC (personal watercraft).
  • In South Carolina, boaters under 16 years of age are required to pass an approved boater education course before operating, without supervision, a personal watercraft (jet ski) or a boat powered by 15 hp motor or more.
Approved classes are offered in the Lake Wylie area by these organizations: