Boating Safety Education Class
Lake law enforcement officers and the Lake Wylie and Lake Norman 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.
North Carolina state law requires all boaters under the age of 26 to successfully complete a NASBLA approved boating education course before operating any vessel propelled by a motor of 10 HP or greater. (G.S. 75A-16.2) There is no minimum age requirement for who can take the course. There is a minimum age requirement of 14 years old, for those who wish to operate a personal water craft (PWC) All boaters who are at least 14 years old but less than 16, may operate a PWC only if they are under the direct supervision of a person who is either 18 years of age or older; or if they have successfully completed an approved boating safety education course. Visit the NC Wildlife Resources Commission for more information. Visit the NC Wildlife Resources Commission for more information.
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. Visit the SC Department of Natural Resources for more information.
Approved classes are offered in the Lake Wylie area by these organizations:
- Charlotte Power Squadron 704-365-5508
- SCDNR Safe Boating Courses 800-277-4301
- NC Wildlife Resources Commission 919-733-7192
- U.S. Coastguard Auxiliary 704-663-3333
- U.S. Power Squadron 704-364-5678
- The Ultimate Boating Safety Guide
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!