Big Bear Lake is a boat lover's paradise offering breathtaking scenery, diverse activities, and unforgettable aquatic adventures. Cruise crystal-clear waters, fish for trout, or experience water sports. Rent boats, kayaks, or paddleboards and explore hidden coves.

We stress the importance of fully complying with both local and federal regulations for boat operators. While we offer essential information to help you establish your business, it is recommended that you conduct your independent research. It's essential to note that rules and regulations may experience changes, and staying informed is key to ensuring your business remains compliant and operates smoothly


To legally navigate California waterways, it is essential to complete the mandatory process of registering your boat or vessel. Whether it's a motorized boat of any size or a sailboat exceeding eight feet in length, obtaining registration through the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a requirement.

Captain License:

All captains must hold a valid U.S. Coast Guard license. The required license type depends on the number of passengers.

For 6 or fewer passengers: A "6-pack" Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV) license is required.
For more than 6 passengers: A Master Captain's license is required.
Captains are responsible for the safety of the boat and all passengers on board. For more information about obtaining a USCG license, please visit the Mariners Learning System.

Boaters Education Certificate:

To adhere to boating education mandates, it is crucial to obtain a Boater's Education Certificate. In California, individuals below 20 years of age must possess this certificate to operate a motorized vessel. For details on the application process and mandatory courses, please visit the California Boater Card website.


Commercial boat insurance provides crucial coverage in case of accidents, injuries, or legal issues arising from boat rentals. Explore your options and partner with a reputable insurer like Boat Charter Insurance to ensure your peace of mind and the success of your rental business. Remember, comparing quotes from different companies can help you find the best coverage for your specific needs and budget. Don't let unforeseen risks hinder your entrepreneurial journey. Invest in commercial boat insurance and navigate the waters of success with confidence.


Lake use permits are required for all boats on Big Bear Lake. The permit must be displayed on the boat and is non-transferable.

Submit a mail-in form to obtain a permit for Big Bear Lake.

Pick up and Drop off:

East Boat Ramp

41911 North Shore Drive
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315