Fort Walton Beach is a paradise for avid boaters. From thrilling jet skiing to serene sailing and fishing adventures, it's a diverse haven for boating enthusiasts. With excellent opportunities for deep-sea and inshore fishing, it's a prime spot for anglers seeking a great catch. Crab Island, a lively sandbar, is a must-visit for social boating fun.

Every boater should adhere to the rules laid out by their local jurisdiction, the federal government, and the specific facility they're using. If you're operating through GetMyBoat, it's essential to comply with both the general rules and the specific laws of your operating area. This includes securing the appropriate permits and licenses, utilizing suitable boats and qualified captains, and ensuring proper pick-up and drop-off points for passengers.

Boating Safety Card:

Obtaining a Boating Safety Card is essential If you were born after January 1, 1988, and plan to operate a boat in Florida with an engine of 10 horsepower or more. This is required for any booking where a captain is not included.

Captains License:

Every captain must possess a valid U.S. Coast Guard license and must be able to provide a copy of it to the Commission for verification. If there are over 6 passengers, you need a Master's Captain's license. If it's 6 or fewer passengers, then a 6-pack license is needed The captain makes sure the boat and everyone on it stays safe. To find out more about getting this license, check with Mariners Learning System - USCG. Use the promo code GETMYBOAT10 for 10% off all products.

The 2022 Florida Boating Safety Act (SB 606):

Starting from January 1, 2023, SB 606 is a new law in Florida that focuses on making the waters safer. It makes rules stricter for those who break them, sets up a process for allowing boat rentals, and adds more requirements for how boat rentals should operate


To rent out your boat, you will need to purchase commercial boat insurance. This type of insurance will protect you from financial liability in the event that your boat is damaged or someone is injured while using your boat.

We partner with Boat Charter Insurance, but there are many other companies that offer commercial boat insurance. You can compare quotes from different companies to find the best coverage for your needs.

Vessel Titling and Registration:

To title and/or register a vessel, visit the county tax collector or license plate agent. You can prove ownership by giving a bill of sale, builder's contract, manufacturer's document, federal marine document, or another valid document. If your boat must have a title, get that before you register it.

For additional details, visit Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Florida Fish and Wildlife:

Before charging people for guided sea fishing trips, you must obtain a specific license known as a Charter Captain or Boat License. In Florida, guiding individuals for saltwater fishing necessitates compliance with regulations set by the U.S. Coast Guard. Any individual operating a boat for hire must hold either a Captain's license or a Merchant Mariner Credential.

A Charter Captain License authorizes a certified captain to work on various boats. To acquire this license, a valid Coast Guard License for operating passenger-carrying vessels is required. Furthermore, any boat used by a charter captain for work must be registered for commercial use or possess a special certificate from the U.S. Coast Guard indicating its suitability for commercial purposes.

Charter Boat Licenses are designated for specific boats and can only be utilized on the assigned vessel. These licenses are obtainable for boats utilized in business operations. To obtain one, you must demonstrate that the boat is registered for commercial use or holds a special certificate from the U.S. Coast Guard permitting business usage.

To purchase an FWC Charter Captain license, you must possess a Coast Guard Captain's license. For details regarding the Coast Guard Captain's license, you can call 1-888-427-5662. Additionally, you can find information about USCG charter boat captains on the USCG website

Passenger Pick Up/ Drop Off:

Some locations permit boat drop-offs and pickups for rentals, and here are a couple of them that have specified passenger zones. Prior to confirming your arrangements, make sure to confirm the pickup and drop-off guidelines with the marina or dock.

  • Ross Marler Park Boat Ramp: Located at Okaloosa Island, FL 32548

Additional Materials

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Boating Regulations

Okaloosa County