Lake Oconee, the second-largest reservoir in Georgia, spans over 48,000 acres with 350 miles of shoreline. A popular destination for water activities, it offers opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, and various water sports. Boating is prevalent, supported by numerous marinas, boat rentals, and public ramps. The lake is regulated by the GADNR, USCG and other local authorities.
To ensure legal adherence and responsible operation, all Getmyboat operators must comply with local boating regulations on Lake Oconee. This includes obtaining the necessary registrations, passes, and permits, as well as meeting all vessel and captain requirements. Additionally, operators must utilize designated docks and boating areas for commercial activities and adhere to any further specifications outlined in local laws and facility regulations. For your convenience, we have compiled essential details for boating on Lake Oconee.
To guarantee the well-being of your passengers, safeguard your business, and adhere to regulations, it is crucial to possess the right insurance coverage. We advise reaching out to our partner, Boat Charter Insurance , to address your specific requirements.
Boaters Safety Certificate:
All individuals born on or after January 1, 1998, operating a motorized vessel on Georgia's waters must possess a Boater Safety Certificate.
USCG Captain’s License:
Every boat captain is required to hold a valid US Coast Guard license that corresponds to the size and type of vessel under their operation. For vessels with a capacity of up to six passengers, a 6-pack license is necessary, whereas those capable of accommodating more than six passengers mandate a Master Captain's license. Captains bear the responsibility for ensuring the safety of both their charter vessels and all individuals on board. For additional details regarding captain's licenses, please visit Mariners Learning System. Use the code GETMYBOAT10 to receive a 10% discount.
All boats with engines and sailboats over 12 feet long must be registered with the Georgia DNR before they can be used on state waters. You need to complete the registration application, pay a fee and provide ownership of the vessel.
Certificate of Inspection (COI):
All commercial passenger boats operating on Lake Oconee must have a valid Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection (COI) if carrying more than six passengers for hire. The COI ensures that the vessel meets all safety standards, including having the proper fire extinguishers, life jackets, and other safety equipment on board. The COI also ensures that the vessel is properly manned and that the crew is qualified to operate the vessel safely. More information can be found on the USCG website.
Passenger Pick Up/ Drop Off:
Many locations permit boat drop-offs and pickups for rentals, and here are a couple with designated passenger areas. Prior to your arrangements, make sure to confirm the pickup and drop-off policies with the marina or dock.
- Fish Tale Marina: Located at 891 Greensboro Road NE, Eatonton
- Long Shoals Boat Ramp : Located at at 115 River Lake Cir, Eatonton, GA 31024
- On Lakes Oconee, the maximum allowable size for vessels is 30′-6″, measured in length.
- Proper registration and licensing are mandatory for all commercial vessels.
- A minimum crew of two individuals is required for commercial vessels.
- Essential safety equipment, such as life jackets, fire extinguishers, and flares, must be present on board commercial vessels.
- The speed of commercial vessels should not exceed the designated limit of 35 mph.
- Operating within 75 feet of the shoreline is prohibited for commercial vessels.
- The disposal of waste, including trash, oil, or sewage, in the lake is strictly prohibited for commercial vessels.
- Vessels for hire must submit a written operating plan for approval by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. This plan should encompass the necessary details.
- Vessels must have the following safety equipment on board: Life jackets,Fire extinguishers,First aid kits.
This list provides an overview of the most important commercial boating regulations on Lake Oconee. For more detailed information, please consult the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA DNR) or the United States Coast Guard (USCG).