Palm Beach, Florida, is a barrier island town with beautiful beaches, world-class shops and restaurants, and calm waters that make it a popular boating destination. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the many marinas and boat ramps, as well as the variety of boating activities available, such as cruising the Intracoastal Waterway, fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, and kayaking in the Lake Worth Lagoon.
GetMyBoat operators must comply with all local laws and regulations, including obtaining proper permits and registrations, meeting vessel and captain requirements, using the correct docks and boating areas, and any other requirements set by local authorities and facilities. Here are some essential details for boating in Palm Beach:
All boat captains must hold a valid U.S. Coast Guard license of the appropriate class for the vessel they are operating. For vessels with a capacity of six or fewer passengers, a 6-pack license is required. For vessels with a capacity of more than six passengers, a Master Captain's license is required. Captains are responsible for the safe operation of their charter vessels and the welfare of all passengers on board. To learn more about obtaining a captain's license, visit the Mariners Learning System website.
Vessel Titling and Registration:
To register your boat, go to the county tax collector's office or a license plate agent. To prove that you own the boat, you can show a bill of sale, a builder's contract, a manufacturer's document, a federal marine document, or another approved form of documentation. If your boat needs a title, you must get it before you can register it. For more information, contact the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
To guarantee the safety of passengers, safeguard your business, and adhere to legal obligations while running a boat rental service, it is imperative to possess the appropriate insurance coverage. For guidance regarding the necessary coverage, please get in touch with our partner, Boat Charter Insurance.
Boating Safety Education Card:
To operate a boat in Florida waters with an engine of 10 horsepower or more, you must have a Boating Safety Card if you were born on or after January 1, 1988
The Florida Boating Safety Act of 2022 (SB 606):
Effective from January 1, 2023, the Florida Boating Safety Act of 2022 (SB 606) is instituted to enhance safety on Florida's waterways. It accomplishes this goal by imposing stricter penalties for violations, mandating permits for boat rental operators, and introducing new safety regulations for businesses engaged in boat rentals.
Passenger Pick Up/ Drop Off:
Numerous spots allow for boat drop-offs and pickups for rentals, and here are a few with specifically designated passenger areas. Before finalizing your plans, be sure to verify the pickup and drop-off policies with the marina or dock.
- Currie Park Boat Ramp at 2400 N Flagler Dr, West Palm Beach FL.
- Phil Foster Park Boat Ramp at 900 Blue Heron Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL
Florida Fish and Wildlife:
To operate a paid saltwater fishing charter in Florida, you need a Charter Captain or Boat License. The U.S. Coast Guard requires anyone operating a boat for hire to have a Captain's license or Merchant Mariner Credential.
A Charter Captain License allows a licensed captain to work on different boats, as long as they have a valid Coast Guard license for passenger-carrying vessels. The boat must also be registered for commercial use or have a special certificate from the U.S. Coast Guard authorizing it for commercial operations.
A Charter Boat License is specific to a single boat and is only valid for that boat. It applies to boats that are used for commercial activities. To get one, you need to prove that the boat is registered for commercial use or has a special certificate from the U.S. Coast Guard authorizing it for commercial operations.
To get a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Charter Captain license, you need a Coast Guard Captain's license. For information about the Coast Guard Captain's license, call 1-888-427-5662 or visit the USCG website.
- All vessels must have all required safety equipment on board, including personal flotation devices (PFDs), visual distress signals, and sound-producing devices.
- All commercial vessels must be registered with the city of Palm Beach.
- Commercial vessels must report their catch to the FWC on a regular basis.
- Commercial vessels are prohibited from operating within 500 feet of any fishing pier.
- Commercial vessels are prohibited from parking in the required front yard area of any residential property for more than 2 hours in any 24-hour period.
- Commercial fishing boats must obtain a commercial fishing license from the FWC. They may also need to obtain additional permits or endorsements, depending on the type of fishing they are doing and the species they are targeting.
- Commercial boats must display a Palm Beach County commercial boat license.
- The boat owner needs to have a rental agreement with the renter that covers rental terms like price and responsibilities
- The city of Palm Beach has a noise ordinance that prohibits excessive noise from boats
For more information on the Town of Palm Beach commercial boating regulations, please visit the city's website or contact the city's Parks and Recreation Department at (561) 838-5440.