St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States, located about 40 miles southeast of Jacksonville on the Atlantic coast. It is a popular tourist destination known for its Spanish architecture, beaches, and climate.Commercial boating is an important part of St. Augustine's economy. There are many marinas, boatyards, and businesses that support the industry. Commercial boats in St. Augustine are used for fishing, charter services, eco-tours, and water transportation.
Every Getmyboat operator must adhere to and take responsibility for complying with local regulations. This involves acquiring the necessary registrations, passes, permits, and meeting the criteria for vessels and captains. Additionally, operators must use the appropriate docks and designated commercial boating areas, as well as comply with any other requirements outlined in local laws and facility regulations. To assist you, we've compiled crucial information for boating in St. Augustine.
To ensure passenger safety, protect your business, and comply with legal requirements when operating a boat rental service, it is vital to have the appropriate insurance coverage. For guidance on the required coverage, please reach out to our partner, Boat Charter Insurance.
Every boat captain must hold a valid U.S. Coast Guard license and provide a copy for verification by the Commission. For vessels with a capacity of six or fewer passengers, a 6-pack license is necessary, while those accommodating more than six passengers require a Master's Captain's license. Each captain carries full responsibility for the safe operation of the charter vessel and the well-being of all individuals on board. Additional information on acquiring this license can be found through Mariners Learning System .
Passenger Pick Up/ Drop Off:
Several places allow the dropping off and picking up of boats for rentals, and here are a few that have specified passenger zones. Before finalizing your plans, be sure to verify the pickup and drop-off guidelines with the marina or dock.
- Doug Crane Boat Ramp: Located at 1039 Shore Dr, St. Augustine, FL 32086
- Lighthouse Park Boat Ramp: Located at 446 Ocean Vista Ave, St. Augustine, FL 32080
Boating Safety Education Card:
If your birthdate falls after January 1, 1988, and you plan to operate a boat with an engine of 10 horsepower or more in Florida's waters, it is mandatory to possess a Boating Safety Card.
The Florida Boating Safety Act of 2022 (SB 606):
Effective from January 1, 2023, the Florida Boating Safety Act of 2022 (SB 606) is established to enhance safety on Florida's waterways. It achieves this objective by imposing stricter penalties for violations, requiring permits for boat rental operators, and introducing new safety regulations for businesses engaged in boat rentals.
Vessel Titling and Registration:
To register your boat, visit the official county tax collector or a license plate agent. To establish ownership of the vessel, you may submit 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 necessitates a title, it must be obtained before proceeding with the registration process. Further details can be obtained through the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Florida Fish and Wildlife:
Prior to conducting paid saltwater fishing trips, it is essential to obtain a specific license, referred to as a Charter Captain or Boat License. In Florida, guiding individuals for saltwater fishing requires compliance with regulations set by the U.S. Coast Guard. Anyone operating a boat for hire must hold either a Captain's license or a Merchant Mariner Credential.
A Charter Captain License permits a certified captain to work on various boats, provided they possess a valid Coast Guard License for passenger-carrying vessels. Furthermore, any boat used by a charter captain for commercial purposes must either be registered for commercial use or possess a special certificate from the U.S. Coast Guard, confirming its suitability for commercial operations.
Charter Boat Licenses pertain to individual vessels and are only valid for the designated boat. These licenses apply to boats engaged in commercial activities. To obtain one, you must demonstrate that the vessel is registered for commercial use or holds a special certificate from the U.S. Coast Guard authorizing its use for business purposes.
To obtain an FWC Charter Captain license, you must possess a Coast Guard Captain's license. For information about the Coast Guard Captain's license, you can contact 1-888-427-5662. Comprehensive details about USCG charter boat captain requirements can also be found on the USCG website.
- Every commercial watercraft operating in St. Augustine is mandated to hold a valid license and registration within the city's jurisdiction, encompassing activities like charter fishing, boat tours, and other commercial endeavors.
- It is obligatory for vessels to be furnished with all necessary safety gear, including life vests, fire extinguishers, and first-aid kits.
- Operating hours for commercial boats are typically restricted from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM.
- Adherence to specified speed limits, including no-wake zones, is mandatory for all commercial boats.
- Businesses involving commercial boats must be situated in zoning districts that permit such operations.
- Specific areas, such as the Matanzas Inlet and the St. Augustine Municipal Marina, are off-limits for for-hire boats to operate.
For more information on the permits needed to conduct a commercial boating business in St. Augustine, please visit the City of St. Augustine website or contact the Marine Division at (904) 825-1042.