Canandaigua Lake is a popular spot in the Finger Lakes of New York. Before boating here, familiarize yourself with local rules, essential for safety and protecting the environment. GetMyBoat operators must follow these rules, including registrations, permits, and meeting vessel and captain requirements, while also using approved docks and areas for commercial activities. For your convenience, we've gathered crucial boating details.

Public Vessel Certification:

New York requires a valid Public Vessel license for all commercial watercraft operating in its navigable waters, including passenger and compensation services. If you have a valid US Coast Guard (USCG) License, you can apply directly for the Public Vessel license without the Operator's exam. Additionally, all vessels in New York's navigable waters must have an annual inspection and a valid NYS Certificate of Inspection (COI) as a Public Vessel (PV). Visit the NY Parks website for details.


For passenger safety, business protection, and legal compliance when operating a boat rental service on Canandaigua Lake, having appropriate commercial and marine insurance is essential. To receive expert guidance on the required insurance coverage, please reach out to our partner, BCI.


All motorized boats, including personal watercraft, must be registered with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This includes boats with both electric and gas-powered motors.

Please note that commercial boats may need to register with The City of Canandaigua if they wish to operate within the city limits, please contact them at 585-396-5000 to determine if this is necessary for your specific boat.

Boater Safety Certificate:

Canandaigua Lake requires that anyone operating motorized boats or personal watercraft, including charter boat captains, who were born on or after January 1, 1983, must successfully finish an accredited boater safety course and secure a Boating Safety Certificate. For more information please visit Boat-ED.

Pick up / Drop off Location:

Canandaigua Lake State Marine Park - Vehicle fee $7

Additional Information:

  • NYS Parks conducts annual inspections on all commercial vessels to verify their compliance with safety regulations.Proper equipment, including life jackets, fire extinguishers, and navigation tools, must be on board commercial vessels.
  • Charter boat operators are required to obtain a permit from the City of Canandaigua to operate within city limits.
    Party boat operators must ensure there is a certified captain present at all times.
  • Tour boat operators must provide a tour guide who possesses knowledge about Canandaigua Lake's history and ecology.
  • Fishing charter operators must possess a valid fishing guide license issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
  • The speed limit for commercial vessels on Canandaigua Lake is 5 miles per hour within 100 feet of the shoreline and 25 miles per hour elsewhere.
  • Operating a commercial vessel on Canandaigua Lake while under the influence of alcohol is against the law.

To obtain further details, feel free to get in touch with the NY Parks Department through the following options:

  • Phone: Call at 518-474-0445.
  • Email: Reach out via email at