Hawaii is renowned for its exquisite shorelines, vibrant rainforests, and live volcanoes. As a favored tourist hotspot, Hawaii offers a multitude of attractions, with boating being a prominent choice among visitors. Exploring the Hawaiian waters via boating is an excellent means to immerse oneself in the state's picturesque landscapes and the varied underwater ecosystems. Numerous boating options are available, catering to diverse interests and preferences.

Every GetMyboat operator must adhere to and assume responsibility for operating in full compliance with local regulations. This entails acquiring the necessary registrations, permits, and adhering to vessel and captain requirements. It also involves utilizing designated docks and approved boating areas for commercial activities, while also adhering to any other requirements stipulated by local laws and facility regulations. In order to assist you, we have compiled the following crucial information for your boating endeavors.

Required Permits:

Hawaii's Commercial Activity Rule regulates businesses in both coastal and marine areas. The rule is enforced by the Hawaii DLNR and applies to all operators of commercial boats and water sports gear. Boaters must obtain the necessary permits to operate legally.

  • The Commercial use Permit is necessary for anyone engaging in commercial activity and is issued by the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DBOR).This includes charters, water sports, commercial fishing, and scientific research. CUPs are essential for safe and eco-friendly operations, ensuring they don't harm the environment or other users. DBOR assesses applications and inspects operations to ensure compliance with safety and environmental rules.
  • The ORMA Use Permit is issued by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). It is required for all commercial operations that take place in Ocean Recreation Management Areas (ORMAs). ORMAs are designated areas of state waters where certain ocean recreation activities are managed to protect the environment and ensure the safety of users.In Waikiki and Kaanapali Ocean Waters, additional permits and requirements may be necessary. More information can be obtained by calling (808)832-3520.
  • The Commercial Operators Permit is also issued by DOBOR. It is required for all commercial operators of vessels and water sports equipment in Hawaii. This includes operators of tour boats, fishing charters, rental companies, and surf schools.Commercial Operators Permit is required for all commercial operators of vessels and water sports equipment, regardless of whether they operate in ORMAs or not.

Vessel Registration and Titling:

Effective July 1, 2021, all undocumented vessels primarily used in Hawaiian waters must be titled with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DBOR). Vessel titles are valid for the life of the vessel or until ownership is transferred, and do not need to be renewed.All vessels used in Hawaii must be registered with the DBOR, regardless of whether they are documented (registered with the US Coast Guard) or undocumented. For more information and to apply please visit the DLNR website or contact them at (808) 587-1970


For passenger safety, legal compliance, and safeguarding your business in the boat rental service, securing appropriate insurance is essential. The necessary coverage can vary in different areas and harbors, based on the vessel's passenger capacity and the type of activity. It's the operator's responsibility to determine the required insurance, ensuring it meets the State's minimum standards. For guidance on the right coverage, feel free to contact our partner, Boat Charter Insurance.

Boating Safety Certificate:

All motorized boat operators in Hawaii must complete a state-approved boating safety course and have proof of certification if asked by law enforcement.

US Coast Guard License:

It is imperative that every boat captain holds a valid U.S. Coast Guard license that aligns with the size and category of the vessel under their command. For vessels designated to accommodate up to six passengers, a 6-pack license is mandatory, whereas those with a capacity exceeding six passengers necessitate a Master Captain's license. The captains bear the critical responsibility of guaranteeing the secure operation of their charter vessels and the welfare of all individuals on board. If you seek further details regarding captain's licenses, we encourage you to explore the Mariners Learning System website.

Passenger Pick Up/ Drop Off:

Numerous places provide designated passenger areas for boat drop-offs and pickups when renting. Before finalizing your arrangements, make sure to check the pickup and drop-off policies with the marina or dock.

  • WAI`ANAE Small Boat Harbor: Located at 85-491 Farrington Hwy. WAI`ANAE Hawaii 96792
  • Maunalua Bay Launch Ramp Honolulu, HI 96819

Required Safety Equipment:

All boats, regardless of propulsion or control method, must carry personal flotation devices, a fire extinguisher, navigational lights, sound-producing devices, ventilation, backfire flame control, and distress signals as required by the U.S. Coast Guard.

For additional details concerning commercial boating in Hawaii, please don't hesitate to contact DBOR at (808) 587-1966 or explore their website.