Lake Murray, situated in central South Carolina just a brief drive from the state's capital, Columbia, is a sprawling 78,000-acre reservoir. As the largest lake in South Carolina, it attracts visitors with its abundant opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, and various water sports. Boasting an impressive 650 miles of shoreline, Lake Murray features numerous coves and inlets waiting to be explored. Additionally, there are several accessible islands reachable by boat. The lake's calm and clear waters make it an ideal spot for activities such as swimming, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Lake Murray caters to boaters of all skill levels, ensuring an enjoyable experience for everyone.

For those planning to engage in boating activities on Lake Murray through Getmyboat operators, it is crucial to adhere to local guidelines and regulations. Operators must operate legally, securing the necessary registrations, passes, and permits. They should also comply with vessel and captain requirements, use designated docks and boating areas for commercial activities, and follow any other regulations outlined by local laws and facility rules. To help Getmyboat operators comply with all applicable regulations, we have gathered the following essential details for boating in Lake Murray:

Vessel Registration:

Within South Carolina, every motorized boat and watercraft (excluding exempted vessels, sailboats, and outboard motors under 5 horsepower) must undergo titling and registration through the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).


Maintaining adequate insurance coverage is crucial to protect your business from potential liabilities arising from vessel operations. Our affiliate, Boat Charter Insurance, knows how to develop a customized insurance plan tailored to your specific requirements.

Boater's Education:

In South Carolina, individuals born after July 1, 2007, must, as per legal mandate, successfully finish an approved boater education course before piloting a motorboat, personal watercraft (jet ski), or a specialized propcraft with a motor of 10 horsepower or greater. This rule applies to both residents and non-residents navigating vessels on South Carolina watercourses

USCG Captain's License:

To assume the role of captain for a charter or passenger vessel, it is crucial that boat captains hold a valid U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) license appropriate for the size and type of the vessel. Vessels with a capacity of up to six passengers require a six-pack license, while those accommodating more than six passengers mandate a Master Captain's license. As the captain, you bear the primary responsibility for ensuring the safety of both the vessel and all passengers. For further details on captain's licenses, kindly visit the Mariners Learning System website. Use the code GETMYBOAT10 to receive a 10% discount.

Certificate of Inspection (COI):

Ensuring the safety of operations with commercial passenger boats on Lake Murray requires meticulous compliance with safety protocols. The Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection (COI) holds a crucial role in safeguarding passenger well-being, serving as the cornerstone for safety adherence. This certification rigorously evaluates vessels, verifying their compliance with strict safety regulations and their provision of vital lifesaving equipment, such as fire extinguishers and life jackets. Moreover, the COI necessitates the presence of a qualified crew to navigate the vessel securely. For comprehensive details, kindly refer to the USCG website.

Fishing License:

If you intend to provide fishing excursions or trips, obtaining a commercial fishing license is essential. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) is responsible for issuing commercial fishing licenses specifically for Lake Murray. You have the option to acquire the license either online or at any SCDNR office.

Pick Up/ Drop Off:

Utilizing the boat launches at Lake Murray for commercial purposes is permissible upon obtaining a permit from Dominion Energy Lake Management. This permit authorizes commercial use for activities like chartering fishing boats, boat rentals, and conducting boat tours. Apart from the permit fee, certain boat launches also impose daily launch fees. For further assistance, feel free to reach out to them at 803-217-9221 or visit their website.

South Carolina Business License:

Depending on the nature of your boating business and the specific activities you engage in within the state, it is crucial to secure a valid business license from the South Carolina Department of Revenue. Furthermore, obtaining a Tax Identification number is essential for the proper collection and reporting of sales tax to the state. Both of these requirements can be conveniently fulfilled through online channels.

Additional Requirements:

  • All boats must have the necessary equipment, such as Coast Guard-approved life jackets, a fire extinguisher, a sound-producing device (e.g., whistle), an anchor with line, bailer or bilge pump, navigation lights, and a first-aid kit.
  • Keeping a logbook that records all passengers, trips, and safety checks is mandatory.
  • Ensure that your CPVL and COI are conspicuously displayed on the vessel.
  • Promptly report any accidents or injuries to the SCDNR.
  • Proper registration with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) is required for all boats used for hire.

Helpful Resources:

Please be aware that this information offers a general summary of boating regulations on Lake Murray and might not include all applicable rules and permits. Specific regulations can vary depending on the type of activity. For a more comprehensive understanding of the regulations, we strongly encourage consulting both the USCG and the SCDNR.