New York City is surrounded by water on three sides, including the Hudson River, the East River, and the Upper New York Bay. There are also many lakes and reservoirs within the city.

If you're a GetMyBoat operator, you need to follow local rules carefully. This means getting the necessary registrations and permits, meeting vessel and captain requirements, and using designated commercial boating areas while following local laws and facility rules.

Here's important information to help you with boating in New York City.

USCG License:

Any commercial vessel operating in NYC must have a valid US Coast Guard license. Use the promo code GETMYBOAT10 for 10% off all products.

Boats carrying 6 or fewer passengers require a Captain's license for 6 passengers or less (known as a 6-pack license), while boats carrying more than 6 passengers require a Master's Captain's license. Each captain is fully responsible for the safe operation of the charter boat and the well-being of all passengers and crew.

NYC 'PV' Operator Permit:

All motorized boats utilized for commercial activities on New York State's navigable waters, including those engaged in passenger transportation, must obtain a valid Public Vessel license before providing services for hire in New York. If you possess a valid USCG License, you are exempt from the Public Vessel Operator's exam; you only need to submit an application for the license. More information can be obtained by emailing

Passenger Pick Up/ Drop Off:

Several places allow the delivery and retrieval of boats for rentals, and here are a couple that have specified passenger zones. Before finalizing your plans, be sure to verify the pickup and drop-off guidelines with the marina or dock.

  • Dyckman Marina Ramp: Located at New York State Reference Rte 907V, New York, NY.
  • Lemon Creek Boat Launch at 275-205 Bayview Ave, Staten Island, NY
  • Liberty State Park Boat Launch: Located at 275 Morris Pesin Dr, Jersey City, NJ.
  • North Cove Marina: Located at Vesey St, New York, NY 10281,

Boater Safety Education:

Anyone born on or after January 1, 1983 who operates a motorboat or personal watercraft in New York must successfully complete an authorized boater safety training program and obtain a Boating Safety Certificate. More info can be found on Boat- Ed.

Certificate of Inspection (COI):

To operate a for-hire boat in New York City, you must initially secure a US Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection (COI). After a successful inspection, the Coast Guard will issue the COI, which must be prominently displayed on the vessel where passengers can easily see it. The Coast Guard conducts routine inspections of commercial vessels to verify ongoing adherence to safety regulations.


Commercial and marine insurance is essential for boats for hire in NYC to keep passengers safe, protect the business, and comply with legal requirements. For expert advice on the right insurance coverage, contact our partner Boat Charter Insurance.

Additional Information:

  • NYC waters feature various safety and security zones that restrict or prohibit vessel entry, often positioned around key infrastructure like bridges and tunnels.
  • The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs) are applicable to all vessels operating in U.S. waters, including those in NYC.
  • Every vessel must carry specific safety equipment, including PFDs, a fire extinguisher, a sound-producing device, and a visual distress signal.
  • Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal.
  • The speed limit within NYC waters is 5.7 mph (5 knots).
  • Several no-wake zones exist in NYC waters, notably around landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Staten Island Ferry.
  • Given the congestion and activity in NYC waters, it's crucial to maintain constant awareness of your surroundings and other vessels.

For more details, feel free to reach out to the NY Parks Department either via telephone at 518-474-0445 or through email at You can also view additional guidelines by reviewing The NYS Boaters Guide.