Tarpon Springs, Florida is a popular destination for boating, including recreational and commercial activities such as deep-sea fishing, dolphin watching, and sunset cruises to the nearby Anclote Keys, a group of small islands just off the coast.

All operators affiliated with GetMyBoat are obligated to ensure their operations are conducted in strict adherence to local regulations. This entails the acquisition of requisite registrations, permits, and passes, as well as the fulfillment of vessel and captain qualifications. Furthermore, the appropriate utilization of designated docking facilities and commercial boating areas, in compliance with local laws and facility regulations, is imperative. In pursuit of helping boaters understand and comply with local regulations, we have compiled the essential information pertinent to boating within the Tarpon Springs, Florida region.

Captain's Licensing:

All boat captains must possess a valid U.S. Coast Guard license corresponding to the size and type of vessel they command. Vessels designed to carry up to six passengers require a 6-pack license, while those carrying more than six passengers require a Master Captain's license. Captains are responsible for ensuring the safe operation of their charter vessels and the well-being of all passengers on board. For more information on captain's licenses, please visit the Mariners Learning System website.

Boating Safety Education Card:

Individuals aged 18 years or older are mandated to hold a Boating Safety Card when planning to operate a watercraft equipped with an engine of 10 horsepower or more.

Vessel Titling and Registration:

To register your boat in Florida, you must visit your local county tax collector's office or an authorized license plate agent. You must provide proof of boat ownership, which can be established through a bill of sale, builder's contract, manufacturer's documentation, federal marine document, or other officially recognized verification form. If your boat requires titling, you must complete the titling process before registering your boat. For more information, please contact the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.


To ensure safety for passengers, protect your business, and comply with legal obligations when running a boat rental service, it's vital to secure the appropriate insurance. For expert guidance on necessary coverage, you can contact our trusted partner, BCI.

The Florida Boating Safety Act of 2022 (SB 606):

Florida Boating Safety Act of 2022 was enacted on January 1, 2023, to elevate safety standards on Florida's waterways. It does so by increasing penalties for violations of boating laws, requiring boat rental establishments to obtain permits, and establishing new safety standards for boat rental businesses.

Florida Fish and Wildlife:

Before offering paid sea fishing trips and charging customers, you must obtain a specialized license, such as a Charter Captain License or Boat License. In Florida, all saltwater fishing activities are subject to U.S. Coast Guard regulations, and operators of for-hire vessels must hold a Captain's license or a Merchant Mariner Credential.

A Charter Captain License grants qualified captains the flexibility to work on various vessels. To obtain this license, you must have a valid Coast Guard License to operate passenger-carrying vessels. Additionally, any vessel used by a charter captain for commercial purposes must be either registered for commercial use or hold a U.S. Coast Guard Certificate of Documentation with a commercial designation.

In contrast, Charter Boat Licenses are specific to a particular vessel and are only valid for that designated vessel. These licenses are typically issued for vessels primarily used for commercial ventures. To obtain a Charter Boat License, you must demonstrate that the vessel is either registered for commercial use or holds a U.S. Coast Guard Certificate of Documentation authorizing it to engage in commercial activities.

To obtain an FWC Charter Captain license, you must have a valid Coast Guard Captain's license. For more information about the Coast Guard Captain's license, please visit the USCG website or call 1-888-427-5662.

Boat Launch Permit:

Boat launch permits are required at all public boat ramps in Tarpon Springs, Florida, for both residents and non-residents. Permits can be purchased online or at the Marina office.

To obtain a permit, you will need to provide your name, address, boat trailer license plate number, and proof of residency (for residents). Once purchased, you will receive a decal to attach to your boat trailer. Permits are valid for one year from the date of purchase.

Passenger Pick Up/ Drop Off:

Many places offer services for picking up and returning rental boats, and here are a few with specified passenger zones. Before finalizing your plans, make sure to double-check the pickup and drop-off procedures with the relevant marina or dock.

Tarpon Springs City Marina: Located at 100 Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

Port Tarpon Marina: Located at 527 Anclote Rd #200, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

Additional Information:

All boats must be equipped with the required safety equipment, including personal flotation devices (PFDs) for all passengers.

Operators of commercial vessels must secure an official permit issued by the City of Tarpon Springs in compliance with the prescribed regulations.

Vessels are obligated to possess a currently valid Certificate of Inspection (COI) from the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

Operating vessels at speeds exceeding 5 knots within a proximity of 300 feet from any shoreline is expressly prohibited.

The operation of vessels in designated areas, such as Anclote Key State Park and the Sponger Docks, is strictly proscribed.

For more information on the specific regulations that apply to boat operators in Tarpon Springs, please contact the City of Tarpon Springs at (727)938-3711 or by email cityhelp@ctsfl.us