About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Boat California Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your California Boater Education Certificate

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California law requires a person to be 16 years of age or older to legally operate a vessel powered by a motor of 15 horsepower or more, including personal watercraft (PWCs).

Exceptions to this law are:

  • Persons 12 to 15 years of age may operate a vessel powered by a motor of 15 horsepower or more, including personal watercraft, if they are supervised on board by a person at least 18 years of age.

  • There is no age restriction for operating a sailboat under 30 ft. long (with wind as the main source of propulsion) or a dinghy used between a moored vessel and shore or between two moored vessels.

  • It is illegal to permit a person under the age of 16 to operate a vessel powered by a motor of 15 horsepower or more, including personal watercraft, without on board supervision by a person 18 years of age or older.