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Course Outline

On Florida waterways, there are signs restricting boat speed. Florida regulates boat speeds in certain areas either for protection of manatees or for boating safety purposes. It is important that boat operators look for signs, understand what they mean, and abide by the speed regulations. Here are the most common signs.

“Idle Speed, No Wake” Zone: A designated area where vessels must be operated at a speed no greater than that which is necessary to maintain steerage and headway. The vessel should not produce a wake at this speed.

Florida Idle Speed No Wake Zone Sign

“Slow Speed, Minimum Wake” Zone: Areas where vessels must be fully off plane and completely settled in the water. Any wake created by a vessel in one of these zones must be minimal (very small). If your vessel is traveling with the bow even slightly elevated while in one of these zones, it is not proceeding at “Slow Speed” as required by law.

Florida Slow Speed Minimum Wake Zone Sign

Maximum 25 MPH, 30 MPH, and 35 MPH Speed Zones: Controlled areas within which a vessel must not exceed posted speed.

Florida Slow Speed Outside Channel Sign - 25 MPH in Channel

Vessel Exclusion Area: An area marked with a vertical diamond shape with a cross in the center that indicates all vessels or certain classes of vessels are excluded from the area.

Florida Vessel Exclusion Area Sign - Vessels Excluded Swim Area
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