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Welcome Aboard!


Massachusetts offers a wonderfully diverse spectrum of boating opportunities to residents and visitors alike. With nearly 1,500 miles of coastline, four major river systems, hundreds of lakes and ponds, as well as the beautiful Quabbin Reservoir, if it has to do with recreational boating, you can find it in Massachusetts.

To really enjoy a safe and relaxing day on the water, vessel operators and passengers must know the “rules of the road,” equipment requirements, safe fueling practices, and other basic safe boating practices. These topics and many others are covered in this guide. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with it and keep it on board your boat for ready reference.

The Massachusetts Environmental Police (MEP) is the Commonwealth’s primary marine enforcement agency, ensuring boater compliance with boating laws and regulations. Environmental Police Officers are involved heavily in boat accident investigations as well as boat thefts. Additionally, we provide boaters with boating safety courses that are state and nationally approved and geared to both youth and novice boaters of all ages. Taking a course as a family is fun and has proven to be very rewarding. We also encourage you to take advantage of other educational opportunities that are available. Working in partnership with volunteer organizations and private enterprise, we strive to make boating a safer and more enjoyable experience for all. Contact us for a schedule of courses offered in your area at 508-564-4961 or www.mass.gov/ole.

Boating is an activity that provides a lifetime of pleasure and learning opportunities. No matter how many years you have spent on the water, each time underway presents its own unique challenges and conditions. We hope this guide assists you in meeting those challenges safely.

Massachusetts Environmental Police

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Welcome aboard