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It's the Law

Who May Operate a Vessel


Persons 16 years of age or older may operate any boat or PWC without restrictions.

Persons younger than 16 years of age may operate:

  • A boat or PWC powered by less than 15 horsepower without restrictions.
  • A boat or PWC powered by 15 horsepower or more only if:
    • They are accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old who is not under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs or…
    • They have passed a boating safety course approved by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

It is unlawful for a person to cause or allow a child over whom they have permanent or temporary responsibility to operate a boat or PWC illegally.