Table of Contents

Download the PDF Version

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.