About the Study Guide

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

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Boats on a waterway

Some waterways in South Carolina have special regulations such as horsepower restrictions or speed limits. Be sure to check for special restrictions on a waterway before going boating.

Paddleboard Requirements

In recent years, paddlesports have become very popular on the coast and on inland lakes. This includes paddleboarding.

  • The U.S. Coast Guard classifies paddleboards as vessels.
  • Unless used in the surf at the beach like a surfboard, paddleboard users must comply with the USCG's navigation rules and safety requirements for this type of vessel. This includes the following safety equipment.
    • Life Jacket: Paddleboards must have a readily accessible USCG–approved PFD for each person on board. Children under 12 years of age must wear an approved PFD.
    • Sound-Producing Device: Paddleboards must have a sound-producing device on board. A police-type whistle meets this requirement. Consider tying the whistle to your life jacket or wearing it around your neck in case you are separated from your paddleboard.
    • Visual Distress Signals: Paddleboards must carry night signals when operating on federally controlled waters between sunset and sunrise.
    • Navigation Lights: When used between sunset and sunrise or during periods of restricted visibility, paddleboards must have the same navigation lights as any other unpowered vessel. A flashlight meets this requirement.