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Course Outline

The following are the requirements for vessel operators on South Carolina waters.

  • Persons 16 years of age or older may operate any boat or personal watercraft (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 SCDNR.
  • 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.
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