About the Study Guide

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

Learn More Register for the Course

Negligent and reckless operation of a vessel is illegal in Texas. Negligent and reckless operation of a vessel is defined as the failure to exercise the care necessary to prevent the endangerment of life, limb, or property of any other person. The following are examples of negligent and reckless operation.

Illegal riding on transom

  • Boating in restricted areas that have been clearly marked by buoys or in some other manner.
  • Allowing passengers to ride on the bow, gunwale, transom, seat backs, seats on raised decks, or any other place where there may be a chance of falling overboard.
  • Operating at speeds that are not reasonable and prudent based on boating traffic, weather conditions, visibility, or other potential hazards. If no limits are posted, you should operate a vessel so that it does not endanger others and so that it can be stopped safely.
  • Causing damage to a person or property with a vessel’s wake in posted “No Wake” areas. In these areas, you should operate a vessel slowly so that it does not throw a wake. In addition, you should reduce your speed when passing:
    • Near a swimming area
    • Close to a shoreline
    • Another vessel where people are fishing, water-skiing, diving, or anchored
  • Encircling people engaged in water activities. Unless you are retrieving a downed water-skier or person engaged in a similar activity, do not operate a boat or PWC in a circular course around:
    • Any person swimming
    • Any other boat or PWC when the operator or any passenger is fishing, water-skiing, or participating in a similar activity