Are you considering buying a
boat, or wondering who can legally operate a jet
ski? Preparation is the key to enjoying a safe outing
on the water. Protect yourself, your loved ones,
and the environment by knowing and following the
The laws that govern
boating are made on the Federal, State and local
level. To paraphrase an old saying, “Ignorance
of the law is no excuse.” Make sure you know
the law. You can save yourself time and fines, and
ensure your safety on and off the water.
Jersey Statutes are the laws passed
New Jersey State Legislature,
and are available on the Internet from their Web
site. Generally, you will find boating laws in
12, Commerce and Navigation.
You can search the
statutes on the Internet by citation or by keyword.
BY CITATION - “12: 7-47.1”
BY KEYWORDS OR PHRASES- “personal flotation
device” “boating while intoxicated.”
(N.J.S.A.) are available in print at
many of our branches. You may contact your local
County Library branch to find
out whether N.J.S.A. is available at your branch.
complete paper set is available at the Toms River
The New Jersey Administrative
Code (N.J.A.C.) contains regulations adopted
by New Jersey state agencies. It is available ONLY
on CD-ROM in the Information Services Department
at our Toms River Branch. It is not available
on the Internet, or in print in the Ocean County
Library system. The N.J.A.C. can be searched
by citation number or by keyword. Look for boating
regulations in Title 13.
page to see the Legal Collection available at Ocean
County Library branches.
Every town varies and
the so will the Municipal ordinances. They are not
normally available on the Internet, or in Ocean
County Library branches. We recommend that you contact
your local municipal clerk’s office for ordinances
that affect boating activities. Your town may have
wake or noise restrictions, or there may be special
areas set aside for wildlife.
United States Code
(U.S.C.) contains the laws passed by the
United States Congress, and is available on the
Internet from the
House of Representatives.
Code of Federal Regulations
(C.F.R.) contains regulations adopted by federal
agencies, and is available Internet from the
National Archives and Records
Administration. The C.F.R. is no
longer available in print at the Toms River
branch of the Ocean County Library.
States Coast Guard Auxiliary
These civilian volunteers support the goals of the
U.S. Coast Guard and provide boating safety classes
for the public. Members participate in safety patrols,
conduct free vessel safety checks, and help boaters
in distress. On their web site you will find: news
on special educational programs, information on
free vessel safety checks, and links to local flotillas.
You can even e-mail a question to the Coast Guard
Jersey State Police, Marine Services Unit
This support unit for marine activities answers
questions on marine law, gathers statistical data
on marine accidents, and develops training and boating
safety courses for grammar school students. Their
web site includes a helpful FAQ section and a list
of statewide marine stations. Contact the Marine
Services Unit directly at: (609)-882-2000,
x6170, 6173, 6181. Weekdays, 8 AM.-5 PM.
Safe Boating Council
The NSBC promotes recreational boating safety
as a coalition of U.S. and Canadian agencies. Their
newsletter alerts the public to recalls of equipment,
special giveaways, and provides information on what
to do in case of various boating emergencies. Also
highlighted are training opportunities and links
to major boating organizations, Internet reference
sources, and weather sites.
Bay Sail and Power Squadron
A member of the United States Power Squadrons, Barnegat
Bay Sail and Power Squadron serves the area from
Manasquan to Forked River, New Jersey. They offer
boating safety classes for the public, assist the
Coast Guard Auxiliary with vessel safety checks,
and provide squadron members with educational and
New members are always welcome. For more information,
follow this link.
Need a current boating
chart? You can get one from your local marina or
The Light List,
published by the U.S. Coast Guard, helps boaters
find aids to navigation, and includes descriptions
of all U.S. lighthouses. It is several volumes and
is broken down by region.
Volume I describes navigation aids in the waters
from the St. Croix River in Maine
to Ocean City
Inlet in Maryland). The Light List is available
for purchase on the Internet from the
Superintendent of Documents,
Government Printing Office. The mailing
address is: Superintendent of Documents, Government
Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 20402.
The Ocean County Library
has many books and magazines on boating. Visit
your local Ocean County
Library branch or search
our Internet catalog to find what we have available.
There are some Internet
boating magazines available for free. The following
Internet magazines, like their paper versions, contain
feature articles on boat handling, equipment, maintenance,
adventure travel, and calendars of special events.
To report an oil spill
or other pollution on our waterways, call the Coast
Guard at 1-800-424-8802.
To inquire about safety
defects and recalls on boating equipment, call the
Coast Guard Customer Infoline at 1-800-368-5647.
Their hours of service are: 8:00 AM-4:00 PM, Monday
through Friday (EST). The Customer Infoline for
the hearing impaired is 1-800-689-0816.
you looking for a pump-out station in New Jersey?
Call 1-800-275-3474 (FISH).
Q. I just bought a
Jet Ski. Do I have to wear a life jacket?
A. Yes! “A person
operating a personal watercraft or any passenger
on a personal watercraft shall at all times when
the personal watercraft is underway, wear a United
States Coast Guard Approved Type I, II, III, or
Type V Hybrid Personal Flotation Device.” NJSA
Q. How many life jackets
must I keep on my boat?
A. “A person shall
not operate or allow another person to operate a
vessel on the waters of this state unless the vessel
has a serviceable United States Coast Guard approved
personal flotation device for each person on
board. Such devices shall be of a type and in
sufficient number as required by the United States
Coast Guard for a vessel of that class
operating on navigable waters.” NJSA 12: 7-77.
Q. How do I get a boat
A. Go to a New Jersey
Division of Motor Vehicles Agency. Those born in
1979 or later MUST bring their NJ Boat Safety
Certificate with them when they apply for this license.
Q. Where do I go for
a NJ Boat Safety Certificate?
A. To obtain a boat
safety certificate, you must attend a state-approved
boat safety course. Such courses are given by the
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. Boat
safety classes completed on the Internet are NOT
acceptable. Check your local adult community school
for available boating safety courses. Find a course
near you by calling 1-800-336-2628.
questions? We have answers!
and Compiled by S. Harrison
Edited by C. Paulson