Rental Watercraft Guide

The Water Patrol is generally available to start inspecting rental watercraft the first of June. While conducting these inspections, Deputies / Posse will review the following areas to ensure the watercraft is safe for use by the general public.
  • Lights: All motorized watercraft must display the correct lights for their class from sunset to sunrise when underway and at anchor. Red and green running lights must be visible at a distance of 1 mile and white lights at a distance of 2 miles. Faded lenses or lights that are not bright enough to be seen at the distances listed must be replaced or repaired.
  • Life Jackets: There must be an adequate number of U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable personal flotation devices in usable condition to cover different size rental customers. On watercraft 16 feet and longer, there must also be at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved Type IV throwable device on board.
  • Fire Extinguishers: All watercraft with enclosed fuel tanks / containers must have a Coast Guard approved, fully charged and accessible fire extinguisher. Depending on the size of the watercraft, more than one may be required.
  • Oars / Paddles / Pole: All watercraft must have a pair of oars and oarlocks, a paddle or a pole in serviceable condition.
  • Registration: All watercraft must be licensed through the Department of Natural Resources. The Watercraft must display the State sticker and numbers on both side of the forward portion of the craft. Registration cards must either be kept on the watercraft or the owner's business name must be legibly printed on the rear half on both sides of the craft in the same size and manner as registration numbers.
  • Watercraft Condition: No watercraft can be rented or offered for rent or lease which is broken, rotten or in otherwise hazardous condition. All watercraft must have intact all floatation and sealed compartments as designed and installed by the manufacturer. No watercraft should have signs of or visible cracks, punctures, or gouges that would or does compromise the watercraft's hull and water resistance.

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