Florida's State Boating Laws

All boats in Florida are required to carry a Coast Guard-approved, wearable life jacket for each person aboard the boat. Additionally, boats 16 feet in length or greater must also carry a readily accessible, Coast Guard-approved throwable device (i.e. a Type IV PFD).

Children’s Life Jacket Law

In Florida, passengers 6 years of age and under are required to wear a Coast Guard-approved, Type I, II or III life jacket while on board any boat that is under 26 feet in length, while the boat is underway. If the boat is anchored, moored, made fast to the shore, or aground, then it is not considered the be ‘underway’.

Personal Watercraft (PWC) Life Jacket Law

Any person aboard a PWC is required to wear a Coast Guard-approved, life jacket at all times (inflatable life jackets are not permitted).

Towed Sports Life Jacket Law

Any person being towed behind a boat is required to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket (inflatable life jackets are not permitted).

Florida’s Muffler and Noise Level Laws

A noise muffling device is required in Florida. Enforcement authorities can request that a boat owner submit to a sound level test. Refusal to submit to a sound level test is punishable by a second degree misdemeanor.

The use of exhaust cutouts are not permitted, unless the boat is competing in a regatta or official boat race.

Mufflers on Airboats

The exhaust of every engine used on an airboat in the state of Florida must be muffled with one of the following:

  • An automotive type factory muffler.
  • An underwater exhaust.
  • Another device that is capable of muffling the sound of the engine exhaust.