New Boating Laws in Maine

By admin

Jan 01, 2024

Maine Boating Safety and Education Course beginning January 1st, 2024

Beginning January 1st, 2024, a person born on or after January 1st, 1999 may not operate on inland waters of this State or territorial waters a motorboat for recreational boating purposes propelled by machinery capable of producing more than 25 horsepower unless that person is 12 years of age or older and:

Exceptions to this law are:

  • (1) Possesses a valid Maine guide license and has met the requirements for carrying passengers for hire under Maine state law;
  • (2) Possesses a valid or expired United States merchant marine document issued by the United States Coast Guard for an operator of uninspected passenger vessel, or master or mate captain’s license;
  • (3) Is test driving a motorboat that is registered in accordance with state law and that is offered for sale by a dealer that has been issued a watercraft dealer’s certificate of number and the person is under the direct supervision of a person 16 years of age or older who has completed a boater safety and education course;
  • (4) Possesses a rental or lease agreement that lists the person as an authorized operator of the motorboat and the person has completed a temporary boater safety course provided by the rental agent who has been issued a certificate of number in accordance with state law. A renter or lessor meeting the requirements of this subparagraph may operate the rented or leased motorboat for up to 14 days from the date of course completion or for the duration of the rental agreement, whichever is earlier; or
  • (5) Is not a citizen of the United States, arrived to the United States by sea and is temporarily operating on territorial waters for 60 days or less.


Recreational boating. “Recreational boating” means operating a motorboat primarily for the operator’s pleasure or leasing, renting or chartering a motorboat to another person for the other person’s pleasure. “Recreational boating” does not include using a motorboat engaged in the carriage of passengers for hire.

Section600148-B. Territorial waters. “Territorial waters” means all waters of the State within the rise and fall of the tide seaward to the 3-nautical-mile line as shown on the most recently published Federal Government nautical chart.

Operating motorboat other than personal watercraft while underage. A person under 12 years of age may not operate a motorboat propelled by machinery of more than 10 horsepower unless under the immediate supervision of a person located in the motorboat who is at least 16 years of age. This subsection does not apply to operating a personal watercraft.

Supervising young person. Beginning January 1, 2024, a person born on or after January 1, 1999 may not supervise a person in accordance with subsection 3 unless that supervisor is 16 years of age or older and has completed a boater safety and education course.

Operating personal watercraft while 16 years of age or older; boater safety and education course requirement. Beginning January 1, 2024, a person born on or after January 1, 1999 may not operate a personal watercraft on inland waters of the State or territorial waters unless that person is 16 years of age or older and has completed a boater safety and education course.

Happy and Safe Boating!