As of Nov. 10, all individuals who operate a motorized vessel on Hawaii waters must take a boating safety course and show proof of certification, according to a law passed in July 2012 that is just now going into full effect.
Those who do not have proof of a completed boat education safety course can be fined between $50 and $1,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 30 days for each violation. Boaters out of compliance may also be prevented from operating a vessel on Hawaii waters for up to 30 days.
Another new restriction states that those under 16 years of age may not operate a power-driven vessel on Hawaii waters unless he/she has proof of boater education safety course completion and is supervised by someone age 21 or older who also has proof of course completion.
The mandatory law applies to all boaters, except for those who:
- Possess valid merchant mariner credentials to operate a vessel issued by the U.S. Coast Guard; or
- Operate a thrill craft in a commercial zone; or
- Operate a motor vessel of 10 horsepower or less; or
- Are on a voyage originating outside of Hawaii and remain in Hawaii for less than 60 calendar days.
Find more information on these exemptions and other information at the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation in the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
What Do You Need to Do?
All you have to do is pass an approved Hawaii boating education course before taking your boat onto state waters. Courses are available online and in person and take about three hours to complete.
The self-directed online course available at www.boat-ed.com/hawaii is approved by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources as well as the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Topics include navigation laws, personal watercraft (PWCs), personal flotation devices (life jackets), diver-down flags, rescue techniques, windsurfing, and much more.
If you had previously completed a NASBLA-approved course, such as those offered at boat-ed.com, you can take an abbreviated course for free.
You can find an in-person classroom course and other information at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/.
About Boat Ed
Boat Ed® and boat-ed.com, owned by parent company Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc., is the official provider of recreational safety education materials for all 50 U.S. states and Canada. Our print and Internet courses have been providing official safety certification since 1995. We provide safety courses in boating, hunting, bowhunting, and off-road vehicle and snowmobile operation. For more information, visit www.kalkomey.com.