Boating is one of the most fun summer activities you can do in your free time — especially as a part of Freedom Boat Club in Delaware. You can soak up the sun, do some water skiing, get some relaxing fishing in, or maybe just cruise around the bay. Boating is also a great way to spend some quality time with family and friends. But, before you hit the water and get your Freedom Boat Club of Delaware membership, there are a few boating laws and regulations you should be aware of. In today’s blog here at Freedom Boat Club in Delaware, we are going to talk about some of the main boating laws and requirements set in place by the state of Delaware.



Age requirements

Letting your kiddos sit on your lap and steer the boat or push the throttle forward is one thing, letting them completely take over and drive the boat on there own is another. In the state of Delaware, children under the age of 14 can not operate a boat. Those who are 14 or 15 and hold a boating safety certification may pilot boating excursions with the supervision of a parent or guardian. People 16 years of age and older may operate a boat without any restrictions as long as they also hold a boating safety certification. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but they are few and far between. At Freedom Boat Club in Delaware, we require all members to comply with the regulations set forth by the state of Delaware. 

Boats and alcohol

You wouldn’t drink and drive in a car, nor should you drink and drive a boat. Boating in Delaware while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious crime. Those who break this law face heavy fines and jail time. The first offense starts at a $1,000 fine and up to six months of jail time. If you are caught boating under the influence again, then the punishment gets more severe depending on the number of offenses. Freedom Boat Club in Delaware does not condone boating under the influence of any kind of drugs or alcohol. Not only is it illegal, but you are potentially putting the lives of your passengers, and other watercraft at risk. 


In Delaware, it is required that all motorized boats be registered. Boats that do not have an attached motor or people who have been in the state less than 60 days do not have to register their boats for use on the bay or anywhere else. It is also required that you have proof of your boat’s registration in some way, shape, or form so that safety officials may check it if necessary. Your registration must be renewed every three years.


All of our boats at Freedom Boat Club in Delaware have the proper registration and paperwork already, so there is no need to sweat it. To learn more about the benefits of Freedom Boat Club in Delaware membership over traditional boat ownership, contact us today! 

Night boating

You are allowed to operate a boat at nighttime in the state of Delaware assuming you have the appropriate lighting fixed to your boat. Boating at night without the proper illumination can be very dangerous and sometimes lethal. 


Life jackets

Here in Delaware, you are required to have at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket available for each person on board. So, if there are four people on the boat, you need four life jackets available. The life jackets don’t necessarily have to be worn by any individual over the age of 12 years old. Even though it is not mandatory for life jackets to be worn by those over the age of 12, our team at Freedom Boat Club in Delaware highly recommends it. Life jackets may be a bit awkward at first, but what is a little awkwardness compared to it potentially saving your life? 


With us, you don’t have to worry. Every boat share boat available at Freedom Boat Club in Delaware comes equipped with the proper amount of life jackets and other equipment before you even get to the docks.

Required equipment

There are certain equipment requirements that the state of Delaware mandates be on board of all boats, such as: 


  • Your boater safety certification
  • Your boater registration
  • Your validation sticker
  • Your life jackets for each passenger
  • A fire extinguisher
  • An ignition safety switch
  • A flame arrestor
  • A proper ventilation system
  • Some sort of horn, bell, or other noise-making devices
  • Daytime and nighttime distress beacons
  • Navigation lights


If you are unsure whether or not you have the proper equipment on board, then contact your local dock. They can help you double check that you have everything you need to be within regulation. For those who are already members of Freedom Boat Club in Delaware, no need to worry. We conduct an inspection of every boat we send out before the boat club member even arrives, ensuring that your boat is always up to all necessary codes and regulations. 


Interested in becoming a Freedom Boat Club of Delaware member? Reach out to us today!