Boating and Motor Restrictions

Outboard Motor Restrictions:

  • No motor in excess of 9.9 hp may be operated on the Ogeechee River upstream of State Hwy 119
  • No motor in excess of 25 hp may be operated on Lake Juliette

All boats that carry any means of mechanical propulsion and all sailboats 12 feet and longer must be registered. A boat registration application can be obtained from the Wildlife Resources Division website.

All vessels must be equipped with wearable personal flotation devices (PFD) for each person aboard. PFDs must be readily accessible to all occupants, in good and serviceable condition, legibly marked with the US Coast Guard approved number, and of appropriate size for the occupants. Also, one Type IV throwable device must be on board. Models are available for all ages and boating activities.

All vessels cannot be operated over idle speed within 100 feet of any moored or anchored vessel, vessel adrift, or any wharf, pier, piling, or persons in the water, or shoreline next to a full-time or part-time residence, public park, public beach, public swimming area, marina, restaurant, or other public use area.

Children under age 13 must wear an appropriately sized PFD when the vessel is under way, unless the child is within a fully enclosed, roofed cabin.

PFDs must be worn by each person aboard when operating a vessel in an area marked as "hazardous area".

Personal watercraft (jet ski) cannot be operated in excess of 5 mph when within 100 feet of any moored or anchored vessel, shore, dock, pier, wharf, piling, bridge, or person in the water.

Georgia honors all other states' registrations, provided the boat is not used in excess of 60 consecutive days.

Almost one-half of the boating accidents in Georgia are caused by collision with another boat or an object. Practically all boating accidents occur because of carelessness, inexperience or ignorance of safe boating practices.

Booze and boats do not mix! It is unlawful to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. To learn more about requirements for operating your boat, obtain "Georgia Safe Boating Guide" from any WRD law enforcement office.

To learn about a boating safety course, contact any WRD law enforcement office.