All boaters are encouraged to ensure their vessels are in good working
condition and all required safety equipment is on board.
Louisiana Required Boating Equipment Checklist
- Those on personal watercraft (PWC) must wear a USCG approved Type I, II, III or V personal flotation device (PFD) at all times.
- Children 16 years of age and younger must wear a USCG approved Type I, II or III PFD while underway on a vessel less than 26 feet long. A wearable USCG approved Type I, II or III PFD must be readily available for each of the other passengers onboard.
- All persons onboard a motorboat less than 16 feet which is being propelled by a hand tiller outboard motor are required to wear a USCG approved Type I, II, III or V PFD while the motorboat is underway.
- Persons engaged in water sports, which includes but is not limited to water skiing, being towed on a tube, wake boarding, wake surfing, etc. must wear a USCG approved Type I, II, III or V PFD. An inflatable PFD does not meet the requirements.
- A motorboat less than 26 feet with a hand tiller outboard motor in excess of 10 horsepower designed to have or having an engine cut-off switch must have the engine cut-off switch link attached to the operator, the operator’s clothing, or the operator’s PFD, if worn, while the motor is running and the vessel is underway.
- Certain items are not applicable to PWCs because PWCs are not allowed to operate between sunset and sunrise.
- Required on federally controlled waters (offshore, tidal coastal areas).
- Required for inboards and stern drivers only.
All persons born after Jan. 1, 1984 are required to complete a NASBLA approved boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower and must carry proof of such when operating the motorboat. A motorboat may be operated if any person on board or participating in any boating activity from the motorboat is over the age of 18, and if required to have completed a boating course, has completed the required boating safety course.
LDWF offers Boating Classes in every region of the state, free of charge to the public.
For those who cannot attend a classroom setting an online boating class is available, however, it is not administered by LDWF and a fee is assessed. Visit www.wlf.la.gov for more information about Boater Education.