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Boating Safety

Boating Safety Checklists:

  • Required by Law
    • Approved wearable flotation device for each person readily accessible
    • Additional throwable flotation device on boats over 16 feet
    • Persons 12 and under must wear PFD while underway
    • Fire extinguisher if fuel tank or engine is enclosed
    • Running lights after sunset or during restricted visibility
    • State registration card on board
    • Registration number and validation sticker displayed
    • Do not operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs
    • Observe navigation rules
    • Do not overload boat
    • Sound signaling device
  • Other Items
    • Do not occupy ramp until boat is ready to launch
    • Notify others of your schedule
    • Obtain weather forecasts
    • Navigation charts
    • Bail bucket
    • Anchor and line
    • Paddle and extra plug
    • Secure boat to trailer after loading
    • Trailer lights
    • Reduce speed at night
    • Check for gasoline fumes
    • Motor kill switch
    • 170 degree wide-angle rear view mirror

Wear your personal flotation device.

80% of drowning victims in boating accidents were not wearing a personal flotation device.

Please take a boating course for more enjoyable and safer boating. For more information on free classes and self courses, contact:

Boating Division
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
State 1-800-799-4890
Middle Tennessee 1-800-624-7406


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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