If you drive a recreational boat powered by a
motor (including dingys and personal watercraft like Jet Skis
or Sea-Doos), you need to earn the Pleasure Craft Operator
(PCO) card and carry it with you on board at all times. This
federal regulation affects all operators of any age or any
How to get carded
You earn the PCO card by scoring 75% on a 50 question
multiple-choice test of basic boating safety knowledge. Or you can
take the BOAT Study Guide home and take the test when
you're ready. The Pleasure Craft Operator card is good for life and
must be carried at all times while operating a powerboat.
Power restrictions for youth
Under federal regulations, youth under 16 years of age may not
operate boats above certain power limits unless accompanied in the
boat and directly supervised by someone 16 years or older:
Under 12 years: Maximum power 10 hp
12-16 years: Maximum power 40 hp
Under 16 years: May not operate personal
watercraft, accompanied or not.
Information about boating safety is available in the Who's Drowning
section of this website.