Who Can Legally Drive a Boat in Massachusetts?
We're getting into the season where summer activities will be in full swing and there are plenty of these activities to do in Berkshire County. Whether it's swimming, hiking, camping, or being involved in a number of sports, Berkshire County summers are in a word, FUN! You can partake in these activities all throughout the Berkshires including Pittsfield, Williamstown, North Adams, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Stockbridge, and everywhere in between.
One Summer Activity That Many Berkshire County Residents Enjoy is Boating
When I was a kid, my family would go camping with another family that owned a motorboat. The first time we went out with them on the boat happened to be my first time on a motorboat. I had so much fun that I didn't want it to end. I had the opportunity with this family to do some tubing and water skiing, it was such a thrill. I remember at one point I was put in the driver's seat (supervised) and I was able to drive the boat around for a few minutes. Looking back at these memories, I started wondering what the boating laws are in Massachusetts.
So, Who Can Legally Operate a Boat in Massachusetts? Are There Age Restrictions? What About Adult Supervision?
Here's the law as posted by mass.gov.
No person under 12 years of age may operate a motorboat, unless accompanied on-board and directly supervised by a competent person 18 years of age or older. Personal watercraft (PWC) users must still be at least 16 years of age in order to operate, with no exceptions. Massachusetts law requires all motorboat operators who are 12 through 15 years of age to complete an approved boating course in order to operate a motorboat without adult supervision.
Well, now I know in my particular case I was operating the boat legally. Even though I operated the boat under the age of 12, I did so with adult supervision.