January 27, 2021
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HB 703

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to vessel safety; amending s. 327.39,
3F.S.; revising certain requirements for operating personal
4watercraft; amending s. 327.54, F.S.; revising the
5requirements relating to the boating safety course
6required for leasing or renting a vessel or personal
7watercraft from a livery; providing an effective date.
9Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
11     Section 1.  Subsections (5) and (6) of section 327.39,
12Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
13     327.39  Personal watercraft regulated.--
14     (5)  No person under the age of 16 14 shall operate any
15personal watercraft on the waters of this state.
16     (6)(a)  It is unlawful for the owner of any personal
17watercraft or any person having charge over or control of a
18personal watercraft to authorize or knowingly permit the same to
19be operated by a person under 16 14 years of age in violation of
20this section or by a person who does not hold a boating safety
21identification card in compliance with s. 327.395.
22     (b)1.  It is unlawful for the owner of any leased, hired,
23or rented personal watercraft, or any person having charge over
24or control of a leased, hired, or rented personal watercraft, to
25authorize or knowingly permit the watercraft to be operated by
26any person who has not received instruction in the safe handling
27of personal watercraft, in compliance with s. 327.54 and rules
28established by the commission.
29     2.  Any person receiving instruction in the safe handling
30of personal watercraft pursuant to s. 327.54 and any a program
31established by rule of the commission must provide the owner of,
32or person having charge of or control over, a leased, hired, or
33rented personal watercraft with a written statement attesting to
34the same.
35     3.  The commission shall have the authority to establish
36rules pursuant to chapter 120 prescribing the instruction to be
37given, which shall take into account the nature and operational
38characteristics of personal watercraft and general principles
39and regulations pertaining to boating safety.
40     (c)  Any person who violates this subsection commits a
41misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.
42775.082 or s. 775.083.
43     Section 2.  Subsections (1) and (4) of section 327.54,
44Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
45     327.54  Liveries; safety regulations; penalty.--
46     (1)  A livery may not knowingly lease, hire, or rent a
47vessel to any person:
48     (a)  When the number of persons intending to use the vessel
49exceeds the number considered to constitute a maximum safety
50load for the vessel as specified on the authorized persons
51capacity plate of the vessel.
52     (b)  When the horsepower of the motor exceeds the capacity
53of the vessel.
54     (c)  When the vessel does not contain the required safety
55equipment required under s. 327.50.
56     (d)  When the vessel is not seaworthy.
57     (e)  When the vessel is equipped with a motor of 10
58horsepower or greater, unless the livery provides prerental or
59preride instruction that includes, but need not be limited to:
60     1.  Operational characteristics of the vessel to be rented.
61     2.  Safe vessel operation and vessel right-of-way.
62     3.  The responsibility of the vessel operator for the safe
63and proper operation of the vessel.
64     4.  Local characteristics of the waterway where the vessel
65will be operated.
67Any person delivering the information specified in this
68paragraph must enroll in, attend, and successfully complete, at
69his or her expense, have successfully completed a boating boater
70safety course that meets minimum standards established by
71commission rule approved by the National Association of State
72Boating Law Administrators and this state.
73     (f)  Unless the livery displays boating safety information
74in a place visible to the renting public. The commission shall
75prescribe by rule pursuant to chapter 120, the contents and size
76of the boating safety information to be displayed.
77     (4)(a)  A livery may not knowingly lease, hire, or rent a
78personal watercraft to any person who is under 18 years of age.
79     (b)  A livery may not knowingly lease, hire, or rent a
80personal watercraft to any person who has not received
81instruction in the safe handling of personal watercraft pursuant
82to rule 68D-36, Florida Administrative Code, or any other rule,
83in compliance with rules established by the commission pursuant
84to chapter 120.
85     (c)  Any person receiving instruction in the safe handling
86of personal watercraft pursuant to rule 68D-36, Florida
87Administrative Code, or any other a program established by rule
88of the commission, must provide the livery with a written
89statement attesting to the same.
90     Section 3.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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