An act relating to vessel safety; amending s. 327.39,
F.S.; revising certain requirements for operating personal
watercraft; amending s. 327.54, F.S.; revising the
requirements relating to the boating safety course
required for leasing or renting a vessel or personal
watercraft from a livery; providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Subsections (5) and (6) of section 327.39,
Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
327.39 Personal watercraft regulated.--
(5) No person under the age of 16 14 shall operate any
personal watercraft on the waters of this state.
(6)(a) It is unlawful for the owner of any personal
watercraft or any person having charge over or control of a
personal watercraft to authorize or knowingly permit the same to
be operated by a person under 16 14 years of age in violation of
this section or by a person who does not hold a boating safety
identification card in compliance with s. 327.395.
(b)1. It is unlawful for the owner of any leased, hired, or
rented personal watercraft, or any person having charge over or
control of a leased, hired, or rented personal watercraft, to
authorize or knowingly permit the watercraft to be operated by
any person who has not received instruction in the safe handling
of personal watercraft, in compliance with s. 327.54 and rules
established by the commission.
2. Any person receiving instruction in the safe handling of
personal watercraft pursuant to s. 327.54 and any a program
established by rule of the commission must provide the owner of,
or person having charge of or control over, a leased, hired, or
rented personal watercraft with a written statement attesting to
3. The commission shall have the authority to establish
rules pursuant to chapter 120 prescribing the instruction to be
given, which shall take into account the nature and operational
characteristics of personal watercraft and general principles and
regulations pertaining to boating safety.
(c) Any person who violates this subsection commits a
misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.
Section 2. Subsections (1) and (4) of section 327.54,
Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
327.54 Liveries; safety regulations; penalty.--
(1) A livery may not knowingly lease, hire, or rent a
(a) When the number of persons intending to use the vessel
exceeds the number considered to constitute a maximum safety load
for the vessel as specified on the authorized persons capacity
(b) When the horsepower of the motor exceeds the capacity
(c) When the vessel does not contain the required safety
equipment required under s. 327.50.
(d) When the vessel is not seaworthy.
(e) When the vessel is equipped with a motor of 10
horsepower or greater, unless the livery provides prerental or
preride instruction that includes, but need not be limited to:
1. Operational characteristics of the vessel to be rented.
2. Safe vessel operation and vessel right-of-way.
3. The responsibility of the vessel operator for the safe
and proper operation of the vessel.
4. Local characteristics of the waterway where the vessel
Any person delivering the information specified in this paragraph
must enroll in, attend, and successfully complete, at his or her
expense, have successfully completed a boating boater safety
course that meets minimum standards established by commission
rule approved by the National Association of State Boating Law
Administrators and this state.
(f) Unless the livery displays boating safety information
in a place visible to the renting public. The commission shall
prescribe by rule pursuant to chapter 120, the contents and size
of the boating safety information to be displayed.
(4)(a) A livery may not knowingly lease, hire, or rent a
personal watercraft to any person who is under 18 years of age.
(b) A livery may not knowingly lease, hire, or rent a
personal watercraft to any person who has not received
instruction in the safe handling of personal watercraft pursuant
to rule 68D-36, Florida Administrative Code, or any other rule,
in compliance with rules established by the commission pursuant
(c) Any person receiving instruction in the safe handling
of personal watercraft pursuant to rule 68D-36, Florida
Administrative Code, or any other a program established by rule
of the commission, must provide the livery with a written
statement attesting to the same.
Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.