Q:

What are the laws on air boat ownership in Florida?

A:

Quick Answer

As of September 2015, Florida subjects air boats to the same regulations as other water craft, with the two added provisions that air boats must display a flag and be muffled. Air boats must display a 10-by-12-inch, orange flag upon a mast or flagpole that extends at least 10 feet above the boat's lowest point and provides an unobstructed view. Air boat engines must have a muffler that "prevents excessive sound," according to Florida state code 372.391.

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Full Answer

Unlike other vessels, air boats may display their registration numbers on either side of their rudder, rather than on the forward halves of their two sides. This allowance does not exempt air boats from the prohibition on displaying any number other than their registration number on their forward halves, however, according to Florida state code 328.48(4) and 328.62.

More broadly, owners must register all powered boats with their local tax collector's office within 30 days of purchase. Operators must have their certificate of registration on board whenever they operate the vessel. Anyone born on, or after, Jan. 1, 1988 who operates a boat of more than 10 horsepower, as most air boats are, must have passed a boater safety course and possess a boating safety education ID card, or be accompanied by another individual who is at least 18 years old and possesses such a card, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The commission recommends that Florida residents contact it with questions regarding boating laws.

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