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Airboat Laws and Regulations in Florida

November 28, 2022

Airboats are flat-bottomed vessels powered by an internal combustion engine and propelled by an aircraft-style propeller mounted on the stern. They are a popular means of transportation in shallow, marshy waters where a submerged propeller would be impractical, such as the Florida Everglades.

Airboat muffler laws in Florida

Since airboats are powered by internal combustion engines, they must be equipped with an automotive-style muffler or underwater exhaust that adequately muffles the sound of the engine. Using cutouts or flex pipe as the sole muffling method is not permitted.

Airboat flag requirements in Florida

According to Florida boating regulations, airboats must have an international orange flag mounted on a mast or flagpole at least 10 ft above the bottom of the boat. The flag must be at least 10 x 12 inches in size, square or rectangular in shape and displayed prominently so that it can be seen from any direction.

Airboat operator regulations in Florida

Special requirements for people who operate airboats for hire have recently been implemented in an attempt to lower the number of boating accidents in Florida. Commercial operators must undergo training and have the following on board:

Take Drive a Boat USA’s boating safety course!

Do you operate an airboat for hire in Florida? If so, you’ll need to obtain your Florida Boating Safety ID Card in order to meet new state requirements. Take Drive a Boat USA’s NASBLA-approved boater safety course online to fulfill your legal obligations in a simple and convenient way.