Taking time to plan a boating adventure to San Diego, California is always an exciting journey. From fishing trips with your very best friends to time spent on the waves partying on a pontoon, visitors to this sunny destination will find the combination of wonderful weather, spectacular surf, and exciting views make boating some of the best in all of Southern California. While the fun is guaranteed, understanding the regulations around boating before you arrive is a good way to keep safety top of mind. The following are a few of the important San Diego boating rules to know before you make your way to an amazing water-based vacation.
Vessel, Ocean and Bay Speed Regulations – San Diego Boating Rules
Swimming and surfing are activities in San Diego that are just as popular as boating and for this reason, it’s important for boaters to never operate a vessel at a speed of more than 5 mph while within 100 feet of swimmers and surfers or within 200 feet of beaches. With San Diego boating rules, 5 mph is also the speed limit for boats that find themselves within 1,000 feet of oceanfront shorelines within the boundaries of the city of San Diego. Those that are planning to boat through and around Mission Bay will need to adhere to the 5 mph speed limit between sunrise and sunset daily.
What to Have On Board
While vessels of varying dimensions and types will have specific regulations regarding on board requirements, in general, it’s important to be sure you have a few specific items on your boat before heading for open water. A throwable floatation device as well as a wearable floatation device for every person on board is required when boating in San Diego. In addition, boaters must have navigation lights for boating after sunset, a sound-producing device as well as a distress signal, and easy access to boat registration stickers, numbers, and cards. Those boaters operating a closed hull construction vessel will need to have a marine fire extinguisher on board as well.
Operational Age Limits
Only individuals 12 and older are allowed to operate vessels on the waters around San Diego that provide for 15 HP and above. Any vessel operators between the ages of 12 and 16 must have an accompanying adult, 18 years of age and up, with them on board at all times.