Boat Safety

Bay Area Boat Rentals is very proud to be part of your vacation. We will make sure that your vacation is memorable, fun, and that everyone part of your vacation remains safe.

Here, we provide several tips and resources so that everyone is familiar with lake etiquette and follows standard safety procedures.

Key Points from the ABC's of CA Boating

While out on the water, the cause of boating accidents is often the operator’s failure to follow basic safety rules or written precautions. It is very important that every boat operator familiarizes themselves with the ABC’s of California Boating. You can find the complete resource on the the Division of Boating and Waterways' website.

However, for those that need a refreshment of some of the ABC’s, Bay Area Boat Rentals has established some of the key points that they feel are important refreshers:


It is a violation of California law to operate a vessel’s motor or generator while someone is:

  1. teak surfing, platform dragging or bodysurfing behind the vessel; or
  2. while someone is occupying or holding onto a swim platform, swim deck, swim step, or swim ladder, except for a very brief period of time when a person is assisting with the docking or departure of the vessel or exiting or entering the vessel, or while the vessel is engaged in law enforcement or emergency rescue activity.

Teak surfing or platform dragging means holding onto the swim platform, swim deck, swim step, swim ladder, or any portion of the transom exterior of a motorized vessel for any amount of time while the vessel is underway at any speed.


Any person involved in a boating accident that results in injury, death or disappearance who is convicted of leaving the scene without either:

  1. furnishing appropriate information to others involved or to any peace officer at the scene; and/or
  2. rendering any reasonable assistance to any injured person, is liable for a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment for up to four years, or both. A person responsible for an accident that results in serious injury or death can be subject to a conviction of manslaughter and sentenced to an additional five years in state prison for fleeing the scene.


Alcohol is a factor in about 50 percent of all fatal motorboat accidents in California.

State law specifies that:

  1. No person shall operate any vessel, water skis or similar device while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. No person who is addicted to any drug shall operate any vessel, water skis or similar device.
  2. No person 21 years of age or older shall operate any vessel, water skis or similar device who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood. A level of at least 0.05 percent, but less than 0.08 percent, may be used with other evidence in determining whether the person was under the influence of alcohol. A person under 21 years of age or older who has been arrested for operating a mechanically propelled vessel “under the influence” may be requested to submit to a chemical test to determine blood-alcohol content. A person convicted of operating a vessel while intoxicated could receive up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.
  3. No person under 21 years of age may operate a vessel, water skis or similar device who has 0.01 percent or more of alcohol in his or her blood by weight. Penalties may include a fine of up to $250 and participation in an alcohol education or community service program.