It is almost summer and school will soon be out, and that means summer recreation. Kansas has many fine lakes and reservoirs, so it is no surprise that boating is a common Kansas pastime. Just like automobiles, operating a boat is regulated by the state of Kansas, primarily in the interests of safety, environmental stewardship, and taxation.
Boating regulations fall under the jurisdiction of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism
. An excellent place to start informing oneself about boating in Kansas is the KDWPT's Boating
page, containing numerous articles and links.
While no one under the age of 12 is allowed to operate a powerboat without direct supervision, Kansans between the ages of 12 and 20 can take a KDWPT course
and receive a certificate allowing them to do so. If one is 21 or older, or any age operating a non-motorized boat, a certificate is not required.
By law, motorboats and sailboats in Kansas are required to be registered
and are taxed annually as personal property.
Kansas statutes and administrative regulations governing boat operation in Kansas can be found here
Although frequently overlooked, an important aspect of responsible boating involves following established practices to avoid the introduction or spread of aquatic nuisance species
. Aquatic nuisance species are organisms foreign to Kansas waters that can devastate the native ecosystem because they are over-competitive against native species. In addition to permanently altering the recreational environment, invasive species have been estimated to cost the US economy up to $137 billion each year.