ecently BookingCentral hosted an informational webinar for Florida rental businesses addressing the new the Florida Boating Safety Act (SB 606), which went into effect on January 1, 2023. Over the past few months, in talking with our partners in Florida, we realized there was some confusion, misinformation, and also a concerning lack of awareness of the law among business owners who will be effected by the law. That's why we decided to hold a webinar featuring Lt. Seth Wagner of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who serves as the Program Manager for Livery Permits and Regulation and is arguably the top expert on this law in the state of Florida. You can view the full webinar below:
Also, take a glance at these five key insights Lt. Wagner shared with the audience.
1. It’s important to understand the nuances around the word “livery.
A livery is a person who advertises and offers a vessel for use. You don’t have to be an LLC to be considered a livery; if you have even one boat and you advertise it for use, you are a livery. If you're allowing your friend to use your boat and he gave you some money for gas, you're not a livery because you're not advertising. If you require a customer to use an approved captain and crew, in Florida's eyes that is a charter boat, not a livery.
2. SB606 covers all watercraft.
The law pertains to both motorized and non-motorized vessels, including motor boats, pontoon boats, sailboats, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards. The insurance requirement only pertains to motorized vessels.
3. The law can be enforced by any law enforcement officer.
It could be local police, the Sheriff's Department, marine patrol, anybody from a law enforcement perspective can ask to see the documentation that the law requires you to have.
4. You will not be penalized during the “education period.”
Some of the language around the insurance requirements is under review by the state legislature. Until the legislature can address the issue, action will not be taken against you. You can operate as normal as long as you abide by the other pieces of the statute.
5. Keep this important contact information and resources for updates.
BookingCentral can help you with compliance of SB606.
Our new Pre-Check In feature, along with our Two-way Texting feature, make it easy for you to get what you need from your customers. If you’re already a BookingCentral user, you just need to enable Pre-Check In in your account. Not using BookingCentral? Allow us to give you a demo of these features—book an appointment with us today.