Alaska Regulatory Guide for Boat Rentals

Alaska has regulations related to the operation of vessel, including boats used for leasing. These regulations cover various aspects of vessel operation, such as equipment requirements, safety procedures, and licensing requirements for operators. On this page, we navigate you through everything you need to have in place in order to ensure that your boat rental business is compliant with Alaska’s regulations, along with some other important things to keep in mind.

Boxes you need to tick

These are requirements as defined by law:

Registration Requirement

Certificate of Number must be carried onboard. Registration numbers and validation decals must be properly displayed on hull of boat.

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Safety Equipment

Please adhere to the guidelines provided on the Alaska Department of Natural Resources website:

  • One USCG-approved Type I, II, III or V Personal Flotation Device (PFD) for each person on board. Must be in serviceable condition. Persons under 13 must wear a PFD when in an open boat, on the deck of a boat or when waterskiing.
  • Boats 39.4 feet (12 meters) or more in length must carry on board a whistle or horn.
  • USCG-approved night signals required between sunset and sunrise.
  • USCG-approved B-I fire extinguishers are required for boats with inboard engines, living spaces, permanent fuel tanks or enclosed storage areas or hull voids not sealed or filled with flotation material.
  • Navigation light display required between sunset and sunrise and during periods of restricted visibility. International configuration required (varies with length and mode of operation).
  • Boats with permanently installed engines, closed compartments or permanent fuel tanks must have efficient natural or mechanical ventilation.
  • One USCG-approved backfire control device on each carburetor of all inboard gasoline engines.
  • Certificate of Number must be carried onboard. Registration numbers and validation decals must be properly displayed on hull of boat.

Keep in mind when renting out boats


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Video Documentation
License Requirement
Age Requirement
List of Passengers

The information provided is intended to be general and informative, and should not be interpreted as regulatory, legal, or insurance advice. It does not constitute professional advice from a licensed insurance agent and does not establish an attorney-client or insurer-insured relationship. This information should not replace the counsel of a qualified legal, regulatory, or insurance professional. Always consult with a qualified professional for legal, regulatory, or insurance advice pertaining to your specific circumstances.

Boat Rental Accident Reporting

For the purpose of gathering accident statistics only, the operator (owner, if the operator is unable to) of a boat used for non‐commercial purposes or registered by the State Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles, is required to submit a report in writing whenever an accident results in:

  • loss of life or disappearance from a vessel;
  • an injury which requires medical treatment beyond first aid;
  • property damage in excess of $500; or
  • complete loss of the vessel.

Federal law requires that in death, disappearance, and injury cases, reports must be submitted within 48 hours and in other cases within 10 days. Submit completed reports to:

State of Alaska, Office of Boating Safety

550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 1380

Anchorage, AK 99501

Fax to: (907) 269‐8907

E‐mail to:

Report Accident

Federal Regulation

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) regularly provides updates on recentchanges in regulation and have overviews of specific requirements for boatrental companies

Buoy is your one-stop shop for compliance & insurance

Buoy provides boat rental companies with peace of mind while saving time and money. When using Buoy’s insurance solution, we will help you get fully compliant free of charge.

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