Online Sunshine Logo
Official Internet Site of the Florida Legislature
August 16, 2022
Text: 'NEW Advanced Legislative Search'
Interpreter Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Go to MyFlorida House
Go to MyFlorida House
Select Year:  
The Florida Statutes

The 2022 Florida Statutes

Title XXIV
VESSELS
Chapter 327
VESSEL SAFETY
View Entire Chapter
F.S. 327.54
327.54 Liveries; safety regulations; penalty.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Advertise” means to describe or draw attention to a vessel and its availability for lease or rental in any medium for the purpose of promoting the lease or rental of the vessel.
(b) “Conviction” means any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.
(c) “Livery” means a person who advertises and offers a livery vessel for use by another in exchange for any type of consideration when such person does not also provide the lessee or renter with a captain, a crew, or any type of staff or personnel to operate, oversee, maintain, or manage the vessel. The owner of a vessel who does not advertise his or her vessel for use by another for consideration and who loans or offers his or her vessel for use to another known to him or her either for consideration or without consideration is not a livery. A public or private school or postsecondary institution located within this state is not a livery. A vessel rented or leased by a livery is a livery vessel as defined in s. 327.02.
(d) “Seaworthy” means the vessel and all of its parts and equipment, including, but not limited to, engines, bilge pumps, and kill switches, are functional and reasonably fit for their intended purpose.
(2) A livery may not offer a vessel for lease or rent without first being issued a no-cost livery permit by the commission. The permit must be renewed annually. To qualify for issuance or renewal of a livery permit, an applicant must provide the commission with a list of all vessels offered by the livery for lease or rent by another, have valid insurance pursuant to subsection (7), have an amount of United States Coast Guard-approved lawful personal floatation devices on site sufficient to accommodate the capacity of all vessels offered by the livery for rent or lease by another, have on site all safety equipment required by s. 327.50 and the Code of Federal Regulations sufficient to equip all vessels offered by the livery for rent or lease by another, and display the information required by paragraph (3)(f). If, before the annual renewal of the permit, the information required by this subsection changes, the livery must provide the commission with the updated information within 10 days after the change.
(a) The commission may adopt rules to implement this subsection.
(b) A person who violates this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3) A livery may not knowingly lease or rent a vessel to any person:
(a) When the number of persons intending to use the vessel exceeds the number considered to constitute a maximum safety load for the vessel as specified on the authorized persons capacity plate of the vessel.
(b) When the horsepower of the motor exceeds the capacity of the vessel.
(c) When the vessel does not contain the safety equipment required under s. 327.50.
(d) When the vessel is not seaworthy, is a derelict vessel as defined in s. 823.11, or is at risk of becoming derelict as provided in s. 327.4107.
(e) Unless the livery provides pre-rental or pre-ride instruction in compliance with rules established by the commission.
1. The instruction must include, but need not be limited to:
a. Operational characteristics of the vessel to be rented.
b. Safe vessel operation and vessel right-of-way.
c. The responsibility of the vessel operator for the safe and proper operation of the vessel.
d. Local characteristics of the waterway where the vessel will be operated, such as navigational hazards, the presence of boating-restricted areas, and water depths.
e. Emergency procedures, such as appropriate responses to capsizing, falls overboard, taking on water, and vessel accidents.
2. Any person receiving instruction in the safe handling of livery vessels pursuant to this paragraph must provide the livery with a written statement attesting to each component of the instruction.
a. The commission shall establish by rule the content of the statement form.
b. The statement form must be signed by the individual providing the instruction.
c. The livery shall maintain the statement form for no less than 90 days and, upon request, make the form available for inspection by law enforcement.
(f) Unless the livery displays boating safety information in a place visible to the renting public. The commission shall prescribe by rule, pursuant to chapter 120, the contents and size of the boating safety information to be displayed.
(g) Unless the livery has a written agreement with the renter or lessee. The written agreement must include the name, address, and date of birth for the renter and the number of people aboard the vessel, as well as the time the vessel is required to be returned to the livery or another specified location and an emergency contact name, address, and telephone number. The livery shall maintain each agreement for no less than 1 year and, upon request, make each agreement available for inspection by law enforcement.
(4) A livery may not knowingly lease or rent a vessel to a person who is required to comply with s. 327.395 unless such person presents to the livery the documentation required by s. 327.395(2) for the operation of a vessel or meets the exemption provided under s. 327.395(6)(f).
(5) If a vessel rented or leased by a livery is unnecessarily overdue more than 4 hours after the contracted vessel rental time has expired, the livery must notify law enforcement.
(6) A livery may not knowingly lease or rent a livery vessel, other than a human-powered vessel, to any person who is under 18 years of age.
(7) A livery may not lease or rent or offer to lease or rent any livery vessel unless the livery first obtains and carries in full force and effect a policy from a licensed insurance carrier in this state which insures the livery and the renter against any accident, loss, injury, property damage, or other casualty caused by or resulting from the operation of the livery vessel. The insurance policy must provide coverage of at least $500,000 per person and $1 million per event. The livery shall have proof of such insurance available for inspection at the location where livery vessels are being leased or rented, or offered for lease or rent, and shall provide to each renter the insurance carrier’s name and address and the insurance policy number. This subsection does not apply to human-powered vessels.
(8) Notwithstanding the person’s age or any exemptions provided in s. 327.395, any person delivering instruction regarding the safe operation of vessels or pre-rental or pre-ride instruction in accordance with subsection (3) must have successfully completed a boating safety education course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and this state.
(9) If a vessel rented or leased by a livery is involved in an accident, the livery must report the accident to the division.
(10) A livery shall make its facilities and records available for inspection upon request by law enforcement no later than 24 hours after receiving notice from law enforcement.
(11)(a) Any person convicted of violating this section, other than subsection (2), who has not been convicted of a violation of this section within the past 3 years commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) Unless the stricter penalties in paragraph (c) apply, a person who violates this section, other than subsection (2), within 3 years after a previous conviction of a violation of this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $500.
(c) A person who violates this section, other than subsection (2), within 5 years after two previous convictions for a violation of this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $1,000.
(12) A person who commits more than one violation of this section, other than subsection (2), within a 3-year period may not act as a livery during a 90-day period immediately after being charged with that violation. The commission may revoke or refuse to issue a permit under subsection (2) based on repeated violations of this section.
History.s. 12, ch. 63-105; s. 1, ch. 65-361; s. 303, ch. 71-136; s. 10, ch. 84-188; s. 4, ch. 89-136; s. 2, ch. 96-187; s. 42, ch. 97-96; s. 19, ch. 2000-362; s. 3, ch. 2011-152; s. 21, ch. 2021-184; s. 5, ch. 2022-197.
Note.Former s. 371.561.