Recreational Boating During COVID-19
These are dynamic (fluid and evolving) times, and the Marine Board is actively working with our marine law enforcement partners and boating facility owners/operators to help protect public health while ensuring public safety in the COVID-19 pandemic. Make sure you have the right equipment, the boat ramp is open, and you're self-contained. Restrooms and life jacket loaner stations may be closed.
The Marine Board asks that you use your good judgment and if you venture out to go boating to be fluid and adaptable to rapidly changing situations. We also recommend that you:
- Wear a face covering, Watch your distance from others, Wash hands frequently.
- Explore waterways close to home that can be done as a day trip. Leave from your home to the boat and back so that you don't have unnecessary contact with others.
- Be self-sufficient. Carry needed supplies with you (soap, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, food, etc.) to minimize non-essential stops. Pack it in, pack it out. Leave no trace.
- Take time in advance to see if a boat ramp is open. Visit the Marine Board's interactive Boat Oregon Map to find contact information for a facility near you. Keep in mind that even though a ramp may be open to launching, the restrooms may not be. Plan accordingly! Have a porta-potty, bucket with a lid, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper. Many pumpout/dump stations are operational where facilities are open.
- Space out (6-feet or more), take turns launching and retrieving -and be patient.
- Protect yourself and your family outdoors by wearing face coverings where physical distancing cannot be maintained, such as parking areas, public restrooms (including floating restrooms) boarding docks, boat ramps, etc. Effective July 15, the Governor is requiring everyone to wear face coverings for indoor public spaces and to limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people. “Outdoor spaces open to the public” means outdoor spaces where at least six (6) feet distance cannot be maintained between individuals in different households, whether
publicly owned or privately owned, where the public has access by right or invitation,
express or implied, whether by payment of money or not.
- Avoid congregating on boat ramps or in the parking lot.
- Maintain a safe distance at a fuel dock or loading up at a marina. After touching a marine gate, fuel pump, or other objects frequently touched by others, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
- People living in the same household can continue to boat together. Follow reopening guidelines for the number of individuals in group gatherings.
- Expect some facilities to have reduced launch lanes or alternate-space parking closures following physical distancing orders to prevent crowding.
- Paddlers out on the water: it's good to stick together, however still maintain a minimum of 6-feet of physical distance from others.
- Marine law enforcement officers are actively patrolling looking for compliance with existing laws (current motorboat registration, boater education card, towed watersports endorsement (for Newberg Pool only), and waterway access permits for paddlers operating boats 10' long or longer). Follow all statewide and local area rules for equipment, operation, and proximity. At the moment, officers are educating the public about physical distancing measures but have the authority to write citations. Give them a hand by playing it safe and wearing your life jacket, having the appropriate safety equipment, and communication tools/devices.
- Stay home if you are sick.
Need to title, register, or renew your motorboat registration? Need a Waterway Access Permit or Boating Safety Education Card? Visit our BoatOregon Store online. Education courses are also available online.
We love boating just like you, and the feeling of pure fun, exhilaration, and rejuvenation different boating activities provide and boaters will need to adapt. We ask that you honor any restrictions, follow all facility rules in place, and do your part to maintain physical distancing while boating. Let's all work together.