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COVID-19 FAQs

These are dynamic (fluid and evolving) times, and the Marine Board is actively working with our marine law enforcement partners and boating facility managers to help protect public health while ensuring public safety in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sea Tow graphic on physical distancing guidelines when boating

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:

  • 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. Some city and county facilities are allowing boats to launch. Visit the Marine Board's interactive Boat Oregon Map to find contact information to 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, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper. Many pumpout/dump stations are operational where facilities are open.
  • Follow the Governor's order on physical distancing. Space out (6-feet or more) and take turns launching and retrieving -and be patient.
  • 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. 
  • Families living in the same household can continue to boat as a family. Phase 1 limits the number of individuals in group gatherings (a group of 10 or fewer people that arrived at the site together).  
  • The CDC is now recommending that everyone wear a face-covering in public. Protect yourself and your family before and after your time on the water by wearing a face covering. 
  • Expect some facilities to have reduced launch lanes or alternate-space parking closures following social distancing orders to prevent crowding. If a facility has a lot of patrons and if physical distancing can't be maintained, try again another day.
  • Paddlers out on the water: it's good to stick together, but unless you're all under the same household, maintain a minimum of 6-feet 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 under the Governor's order. 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.
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • 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.



Recreational Boating During COVID-19
We love boating just like you, and the feeling of pure fun, exhilaration, and rejuvenation different boating activities provide. As boating facility providers close or modify their operations in response to this public health crisis, boaters will need to adapt. We ask that you honor the closures that exist, follow all facility rules in place, and do your part to maintain physical distancing while boating. Let's all work together so that we can get back to our normal boating activities as soon as possible.  While boating, please ensure you are following the Governor's Executive Order.






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