Clay County Sheriff’s Office

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Boating Safety

Clay County has more than 11,000 registered vessels. That’s a lot of traffic on our waterways!

The Marine Unit includes one full-time deputy and one part-time deputy who cover the 35 square miles of waterways that are favorite destinations for boaters from around the region.

These deputies work diligently with neighboring agencies including Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), United States Coast Guard (USCG), U. S. Homeland Security and the Green Cove Springs Police Department. The sheriff’s office also maintains a great working relationship with the USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 14-8.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office works with the USCG Auxiliary to conduct free, monthly boating safety classes. The classes are held monthly at USCG Auxiliary Headquarters. For more information, see below.

In conjunction with the class, you can arrange to have your vessel receive a complimentary Vessel Safety Check through the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and upon passing, receive a 2021 Vessel Safety Check sticker.

Deputy Bill Maher in the form of a headshot on a waterway, with a sunset in the background
Deputy Bill Maher / CCSO Marine Unit

Interested in taking a boating safety course? Whether you are a new boater or wish to refresh your knowledge, this is a great class for you. Upon successful completion of the class you will receive a Florida Boating Safety Education card which is good for life.    

If you were born on or after January 1, 1988, you are required by law to have the Florida Boating Safety Education card in order to operate a boat alone.

Seating is limited and reservations are required. For more information, email Please add class inquiry/sign-up in the subject line. 

2021 Florida Boating Safety Class 

July 24, 2021

August 21, 2021

September 18, 2021

October 16, 2021

November 20, 2021


9:00 a.m. – 3:00/4:00 p.m.


Classroom building opposite Reynolds Park Yacht Center located at 1063 Bulkhead Road, Green Cove Springs.  This location is at the river, at the extreme west end of the Reynolds Park Complex. The entry road to that area of Reynolds Park is Slow Tide Road from Hwy 16E.


Participants under the age of 13 have to be accompanied by an adult, but that may be waived with prior approval. 


Anyone born on or after January 1, 1988, who is operating a vessel greater than 10 hp. 


  • Accompanied by a passenger who is exempt and over 18 years of age.
  • Accompanied by a passenger who possesses a Boating Safety Education ID card and is over 18 years of age.
  • Processes a USCG Captain’s License.
  • Has a valid Boating Safety Education ID card issued by another state. 


How to Boat Smart – Florida Boating Safety Course



  • A 1-hour lunch break will be given around 11:30 – 12:00 for lunch. Students can bring lunch and eat at the classroom or can leave for lunch at a local eatery. There are several fast food and local restaurants nearby in Green Cove Springs. 
  • Snacks are available in the class.


  • All class supplies are provided including a textbook, but please bring paper if you intend to take notes. 


There is no cost for this class. The USCG Auxiliary appreciates any donations, which will go towards class supplies.


U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

Boating Safety Tips

  • Make a float plan before going out to let someone know where you’ll be and what time you’ll return.
  • Take a cell phone or a VHF radio with you so you can call for assistance.
  • Check local weather reports prior to leaving the ramp.
  • Inspect your safety gear and replace any damaged or non-serviceable equipment.
  • Make sure you have a properly fitting personal flotation device for every person on board.
  • Discuss emergency plans with passengers.
  • Consider getting towing insurance.