Rules & Regs

All Commercial boats that carry passengers on navigable waterways in the United States must be driven by a licensed captain. If the boat is to carry more than 6 passengers the boat must have a Certificate of Inspection (which requires the plans be approved by the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center in Washington, DC). The local Coast Guard Marine Safety Office inspects while boats are under construction, as well as on an annual basis.

According to the Jones Act, inspected vessels must be built in the United States, driven by U.S. Citizens, and the materials for the hull must originate in the USA.

Smoky Mountain Jet Boats have a Certificate of Inspection (COI) and stability letter for 11 passengers and one Captain for “Partially Protected Waters – Lakes, Bays and Sounds” at the new weight of 185 lbs per passenger.  We also have 24+1 or 23+2 passenger boats (passenger count depends on the local OCMI- Officer in Charge of Marine Inspection) in the 25′ or 30′ range. they are also certified for Partially Protected Waters and Limited Coast Wise.  Call and lets discuss the route — the larger boats can operate in much rougher conditions increasing profitability.

Almost all waterways in the United States are under Coast Guard jurisdiction and must follow federal rules. Contact your local Marine Safety Office (MSO) if you are interested in one of our boats.

The Local OCMI  (Officer in Charge of Marine Inspections) approves your “route” and does a “New to Zone” COI inspection.

The best way to get a captain’s license is by taking a course with World Wide Marine Training Inc ( of Oriental, NC.  1866.249.2135 for more information.  There are numerous other companies that offer a course –Sea School is another company that has offices all over the country.

Most regulations governing the Coast Guard can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations under CFR 46 and CFR 33. The rules that pertain to small inspected vessels (less than 149 passengers can be found in CFR 46 subchapter T (

We will work closely with you and your local Marine inspector to make your inspections, route selection and training satisfy their needs.

We are also members of AYBC (American Yacht and Boat Council) and the PVA (Passenger Vessel Association)