The Marine Division consists of one full-time and eight seasonal Deputies with a fleet of seven boats and two personal watercrafts. Deputies regularly patrol 40 of the 325 named bodies of water in Barry County from April through September. Marine Deputies provide general assistance to the boating public and vessels in distress along with enforcing marine laws, investigation of boating accidents and crimes on the water. Marine Deputies conduct boat livery inspections and vessel inspections. They also provide boater’s safety training to approximately 800 area students and informational programs to various area groups such as Lake Associations.
The Marine Division is jointly funded by the Michigan Office of Natural Resources and the County of Barry.
A boating safety course is taught on the last Saturday of June at Shady Shores Resort on Gun Lake. The resort is located on Patterson Road 1.3 miles south of M-179, and across the street from Premiere Motors and Gun Lake Chapel. The class is held from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. There is no charge for the class but students under 12 must be accompanied by a parent or responsible person during the entire class. Bring a pencil and a sack lunch, drink and snacks for the day or you may go out to eat during the one hour lunch period. Pre-registration is not required and adults are welcome. (GPS Coordinates – N 42 36.637′, W 85 32.631′)
For those who cannot attend a boating safety course, we highly recommend visiting the boaterexam.com website for boating law updates.
Duplicate Safety Education Certificate Request: If you have previously completed a Michigan Marine Safety Education Course, and your original certificate has been lost or misplaced, please fill out and submit the form, available by clicking here. You may also apply for a duplicate certificate by phone or mail. There will be no charge for this service. If you would like to apply by phone, call (517) 373-3292.
Who May Operate a Boat
Those less than 12 years of age:
May operate a boat powered by a motor of no more than 6 horsepower (hp) legally without restrictions. May operate a boat powered by a motor of more than 6 hp but no more than 35 hp legally only if – they have been issued a boating safety certificate and have it on board the boat and – they are directly supervised on board by a person at least 16 years of age. May not operate a boat powered by a motor of more than 35 hp legally under any conditions.
Those over 12 years of age:
New Law: “Those born on or after July 1, 1996, may operate a boat legally only if they have been issued a boating safety certificate and have it on board the boat."
Those born before July 1, 1996:
May operate a boat legally without restrictions.
Who May Operate a Personal Watercraft (PWC)
Those less than 14 years of age:
May not legally operate a PWC.
Those 14 and 15 years of age:
May operate a PWC legally only if he or she obtained a boating safety certificate and…
He or she is accompanied on board by his or her parent or legal guardian or by a person at least 21 years of age who has been designated by the parent or legal guardian or…
He or she is operating or riding the PWC at a distance of not more than 100 feet from his or her parent or legal guardian or from a person at least 21 years of age who has been designated by the parent or legal guardian.
Those 16 years of age:
And born after December 31, 1978, may operate a PWC legally only if they have obtained a boating safety certificate.
Those born before December 31, 1978:
May operate a PWC legally without restrictions.
Legal Hours of operating a PWC: 8:00 a.m. to Sunset
The Marine Division is supported by a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.