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Recreational Boating

Boating & Angling Guides
The following guides provide useful information for boaters using Sarasota and Manatee County waters. They also provide vital information to educate boaters about responsible use of waterways and protection of natural resources. Click here to download page 1 of the Boating and Angling Guide to Sarasota County pdf

Click here to download page 2 of the Boating and Angling Guide to Sarasota County pdf

Click here to download the Boating and Angling Guide to Manatee County pdf

Find out more about recreational opportunities around Sarasota Bay. Click here to download the Sarasota Bay Blueways Guide pdf

Speed Zones

Speed zones are marked with signs and/or buoys that have an "International Orange" circle, which signifies the area is a regulated waterway.  It is the boaters responsibility to read and follow the regulatory messages on these markers.  Map of the speed zones in Manatee County Download the PDF.  Map of the speed zones in Sarasota County download the PDF.

Florida's Recreational Boating Requirements

Provides information on rules and requirements for boating such as life jackets, vessel lighting, accident reporting, speed restrictions, etc.  Download PDF here.

How You Can Protect Seagrass

Seagrass provides benefits for everyone. Learn more about the benefits and what you can do to help protect seagrass by downloading the Florida's Seagrass Meadows pdf

Navigating Florida's shallow waters can be a challenge for even the most experienced boater. With a little care, you can avoid damaging seagrass habitat (and your boat!) and avoid fines, fees and other costs associated with running aground.  For more information visit


Florida's Clean Marina Programs

The Florida Depatment of Environmental Protection's Clean Marina Programs are designed to bring awareness to marine facilities and boaters regarding environmentally friendly practices intended to protect and preserve Florida’s natural environment. Marinas, boatyards and marine retailers receive "clean" designations by demonstrating a commitment implementing and maintaining a host of best management practices.

United States Power Squadrons

The United States Power Squadrons (USPS) is a non profit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation and related subjects. Their members are boating families who contribute to their communities by promoting safe boating through education. USPS, America's largest non-profit boating organization has some 45,000 members organized into 450 squadrons across the country.

Anna Maria Island Power Squadron
Phone: 941-792-0394

Manatee Sail & Power Squadron
Phone: 941-746-3368

Sarasota Power Squadron
Phone: 941-953-7565

Venice Sail & Power Squadron
Phone: 941-485-7245

For more information on public boating safety, seamanship, and navigation courses offered by U.S. Power Squadrons and U.S. Coast Guard auxiliaries in our area, call Boat U.S. toll-free at 1-800-336-BOAT.

Coast Guard

Your local Coast Guard Auxiliary offers a free boat inspection to advise boaters of state and federal safety requirements. Violations found during these courtesy exams will not be reported to authorities.

In Bradenton visit

In Sarasota visit


Paddling Guides

Paddle Sarasota: A Guide to Sarasota’s Kayak and Canoe Trails can be used to navigate designated paddling routes through open water as well as mangrove trails. Each paddling trail has detailed directions to Launch Points.

Paddle Manatee: A Guide to Area Canoe and Kayak Trails is designed to be used along with the paddling markers in our area waterways to help guide paddlers throughout Manatee County's waters.

Regional Kayak & Canoe Suppliers

  • Almost Heaven: 941-504-6296
  • Florida Watersports: 941-798-3721
  • Beach Bums: 941-778-3316 (offering discount if you mention Bay Wise)
  • Economy Tackle: 941-922-9671
  • Silent Sports: 941-966-5477
  • Midnight Pass Bike and Kayak: 941-346-0891
  • Siesta Sports Rentals: 941-346-1797
  • Island Style Watersports: 941-954-1009
If your business would like to be added to this list please send your kayak/canoe rental info to