There is no better way to explore Cape Cod and its beauty than by water. Things look a little different by sea, and nothing can quite compare to paddling or kayaking, silently navigating through Bass River with only gulls or an osprey as your companion. Perhaps you prefer something with a little more horsepower? With its easy access to Nantucket Sound and beyond, Bass River is a mecca for boats both big and small. Safe, responsible boating is critical to all who live on and love the river. Before you decide that the sea will be your master, please take a look at some important links:

Local Information

Waterways Regulations - Town of Dennis
Everything you need to know to operate on the waterways in Dennis (including rules about waterskiing on Bass River).

Waterways Regulations - Town of Yarmouth
Includes important Packet Landing loading information as well as town-specific information.

State Information

How to Apply For Massachusetts Boaters License
Licensing is through the Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles. Use this link for applying, renewal and replacement.

The Official Massachusetts Boat Safety Handbook
Safety on Massachusetts waterways, including Bass River is the responsibility of all boaters. This free handbook introduces you to Massachusetts laws for all boating (including personal watercraft operation such as jet skis). Familiarizing yourself with these laws will help make all your boating outings safe and enjoyable.

Massachusetts Boating Law Summary
A quick summary or refresher of Massachusetts boating laws.

Find a Boating Class Near You - Mass Harbormasters Association
As the old ad told us, Safe Boating is No Accident. There are many options out there from sailing to power boating and a class to suit most boaters.

US Coast Guard / Safety Information

Top 10 Safety Tips for All Paddlers
Among the best ways to discover Bass River is by SUP (stand up paddleboard), kayak, or canoe. Whether you want to explore Bass River with family and friends or find yourself one with nature, this is a must read. Please take a look at these important safety tips so your trek up or down the River is as safe as it is serene and blissful.

Online Virtual Vessel Safety Check
This handy reference helps you check out the safety of your own boat. The Coast Guard suggests printing the form (which is the same one they use for inspections) to use as a guide.

How to Choose the Right Life Jacket
Safety is a must on the water and life jackets are the law. Use this guide to help with the sometimes overwhelming task of deciding on the correct size and type of life jacket to purchase. 

US Coast Guard Mobile App  
Once you’re out to sea, this app may be your best friend. Find the latest safety regulations, request a vessel safety check, check your safety equipment, file a float plan, find the nearest NOAA buoy, report suspicious activity, request emergency assistance and much more. Use this link and download the Coast Guard’s mobile app directly on your smartphone from either The App Store or Google Play -- an invaluable tool for all responsible boat owners.


You know the rules, your boat is safe, you’re licensed and ready to become one with Bass River. Great! Whether you're a novice or your sea legs see more action than your land legs, it’s important for all to know the Rules of the Road (Navigation) and where you’re going - Online Navigational Charts (Massachusetts) . Lastly, the Marine & Boaters Resources  provides several helpful links related to all things marine, such as flags, nautical calculators, VHF Frequencies, wind scales, animated knots by Grog and more.