To all SLYWYC Members,

As I mentioned at our July event I am again sending you this email about the proposal of our California State Government to raise the Boating Registration Fees by 300%. Please read this article & then click on the link in the highlighted section to send in your comments. It is very simple to use the preprinted form & just add your info & if you wish, any other comments.

When you have done so would you please just respond to this email that you have done this so that I can give our club credit for doing so.

If you have any questions please let me know.

Linda Gordon

UPDATE: Action is no longer needed on this particular alert.

The California Legislature has finished up its first session of the 2023–2024 legislative session without including a proposed $60 annual increase in the vessel registration fee. This increase was contained in Governor Newsom’s proposed budget to address the ongoing $20 million annual deficiency in the state’s Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund (HWRF.) This fund pays for boating access and safety programs. Although this deficiency has not been resolved and will be revisited next year, the legislature clearly heard concerns from boaters like you on what such a large increase would mean for boating families.

Working with our state partner, the Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC), BoatU.S. helped deliver more than 4,000 messages to state representatives and senators asking they not pass this 300% increase. While we recognize the need to address the HWRF deficiency, boaters sent a strong message that the administration must engage with stakeholders to ensure these funds go to benefit boating programs.

Stay on watch for additional calls to action from the BoatU.S. Government Affairs team. While it appears possible boat registration fees in California will change in the next few years, it is vital that Sacramento hear from you to keep boater dollars going to boater programs.

You can learn more about the regional, state and national issues RBOC and BoatU.S. advocated on for California boaters this year at the RBOC website.

Thank you for being a BoatU.S. member.

California Governor Newsom’s 2024 Budget Proposes 300% Boat Registration Fee Increase

Boaters currently pay $107 million in annual motor fuel taxes; revenue increase won’t fund recreational boating needs

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 27, 2023 – The nation’s largest recreational boat owners advocacy, services and safety group Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), and the nonprofit state advocacy organization Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC), are asking Golden State boat owners to speak up on a recently proposed 300% boat registration fee increase outlined in Governor Newsom’s 2024 budget.

“Most citizens can understand, over time, the need for modest increases in government fee structures,” said David Kennedy, BoatUS manager of Government Relations. “However, BoatUS and RBOC do not believe such a significant increase is justified by the administration. We are asking the state’s boat owners to reach out to their state legislators to request they reject this proposal and engage with boating stakeholders to develop realistic boat registration fees that are dedicated to boating programs.”

The two groups along with other recreational boating stakeholders have been engaged in a two-year process to review the state’s boating programs. While a modest increase was anticipated, there was some expectation that the state would recognize the significant contribution boaters already make, such as $107 million in annual motor fuel taxes.

The organizations are also concerned that under the proposal, the fee increase would not go to boating programs and services including boater education and operator certification, safety and enforcement on the waterways.

According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the average California boat owner has an income of less than $70,000.

Boaters can easily contact their state representatives at the BoatUS online Action Center ( using a prefilled form or by adding their own views. Read more about this issue at the RBOC call-to-action website.