Navigation rules and equipment

Please find here the regulations adopted by the Lombardy Region, the Veneto Region and the Autonomous Province of Trento.


  • Motorboats and sailing boats with a sail area of more than 4 sqm must keep a minimum distance of 300 m from the shore.
  • Within 300 m from the shore, there are only sailing boats with a sail area of less than 4 sqm, rowing boats, pedal boats and surfboards on Lake Garda allowed.
  • The crossing of this area is allowed perpendicular to the shore at a maximum speed of 3 knots.
  • Navigation is also prohibited in the marked swimming areas.
  • The maximum speed allowed is 20 knots during the day and 5 knots at night.
  • Ports are to enter and exit at a maximum speed of 3 knots.

Right of way

The following crafts have the right of way:

  1. Ferries.
  2. Crafts involved in first aid, public order, surveillance and other public services.
  3. Professional fishing boats.
  4. Boats that are towing for professional or sportive reasons (banana boat, parasailing or water skiing).

Motor and sailing boats must keep a minimum distance of 100 m from the crafts mentioned under 1, 2 and 3. Furthermore, they should exercise special caution near sailing schools.

Equipment on board

Boats navigating on inland waters, therefore on Lake Garda, need a board equipment required for a distance of 3 miles from the shore:

  • 1 life jacket for each person on board.
  • 1 life belt with rope (30 m).
  • Smoke buoy.
  • 2 red hand flares.
  • Regulatory headlights (in case of daytime navigation: at least one white light torch with spare batteries).
  • Acoustic signal.
  • 1 pump or another tool for dewatering (only boats without CE mark).
  • 1 fire extinguisher type 13 b for up to 25 hp, type 21 b up to 200 hp, type 34 b over 200 hp.


It is forbidden,

  • To cross or obstruct the course of public service vessels and to hinder their sailing and landing manoeuvrers.
  • To hinder professional fishing boats and sailing regattas.
  • To get closer than 50 m to vessels pulling water skiers, banana boats and parasailers.
  • To occupy public areas (inland ports or buoys) without the required authorization issued by responsible authorities.
  • To fix buoy without the required authorization issued by responsible authorities.

Diving and windsurfing is prohibited:

  • Along the course of public transport ferries.
  • In ports and near their accesses.
  • In areas reserved for swimming.
  • In reed beds.
  • In water ski launching areas.


  • Divers must signal their presence under water by means of a buoy and a red flag with diagonal white stripes, from sunrise to sunset.
  • Dives must be practised far from ports, ferries and water ski areas.
  • Boats must maintain a minimum distance of 100 m from the diver's buoy.

Waterski and Wakeboard

  • Allowed in good weather conditions, with a calm lake and good visibility from 8 am to 8 pm, at a distance of at least 300 metres from the shore.
  • Water skiers must wear a life jacket.
  • The maximum speed allowed is 20 knots.
  • The distance between boat and skier must not be less than 12 m.
  • The conductors of the vessels used for water skiing must be in possession of a boat license and must be accompanied by a good swimmer.
  • It is forbidden for these vessels to transport more people than the driver and the assistant.
  • These boats have to be equipped with a large convex rear view mirror and first aid kit.
  • It is forbidden to tow more than two water skiers.


  • Windsurfing is allowed during the day and only in conditions of good visibility.
  • Life jacket is mandatory.

Jet Ski

  • The use of jet skis and personal watercraft is subject to the individual municipalities. It is therefore necessary to contact the municipal police authority.
  • The driver must be in possession of a pleasure boat license.
  • The use of a life jacket is mandatory.


Before immersion the keel of the vessel must be washed.

Motors are banned in the Province of Trento

The northern part of Lake Garda is closed for motor boats and reserved for sailing and windsurfing. The border runs north of Limone on the western shore and north of Malcesine on the eastern shore. Vessels can use the engine for entering and leaving the port in the absence of wind and when needed. For more information, contact the port authorities, the municipal police or the tourist information.