Lake Shelbyville Boat Rafting Policy

Published May 6, 2013

Lake Shelbyville – As the weather warms up and the boating season starts the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would like to remind boaters of the Boat Rafting Policy in place at Lake Shelbyville. The Lake Shelbyville Boat Rafting Policy is as follows:

  • Up to five boats are allowed in a raft without requiring a special use permit. For the purposes of this policy a raft is defined as two or more boats tied together.
  • No more than 50 people will be allowed on any raft of boats that consists of five boats or less.
  • No more than four persons per boat will be allowed for each additional boat over five. For example eight boats in a raft would be limited to a total of 62 persons in a raft.
  • Required distance between each raft of boats is 150 feet.
  • Life jackets are to be worn at all times on rafts greater than five boats unless person is below deck or in an enclosed cabin.
  • Everyone in the water associated with a raft greater than five boats must have a US Coast Guard approved properly fitted life jacket or Type IV throwable device in their personal possession at all times.
  • Kegs containing alcoholic beverages or portable PA systems are not allowed.
  • A Special Use Permit, which is free of charge, will be required for a raft of boats that consist of more than five boats and up to 20 boats. 

The permit can be obtained by visiting or calling the Lake Shelbyville Project Office at 217-774-3951 ext. 2.  The office is located on the east end of the Lake Shelbyville Main Dam off of IL Route 16 east of Shelbyville and a rafting permit can be obtained Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Information needed for the permit is name, address, and phone number of person requesting permit, number of boats in the raft, location on Lake Shelbyville where boats will be rafted (primary and alternate location), date(s) when boats will be rafted, and state registration number and owner or operator of every boat in the raft.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Lake Shelbyville Boat Rafting Policy contact the Lake Shelbyville Visitor Assistance Department by calling 217-774-3951 ext 3. 

Phil Manhart

Release no. 13-040