Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Boating Laws for the New Year

Over the past several weeks we've noticed a few new boating laws announced or enacted across the US. If you don't see your boating community listed here, don't worry, we'll update you as new laws crop up near you.

New York
We already mentioned this one, but it's worth a reminder. As of last month, Boaters who venture out during the colder months must wear a life jacket.

Also in the Big Apple, Dayelin Roman – writing for The Post-Star – reported that a senator has proposed a bill that would make the transfer of invasive species illegal between bodies of water. With all the lakes and rivers within and bordering NY, not to mention Long Island Sound and the Atlantic, this law sounds like it would be a challenge to enforce if it passes.

North Carolina
As of May, 2010, boaters under 26 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course before operating any motorboat, and it is now illegal for kids under 14 to operate a PWC. Are they going to need to keep their driver's license in their bathing suit? Source: Salisbury Post.

Connecticut
Boaters on Candlewood Lake will be restricted to boats under 26 feet in length if a law being contemplated by the CT Dept of Environmental Protection passes. Robert Miller of the Danbury News-Times suggests that the rule may grandfather in bigger boats already used on the lake. Not sure how that will work, or if lakeside property owners with big boats will stand for such a new law on Connecticut's largest lake, but it sounds like a good idea if it reduces the crowding on summer weekends.

Arizona
Okay, Arizona has no new boating laws. In fact, an article that came out last week by Travis Grabow of the Cronkite News Service stated, “Arizona is one of only six states that don't require some or all of those who operate watercraft to complete a boating-education course.” Look out Arizona. With that type of press, Arizona will be passing more boating laws in the near future. By the way, the article was accompanied by the Coast Guard’s top 10 list of states with the highest total boating accidents in 2008. Arizona, at number 7, appears to be the only state that is landlocked.

Maine
This just came across our wires as we were about to post. Maine boaters have been getting socked (and shocked) with an unexpected tax bill, according to Soundings Trade Only Today.

Other than generating revenues for state governments, and the invasive species thing, most of these new and potential laws are about boating safety. Subscribe to the Daily Boater to stay on top of boating laws that may affect you, and for the absolute basics of boating safety, a good place to start would be the FirstBoat's boating safety page.

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