Monday, May 03, 2010

New Laws in NC, MD. Other States Cracking Down

Another month begins, and so do new boating laws around the country - this time in North Carolina and Maryland.

North Carolina
A law we've been warning you to prepare for is now in effect. Boaters under 26 years old in North Carolina must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course before operating any motorboat. Also in North Carolina, it is now illegal to operate a PWC if you are under 14.

A new state law went into effect in April now requiring all children 13 and younger to wear life jackets while on a moving boat… this replaces previous a law that allowed children as young as 8 to go without a life vest on recreational boats smaller than 21 feet.

Other states are considering new boating laws and enforcing old ones.

The Harford Courant's blog reports that the state senate unanimously passed a bill over the weekend that would eliminate time restrictions on when blood alcohol tests may be administered to boaters suspected of drinking and boating.

If the Connecticut law under consideration got your attention, so will this news from Florida from CBS 4. The son of billionaire and mega yacht owner H. Wayne Huizenga was sentenced to jail for two years Friday for violating his probation when he drank alcohol and operated a boat while intoxicated.

Mercury news is reporting that regulators at Lake Tahoe say they plan to crack down this year on boaters, jet skis and others who zoom to close to shore. Violators of the long ignored 10-year-old law may face as much as a $5,000 penalty!

The Gulf
The BP oil spill of 2010 is nothing less than a huge cluster-fudge that has resulted in, among other things, a ban on fishing throughout much of the Gulf and a hazard for recreational boaters. More on this later.

Let's Hear from You
Are you facing any recently passed laws where you boat that are hampering your enjoyment of boating, or are you in favor of restrictions being put in place to improve the safety of everyone on the water?

We welcome your comments.



  1. I live in NC and even though I'm well over 26, I fail to see how this new law will make things any better. Why 26 anyway? Why not 18 or 21?

  2. Anonymous03 May, 2010

    In Australia you are required to pass a test on rules and regs to obtain a mandatory boat licence before operating a motor boat of any size. Why doesn't that happen in all states in the USA? I'm sure no one objects to sitting a test for a car drivers licence so what's the difference?

  3. Anonymous03 May, 2010

    If you need to pass a test and have a license to fly a plane, you should have one to operate a boat no matter what age. There are actually more parallels between flying and boating,than between boating and driving a car (i.e. no roads - open water/open air, red and green navigation lights, port and starboard - not left and right, compass headings, etc.........).