NASBLA Roundtable

Wake Boat - Ballasted Boat regulations

  • 1.  Wake Boat - Ballasted Boat regulations

    Posted 02-23-2021 03:28 PM
    Recently we had a committee discussing wake boats or ballasted boats, providing a definition of those.  Here in Georgia, we are having some inquiries regarding possibly placing regulations on these.   Wanted to get some insight from other states to see if anyone:

    1.  Had requests for laws or rules that restrict wake boat use and if so, how was it resolved?
    2.  Has current laws, rules, or regulations that restrict wake boat use?
    3.  Any model legislation concerning wake boats and wake damage?

    Thanks for all of your input!



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    Wanda Roberts
    Lieutenant
    GA Dept of Natural Resources
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  • 2.  RE: Wake Boat - Ballasted Boat regulations

    Posted 03-17-2021 09:01 AM
    I saw your post Wanda and wondered the same.   I've heard stories from my students saying that they and/or others have been on or have seen boats trying to emulate the wake boats by all sitting on one side of the boat.  I do believe that there should be some regulations put forth.  The one that would be my top priority is that wake surfing should only be done behind a "wake boat".

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    Glenn Dean
    Connecticut Boating Certificates LLC
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  • 3.  RE: Wake Boat - Ballasted Boat regulations

    Posted 03-18-2021 12:45 PM
    HI Wanda -

    Oregon has had several regulations placed on wake boats and on use.
    Please go to: https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/info/Documents/Rulemaking/NewProposedLowWillametteRulesFactsheet.pdf
    Towed Watersports Education Program
    More bills (that are not ours) are in legislation this session. Please contact Randy Henry, BLA, for further questions.

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    MariAnn McKenzie
    Boating Safety Education Coord.
    Oregon State Marine Board
    503-378-5158
    mariann.mckenzie@oregon.gov
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  • 4.  RE: Wake Boat - Ballasted Boat regulations

    Posted 03-19-2021 08:17 AM
    I saw your post Wanda and wondered the same.   I've heard stories from my students saying that they and/or others have been on or have seen boats trying to emulate the wake boats by all sitting on one side of the boat.  I do believe that there should be some regulations put forth.  The one that would be my top priority is that wake surfing should only be done behind a "wake boat".

    Make it a great day!  

    Glenn Dean
    State Certified Instructor
    Connecticut Boating Certificates LLC
    Cell 203-788-3438  Office 800-832-7191




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  • 5.  RE: Wake Boat - Ballasted Boat regulations

    Posted 03-22-2021 11:00 AM
    It will be easier to come up with restrictions on actions, rather than boats. There are boats that have factory-equipped ballasting systems--but there are many after-market devices available that add wake height. There are also bags of sand, coolers full of beer, and people sitting in the back of the boat that do the same thing. Whatever the regulation may be--it has to be easy for the boaters and the officers to understand/enforce.

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    Chris Edmonston
    President
    BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety & Clean Water
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  • 6.  RE: Wake Boat - Ballasted Boat regulations

    Posted 03-23-2021 09:30 AM
    Wanda, while I never know what tomorrow might bring, currently Florida strives to not discriminate against types of vessels.

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    Gary Klein
    Captain
    FL Fish & Wildlife Conservation Comm
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  • 7.  RE: Wake Boat - Ballasted Boat regulations

    Posted 03-24-2021 12:30 PM
    LT. Roberts,

    The American Watercraft Association couldn't agree more with Chris Edmonston and CPT. Klein.  Behaviors should be the focus, not the particular type of boat.  The overwhelming majority of personal watercraft owners are responsible and educated boaters.  Yet, as you well know, it takes one or two knuckleheads on the water to discredit the rest, and all the work AWA has done over the years educating folks in the proper and legal use of PWC.

    Years back, I was sitting through a presentation at a WSBAA conference. The presenter was a from the wake boat community.  The basic gist was they were just having fun and what was the big deal.  When the gentleman was done, a BLA sitting next to me took him to task.  That BLA then pointed to me and said "You guys need to get the bigger picture, like the PWC people here do."  Needless to say, after I recovered from shock, it was a proud moment for our organization to be recognized for our efforts in educating our community to not do stupid things.  And still, there's always one boater out there who never gets it, and never will.

    While we don't directly represent the wake boat community, and could never speak for them, they have come a long way since then.  They're taking action, and it'll pay off better than any blanket regulations ever would.  Just my two bits.

    Chris Manthos
    Director
    American Watercraft Association







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    Chris Manthos
    Executive Director
    American Watercraft Association
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  • 8.  RE: Wake Boat - Ballasted Boat regulations

    Posted 03-30-2021 05:39 PM

    Wanda,

     

    I wanted to reach out on behalf of the WSIA.  We have seen great success in many states with our Wake Responsibly Educational Campaign.  The campaign is based on the 3 pillars we feel our most important when engaged in towed water sports.  1. Always operate 200 ft or more from shorelines and docks.  2. Play music at reasonable levels.  3. Minimize repetitive passes along residential shorelines.  If the captains adhere to these guidelines when participating in towed water sport activity they will decrease or eliminate many of the concerns lakefront property owners and other users of the waterways are encountering.

     

    Idaho Parks and Rec has customized the Wake Responsibly Campaign and has created their own "Mind Your Wake" campaign (https://www.bigcountrynewsconnection.com/idaho/idaho-boaters-encouraged-to-mind-your-wake/article_b9747708-d04f-11ea-9e1f-ffd7d14d37fb.html).  

    Minnesota has done the same with their "Own Your Wake" campaign. (https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/boatwater/own-your-wake.html

    Both are based on educating boaters rather than passing laws that can be overly restrictive and difficult to enforce.

     

    The WSIA will provide Wake Responsibly collateral without charge to anyone interested in promoting responsible boating.  We have flyers, counter cards and metal boat ramp signs.  See attached boat ramp sign.    

     

    Below are links to our Wake Responsibly web page and several of our educational videos.  

    Wake Responsibly web page:  https://www.wakeresponsibly.com

    Responsible Boating Video: https://vimeo.com/89131129

    Driver's Etiquette Video:  https://vimeo.com/207361109

    Wave Study Video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daa0U56zvwc

     

    If WSIA can be of any help please don't hesitate to email me at chris@wsia.net.  We stand ready to help mediate any water access concerns.

    Thank you,

    Chris Bischoff
    Water Sports Industry Association
    Government Relations / Waterway Access



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    Kevin Michael
    Water Sports Industry Association
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