Etiquette For Boaters and Jet Skiers


  • Be courteous on the water
  • Know and obey boating safety rules
  • Operate a boat that is the right size and speed for your lake
  • Put all trash including food wastes into a bag to dispose of in a trash can on shore
  • Observe no wake zones
  • Maintain a 10 mph speed limit on small lakes
  • Operate motorized boats at slow speeds in shallow water (under 15 feet deep)
  • Prevent the spread of zebra mussels and other exotic species
  • Run your boat or jet ski during hours when most people are awake
  • Stay at least far enough away from the shorelines to protect the ecology, shoreline, and uses of the shoreline like swimming and fishing off docks
  • Special note for ice fishing:  pack up all trash including food and fish entrails


Are You Observing the 100 Ft. Rule? Summary of Michigan Boating Laws
IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE

It Is Your Responsibility to Know These Regulations . . .


  • ALL VESSELS ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE AT LEAST ONE COAST GUARD APPROVED PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE PER PASSENGER (INCLUDING WATERSKIERS).  EACH CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF 6 YEARS, AND IN AN OPEN DECK AREA IS REQUIRED TO WEAR A PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE AT ALL TIMES.



1.SPEED LIMITS


  • Slow – no wake (means a very slow speed whereby the wake or wash created by the vessel would be minimal) speed within 100 feet of the shoreline, any watercraft, pier, person, raft, swimming area, and swimmers.
  • Maximum speed 55 m.p.h. in all water unless otherwise regulated.
  • Michigan law states that a person operating a vessel shall operate it in a careful and prudent manner and at such a rate of speed so as not to endanger unreasonably the life or property of any person.  A person shall not operate a vessel at a rate of speed greater than will permit him, in the exercise of reasonable care, to bring the vessel to stop within the assured clear distance ahead.
  • A person shall not operate a vessel in a manner so as to interfere unreasonably with the lawful use by others of the water.


2.   TOWING OF PERSONS


  • No water skiing between 1 hour after sunset and 1 hour prior to sunrise.
  • At least 1 competent person, in addition to the driver, shall be in any boat towing persons on water skis, sleds, etc.  This additional person shall be in a position to observe the progress of the person being towed.
  • Tow boat must be equipped with a 170 degree wide angle rear view mirror affixed to permit the driver to observe the progress of the person being towed.



3.   DISTANCE BETWEEN PERSONS BEING TOWED AND OTHER OBJECTS


  • Vessels and persons being towed on water skis, water sleds, etc shall maintain a distance of 100 foot from any dock, raft, buoyed or occupied bathing areas, or vessels moored or at anchor, except when the vessel is proceeding at a slow – no wake speed or when water skiers are being picked up or dropped off.  (See special rules for personal watercraft)


4.   NOISE LEVEL OF BOATS


  • Motorboats are required to have mufflers or an underwater exhaust system such that it does not produce sound levels in excess of 90 dB(A) when subjected to a stationary (neutral) sound level test of its engine(s) at no clover than one meter (3.3 feet).


5.   COUNTER – CLOCKWISE OPERATIONS


  • Persons operating vessels shall operate in a counter-clockwise fashion insofar as it is reasonably possible.


6.   CHILDREN OPERATING MOTORBOATS


  • Persons under 12 years old operating motorboats:


-must be under the direct supervision of a person 16 years of age or older; and,
-the boast must have no more than 35 HP.


  • Persons 12 through 15 years may operate motorboats if either condition below is met;


accompanied by at least 1 person 16 years or older; or,
the person has a boating safety certificate


  • Any person may operate a motorboat that is powered by no more than 6 HP.
  • Personal watercraft (Jet Ski) shall not be operated by anyone under 14 years of age
  • A child under age 7 shall not ride on or be towed behind a personal water craft unless a parent or a designee of the parent is on board the  personal water craft. [MCLA 2381.1431 (Sect. 31(s)]


7.   LIQUOR AND/OR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE


  • A person who is intoxicated (as defined in the same way as for driving a car) may not operate or be in control of any vessel.  The Michigan implied consent law applies for boat operator intoxication testing.  The penalty for conviction of driving a vessel while intoxicated shall include impoundment of the vessel and suspension of the privilege to operate a vessel for a period of time designated by a court of law.
  • The same goes for controlled substances (drugs).


8.   OPERATIONS OF VESSELS


  • Sailboats have the right-of-way to motorboats while they are under sail power.
  • Motorboats shall give way to non-motorized vessels.
  • When 2 vessels are approaching each other head-on, or nearly so, the operator of each shall cause his vessel to pass on the port (left) side of the other (i.e. keep the approaching boat to your left).
  • When overtaking a vessel proceeding in the same direction, the operator of the overtaking vessel, unless it is not feasible to do so, shall pass on the port (left) side of the vessel ahead (i.e. keep the overtaking boat to your right).
  • When 2 vessels are approaching each other at right angles or obliquely so as to involve risk of collision, the operator of the vessel which has the other on his own port (left) side shall hold his course and speed, and the operator of the vessel which has the other on his own starboard (right) side shall give way to the other by directioning his course to starboard so as to cross the stern of the other vessel or, if necessary to do so, shall slacken his speed, stop or reverse.


9.   RESPONSIBILITY FOR VESSEL WAKE


  • The owner of any vessel is personally responsible for any damage to life or property resulting from a wake or swell created by the negligent operation of the vessel, where the vessel is being operated with his consent.


10.  DIVERS/DISTANCE FROM DIVER’S FLAG


  • A vessel shall not be operated within 200 feet of a buoyed diver’s flag unless it is involved in tendering the diving operation.  A person diving shall stay within a surface area of 100 feet of a diver’s flag.


11.  PERSONAL WATERCRAFT (JET SKI) SPECIAL REGULATIONS (April 1, 1999)


  • A person shall maintain a distance of 100 ft. from any dock, boat, raft, buoyed or occupied bathing area while driving at other than slow-no wake speed.
  • A person shall not cross within 150 ft. behind another vessel other than a personal watercraft, that is moving at greater than a slow – no wake speed..
  • A person shall not operate a personal PWC on the waters of this state from 1 hour before sunset to 8:00 am.
  • Maneuvers that endanger life, limb, or property, including weaving through congested traffic, jumping the wake of another vessel unreasonably or unnecessarily close to the other vessel or when visibility around the other vessel is obstructed, and swerving at the last possible moment to avoid a collision constitute reckless operation of a vessel.
  • Carrying more persons than the vessel is designed to carry is prima facie evidence of reckless operation.
  • Lanyards must be attached to the operator of vessels that are equipped with lanyards.
  • A person under 14 years of age shall not operate a PWC, except a person 12-14, if they possess a boating safety certificate if secured prior to January 1, 1999.
  • A personal watercraft shall not be operated at speed in excess of state law (55 mph) or special regulations.
  • A person shall not operate a PWC in waters less than 2 feet deep unless traveling at a slow no-wake speed.
  • A person who is born after December 31, 1978 shall not operate a PWC on Michigan waters unless they have a boating safety certificate.
  • Performers engaged in professional exhibition or a person preparing to participate in a regatta, race, marine parade, tournament, or exhibition held in compliance with this act are exempted.



The included summary of boating regulations is being provided as a guideline.  This guideline is not a substitute for the Marine Safety Act (Act 303 of 1967 and amendments there to), and your responsibility for knowing this Act.  Should any discrepancies exist, the marine Safety Act takes precedent and must be followed

This information is provided by the Michigan Lake & Stream Associations, Inc. MLSWA hereby disclaims any responsibility or claims relative to your application or interpretation of the including regulations.  You are ultimately responsible for knowing the rules as they exist under the Marine Safety Act.

Boat Safety

Evans Lake Landowners Association