Lake Rules

Please note!

This year, the Lake Boon Commission and other lake stakeholders learned that some parts of our local boating regulations have been superseded by stricter regulations put into place by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

So instead of the 75-foot boat to swimmer distance specified in rule 1 of the Boating regulations below, the speed regulation in Boating regulation B (1) below, and the water-skiing regulations in C (2) below, please refer to the state regulation 323 CMR 2.07 below for speed and boat/skier distance rules, and this clause for a definition of headway speed.

Note that local rules not explicitly superseded by state law are still in effect, including quiet hours, rules about buoys, and dock marking.

According to the Lake Boon Commission, until the local regulations are officially amended we can’t edit them on this site. Look for announcements of upcoming meetings to rewrite local regulations on this site, on the Lake Boon email list, or on our Facebook page.

For more on state boating regulations, visit this page and follow the links for downloadable boating guides and summaries.

Have a fun, safe, and courteous summer!

GENERAL LAWS OF MASSACHUSETTS

~including~

  • 323 CMR 4.00 THE OPERATION OF PERSONAL WATERCRAFT
  • 323 CMR 2.00 THE USE OF VESSELS

The Lake Boon Commission, acting under the authority of Chapters 712 and 713 of the Special Acts of the Legislature of Massachusetts of the year 1941, adopted the following rules on June 26, 1968, and has amended the same from time to time in accordance with applicable state laws.

GENERAL REGULATIONS

RULE NO. 1 – No person shall annoy another person, or utter any profane, threatening, or abusive language, or loud outcry except for emergency; or have possession of or drink any intoxicating liquor or do any obscene or indecent act on the waters of Lake Boon.

RULE NO. 2 – No person shall throw any stone or other missile, or have possession of any firecracker, torpedo or other fireworks; or, except with the written authority from said Lake Boon Commission, engage in business, sell or give away any goods, wares or circulars; or post, paint, affix or display any sign, notice, placard or advertising device; or have possession of or discharge any firearm on or over the waters of Lake Boon.

RULE NO. 3 – No person shall bathe in the waters of Lake Boon except in a costume proper for bathing purposes and either at a place designated therefor or with the consent of the owner or person in possession of the land immediately adjoining such place.

RULE NO. 4 – No person shall throw, drop, or place in the waters of Lake Boon or its tributaries, any waste paper, rubbish, brush, leaves, grass clippings, pine needles, or refuse; or chemically treat the waters of Lake Boon or it’s tributaries without the approval of the Massachusetts State Department of Health and the Lake Boon Commission.

RULE NO. 5 – Whoever shall at any time make an opening in the ice of Lake Boon exceeding twelve (12) inches in diameter shall properly guard such opening by lights, ropes or brush so as to prevent accident.

RULE NO. 6 – No person shall use the waters of Lake Boon for the taking off or landing of aircraft, except in case of emergency to save the lives of the pilot or passengers.

RULE NO. 7 – No person shall row or paddle a boat or canoe unless able to control or handle the same with safety to himself and others; or in such a manner as to annoy or endanger the occupants or other boats or canoes, or neglect or refuse to stop the same or to place the same when stopped as directed by a police officer in uniform or who displays his badge; or abandon a hired boat or canoe or leave the same unattended by some person or fail or neglect to return the same to the place from which it was hired except with the written consent of the owner and no boats or canoes of any description shall be rented to any person under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

RULE NO. 8 – No person, without the permission of the Lake Boon Commission, may permanently moor any vessel, boat, canoe, raft or float, marker buoy, or series of connected buoys, so that any part of the same extends more than twenty (20) feet from the shore, or outside the limits of such lesser distance as may be designated by the Lake Boon Commission for particular locations, by buoys, markers or otherwise.

RULE NO. 9 – Any structure, whether fixed or floating, on the waters of Lake Boon, shall be removed or repaired within twenty (20) days after notification in writing by the Lake Boon Commission that it has been deemed unsafe for said normal use. The property owner concerned may request a Commission hearing within ten (10) days of receipt of notification in case of dispute with the Commission’s findings. in which case, the property owner will have ten (10) days following final determination in which to complete removal or repair of said structure if necessary.

RULE NO. 10 – All docks, piers, floats and similar structures shall be clearly marked with the name of the owner in letters not less than three (3) inches in height and placed at the front of the dock, pier, float or other structure.

RULE NO. 11 – No person shall engage in the business of renting boats or canoes or permit their premises to be used for launching or dock facilities by other than members of their family or social guests without a Commercial Use Permit. Such permits to be issued by the Selectmen of the town in which the property concerned lies and only after recommendation of the Lake Boon Commission. The fee for such permits is five (5) dollars and they shall continue in force until December 31st of the year issued unless sooner suspended or revoked.

RULE NO. 12 – Any person who violates any rule or regulation or order of said Commission orany provision of the acts shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty (50) dollars.

BOATING REGULATIONS

Rule 1.

No person operating a craft propelled by other than muscular power shall allow said craft to approach closer than seventy-five (75) feet to another craft unless said second craft is stopped and a closer approach is for the purpose of communicating with the occupants of the second craft; nor circle around any craft in a manner as to annoy or endanger the occupants of other crafts; nor pass between moored rafts or floats and the shore. No craft shall operate at a speed that endangers the life, limb or property of any person. No tow line shall exceed seventy-five (75) feet from the point of contact on tow boat to object being towed.

Rule 2.

A. EQUIPMENT

All motors or power boats on the Lake, whether or not required to be registered under State Law, shall display the lights and be equipped with a proper muffler or underwater exhaust as is or may be required by Sections 5 and 6 of Chapter 275, Acts of 1960, or acts in amendment thereof, or regulations made thereunder.

B. SPEED

(1) No person shall operate any motor boat on the Lake at a speed that is greater than is reasonable and proper under the circumstances and conditions then existing, or operate same or manipulate any water skis, surf-board or similar device in a negligent manner so that the lives or safety of the public might be endangered.

(2) Speed in any of the narrows shall be such that no appreciable wake is produced, but in no case to exceed the minimum necessary to maintain steerage way.

(3) Speed during the period from one-half hour after sunset until one-half hour before sunrise shall be such that no appreciable wake is produced, but in no case to exceed the minimum necessary to maintain steerage way.

(4) The hours of 2-6 PM on Sundays and holidays, including Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day, are designated for canoeing, sailing, swimming and other non-motorized uses of the Lake, and the maximum speed of any motorboat shall be the minimum necessary to maintain steerage way.

C. WATER SKIING

(1) Water skiing and skip board riding is prohibited in the narrows between thefirst and second, and second and third, and third and fourth basins at all times, and prohibited on all the waters of the Lake between 2 PM and 6 PM on all Sundays and holidays including Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

(2) No person operating a boat with a water-skier, skip board rider or similar device in tow shall bring such device or rider or the boat within seventy-five (75) feet of any other boat, dock, pier, raft, wharf, float or a person or persons swimming or any part of the shore except to embark or disembark, and except as allowed under Rule 2. C. (1), in the performance of official duties or to render assistance to a boat or person in need of it.

(3) Two persons, an operator and an observer, shall be in any boat towing a skier,skip board, or similar device.

(4) The towing of two or more persons on skis, skip or surf board or other device is hereby prohibited.

(5) No craft, skier, or towed object may go beyond the markers set by the Commission at Hanson’s Beach except for purpose of docking at a permanent dock. Craft proceeding to dock or leaving said dock shall enter and leave without delay from the marked area and shall be operated so as not to endanger any swimmer.

Rule 3.

When any person having charge of a vessel, canoe, boat or motorboat approaches another vessel, canoe, boat or motorboat, head and head, that is, end on, or nearly so, it shall be the duty of each craft to pass on the left side of the other. But, if the course of such vessel, canoe, boat or motorboat is so far on the left side as not to be considered as meeting head and head, each shall pass on the left side of each other. When any person, having charge of a vessel, canoe, boat or motorboat overtakes another vessel, canoe, boat or motorboat, it shall be the duty of the person in charge of the overtaking boat to pass on the left side.

Rule 4.

Any person who violates any provision of the bylaw shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty (50) dollars.

Rule 5.

A. Houseboats: No vessel may be used as a residence, either permanently or temporarily, on the waters of Lake Boon.

B. No air boat, so-called, which requires a propeller or propellers which are located above the surface of the water (and said propeller or propellers are used with a motor of more than twenty- five (25) horsepower) for the propulsion of a boat shall be used or allowed on the waters of Lake Boon except vessels as described above which are operated by any governmental subdivision or department.

REPRINTED JUNE 1997

GENERAL LAWS OF MASSACHUSETTS

MGL Chapter 90B – Complete General Law on motorboats. (excluding code of Massachusetts regulations)

323 CMR (PDF)

323 CMR 2.00 THE USE OF VESSELS

·  2.01 Purpose

·  2.02 Definitions and Interpretation

·  2.03 Vessel Identification

·  2.04 Application

·  2.05 Boating Accidents

·  2.06 Equipment

·  2.07 Operation

·  2.08 Safety Certificate for Minors

·  2.09 Permits

·  2.10 Towing

·  2.11 Penalties

·  2.12 Special Rules (Applies to other bodies of water)

·  2.13 Lakes and Great Ponds (Applies to other lakes)

·  2.14
·  2.15 Severability

·  2.16 Appendix 1: (SEE 323 CMR 2.0 (PDF)

Sunriseand Sunset and Worcester , Massachusetts

2.01 Purpose

323 CMR 2.00 is intended to promote the protection of public safety and welfare by encouraging voluntary compliance and by deterring and penalizing noncompliance with statutes and regulations concerning boating. The purpose is to enhance the Division of Law Enforcement’s ability to efficiently and effectively improve the safe use of motorboats and all vessels, and to effectively administer its programs and accomplish its statutory mandates.

323 CMR 2.00 should be read together with MGL c. 90B which has many important substantive requirements not repeated in 323 CMR 3.00.

2.02 Definitions and Interpretation

CFR means: Code of Federal Regulations

Dealer means: A person, firm, corporation or entity engaged in the business of buying, selling, or exchanging vessels at an established or permanent place of business in the Commonwealth and that each such place maintains a sign conspicuously displayed showing the name of the dealership and indicating that vessels may be purchased at such place so that it may be located and identified as a vessel dealer by the public. Headway speed means: the minimum speed at which a vessel may be operated and maintain steerage way, but not to exceed six miles per hour.

Length of a motorboat means: the extreme fore and aft measurement in feet and inches over the deck in a straight line parallel to the keel center line from the foremost to aftermost part of the vessel, excluding sheer, bowsprits, booms, rudders, outboard motor brackets and similar fittings or attachments.

Motorboat, for purposes of MGL c. 90B, SS 4B, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, and 12A and regulations thereunder means: Any vessel propelled by machinery whether or not such machinery is the principal source of propulsion and shall include a pleasure vessel which has a valid marine document issued by the United States Bureau of Customs or any federal agency successor thereto. For purposes of MGL c. 90B, SS 2, 3, 4, and 4A and regulations thereunder “motorboat” means any vessel propelled by machinery whether or not such machinery is the principal source of propulsion but not a vessel which has a valid marine document issued by the United States Bureau of Customs or any federal agency successor thereto.

Nighttime means: that period of time from sunset to sunrise as determined by the chart set forth in 323 CMR 2.00, Appendix 1.

Similar device, when used in connection with the words “water skis” and “surfboard” in MGL c. 90B S 8 means any object used in the towing of a person or persons by a motorboat whether the person or persons ride on the device or hold onto it.

References herein to any state or federal law shall apply to any such law as amended from time to time.

2.03 Vessel Identification

(1) Number. The first part of the number shall be an abbreviation in capital letters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts “MS”. The remainder of the boat number shall consist of not more than four arabic numerals and not more than two capital letters, in sequence, separated by a hyphen or equivalent. Since the letters “I”, “O”, and “Q” may be mistaken for arabic numerals, all letter sequences using “I”, “O”, and “Q” shall be omitted. The bow number shall be spaced MS 9999 ZZ. Objectionable words formed by the use of two or three letters may not be used.

(2) Limit. There is no limit to the number of boats which may be demonstrated with each demonstration or testing number, pursuant to MGL c. 90B S. 3(b) provided a particular number is displayed on only one vessel at a time. If two or more dealers’ or manufacturers’ boats are to be demonstrated or tested at the same time, two or more individual dealers’ or manufacturers’ numbers are required.

(3) Dealers. MGL c. 90B, S. 3(b) shall not apply to motorboats owned by a dealer or manufacturer and which are being used for purposes other than demonstrating. Said motorboats shall have permanent numbers.

(4) Decal. In addition to displaying the identification number of a vessel as required by MGL c. 90B S. 3, the owner of a vessel shall display at the end of such number the then current registration decal of the Division of Law Enforcement on port (left) of the vessel within six inches of the final identification number or letter, as the case may be. For example MS 9999 ZZ [ ], with the [ ] being the decal.

2.04 Application

(1) Number. The application for a number shall include the following:

(a) name, address, and zip code of the applicant/owner,

(b) date of birth of the owner,

(c) present permanent residence of the owner,

(d) home port of the motorboat,

(e) present number (if any),

(f) hull material (wood, steel, aluminum, plastic, other),

(g) types of propulsion (outboard, inboard, other),

(h) type of fuel (gas, diesel, other),

(i) length of motorboat,

(j) make and year built,

(k) hull identification number

(l) statement as to use (Pleasure, Livery, Dealer, Manufacturer, Commercial-passenger, Commercial fishing, Commercial other),

(m) certification of ownership, and

n) signature of the owner signed under the pains and penalties of perjury.

(2)Certificate of Number.The certificate of number shall contain the following information: name, address, and zip code of the owner,

(b) date of birth of the owner

(c) present permanent residence of the owner,

(d) hull material (wood, steel, aluminum, plastic, other),

(e) types of propulsion (outboard, inboard, other),

(f) type of fuel (gas, diesel, other),

(g) length of motorboat,

(h) make and year built (if known),

(i) statement as to use (Pleasure, Livery, Dealer, Manufacturer, Commercial-passenger, Commercial fishing, Commercial other)

(j) hull identification number,

(k) number awarded to motorboat

(l) expiration date of certificate

(m) notice to the owner that he shall report within 15 days changes of ownership or address, and destruction or abandonment of motorboat,

(n) notice to the owner that the operator shall: always carry the certificate on the motorboat when in use, report every accident involving personal injury or death to a person, or property damage over $200, stop and render aid or assistance if involved in a boating accident, and

(o) signature of the owner signed under the pains and penalties of perjury. The owner of any undocumented motorboat may not have more than one valid number or valid certificate of number for any one motorboat at any time.

2.05 Boating Accidents

(1) Reports. A written report shall be required whenever any one or more of the following occurs on board of or involving any motorboat:

(a) death of any person from whatever cause,

(b) disappearance of any person from on board under circumstances which suggest the possibility of death or injury,

(c) injury to any person, or

(d) loss or damage to property of any kind, including the motorboat, in an amount equal to or greater than $500.

(2) Time to File Report.Whenever death or serious injury has or may result from a boating accident a written report shall be submitted to the Director within 48 hours. For every other reportable boating accident, a written report shall be submitted within five days.

(3) Contents. Every written report of a boating accident shall contain the following information:

(a) numbers and/or names of the vessels involved;

(b) locality where the accident occurred

(c) date and time of the accident

(d) weather and water conditions

(e) name, address, age, and boating experience of the operator of the reporting boat;

(f) names and addresses of the operators of other vessels involved;

(g) names and addresses of the owners of vessels or other property involved;

(h) names and addresses of all persons killed or injured;

(i) nature and extent of injury to any person;

(j) description of damage to any property including vessels and estimated cost of repairs;

(k) description of the accident including opinions as to the causes thereof;

(l) length, propulsion, horsepower, fuel and construction of the reporting vessel; and

(m) names and addresses of known witnesses.

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2.06 Equipment

(1) Ventilation – Tanks and Engine Spaces. All motorboats which use gasoline as fuel shall have at least the following ventilation required by 33 CFR 183.

(2) Mufflers. A dry exhaust shall be effectively muffled by a muffler of the automotive type or equal. Where a sufficient amount of cooling water is discharged overboard through the exhaust pipe to effectively muffle the engine exhaust noise, it will be considered as adequate to comply with 323 CMR 2.06(2).

(3) Other Equipment. Unless otherwise required by federal law or 323 CMR 2.07(13) motorboats shall be provided with anchor, line, and manual bailer, on motorboats less than 16 feet in addition to a paddle or oar. Personal watercraft shall be exempt from 323 CMR 2.06(3).

(4) Visual Distress Signals. No person shall operate any vessel on the coastal waters (as defined in MGL c. 130 S.1) of the Commonwealth unless visual distress signals are on board of the type and number required by 33 CFR 175 101 through 175 135 for the size and type of vessel, time of day, and the applicable vessel activity.

(a) Visual Distress Signals Required.

1. No person shall operate a vessel 16 feet or more in length or any vessel carrying six or less passengers unless visual distress signals (selected from the list below) in the number required are on board. Such devices suitable for day use and devices suitable for night use, must be carried.

2. Launchers. When visual distress signals carried to meet these requirements, require a launcher to be activated, then the appropriate U.S. Coast Guard approved launcher must also be carried on board.

3. Exception. The following persons need not comply with 323 CMR 2.06(4)(a)3, however, each must carry on board during the nighttime, visual distress signals suitable for night use (selected from the list below) in the number required:

a. A person competing in any organized marine parade, regatta, race or similar event;

b. A person using a vessel less than 16 feet in length, or

c. A person using a manually propelled vessel or

d. A person using a sailboat of completely open construction, not equipped with propulsion machinery, under 26 feet in length.

4. Carriage and Serviceability. No person may operate a vessel unless the visual distress signals required by 323 CMR 2.06(4)(a)4 are readily accessible and in serviceable condition. If the service life is dated on the signal, it must not have expired.

5. Marking. No person may use a vessel unless each visual distress signal required under 323 CMR 2.06(4)(a)5 is legibly marked with the approval in 46 CFR Parts 160 and 161.

(b) Visual Distress Signals Acceptable. Any of the following signals, when carried in the numbers required, can be used to meet the requirements of 323 CMR 2.06(4)(b):

1. An electric distress light meeting U.S. Coast Guard standards (46 CFR 161.013). One such device meets the only requirements.

2. An orange flag meeting U.S. Coast Guard standards (46 CFR 160.072). One such device meets the day only requirement.

3. Pyrotechnics. The following table lists US Coast Guard standards (46 CFR 160) and numbers required for pyrotechnic devices.

DEVICE DESCRIPTION

MEETS REQUIREMENT NUMBER REQUIRED

Hand held red flare distress signals

Day and night 3

Floating Orange , smoke distress signals

Day only 3

Parachute red flare distress signals

Day and night 3

Hand held rocket, propelled parachute,red flare distress signals

Day and night 3

Hand held orange smoke,distress signals

Day only 3

Distress Signal for boats,red aerial pyrotechnic flare (meteor or parachute type)

Day and night 3

4. Any combination of signal devices selected from the types noted in 323 CMR 2.06(4)(b)3, when carried in the number required may be used to meet day and or night requirements.

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2.07 Operation

(1) Distance

(a) All motorboats must be operated in such a manner and at such distance to prevent their wash from being thrown into, or causing excessive rocking to other vessels, rafts, or floats.

(b) Waterskiers shall ski at a safe distance to prevent their wash from being thrown into or causing excessive rocking to other vessels, rafts or floats.

(c) Motorboats shall not be operated

1. within 150 feet of shoreline which is being used as a swimming area, whether public or private, or

2. within 75 feet of the seaward boundary of a public or private swimming beach, if designated by markers, floats, or otherwise.

(d) 323 CMR 2.07(1) shall apply to motorboats, barges, waterskiers, or other devices being towed by power and the operator of the towing vessel shall be responsible for compliance therewith.

 

(4) Vessels for Hire.Operators of vessels carrying passengers for hire must have the appropriate United States Coast Guard license.

(5) Aids to Navigation.Vessels shall not be moored to aids of navigation. No person shall willfully destroy, move, injure, deface, or remove any aid to navigation established or placed by any governmental entity.

(6) Discharge.The discharge of raw sewage, garbage, rubbish, or debris from motorboats on or into the waters of the Commonwealth is prohibited.

(7) Overloading.No vessel may be operated in an overloaded condition. Overloaded condition means that the number of persons on board and/or the cargo being carried exceeds the manufacturers’ recommended limit for such vessel or is excessive given wind, water, and weather conditions.

(8) Personal Watercraft.Reference to 323 CMR 4.00 et seq.

(9) Waterskiing.Any person waterskiing or being towed in any manner shall wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device of Type I, II, or III, except persons engaged in slalom skiing on a marked course or persons engaged in barefoot, jump, or trick skiing who may elect to wear in lieu of a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device and at their own risk, a wetsuit designed specifically for such activity, provided that

(10) Canoeing or Kayaking.Any person aboard a canoe or kayak between January 1 to May 15 and between September 15 to December 31 shall wear at all times a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device of Type I, II, or III except persons aboard vessels excluded by MGL c. 90B, S. 5A.

(11) Reasonable SpeedNo motorboat shall be operated at any time on the waters of the Commonwealth at a speed greater than is reasonable and proper having regard to the lives and safety of the public; the state of visibility; the traffic density; the maneuverability of the vessel; the state of the wind, water, and current; and the proximity of navigational hazards. On the inland waters of the Commonwealth (as defined by MGL c. 131, S. 1) and in the absence of a specified speed limit established by federal, state, or local law for the particular water body or area, speed by a motorboat, in excess of 45 miles per hour shall be presumed to be in excess of a reasonable and proper speed. The provisions hereof shall not apply to vessels engaged in or practicing for organized competitive racing pursuant to a permit issued under 323 CMR 2.09.

(12) False Display of Distress Signal.No person in a vessel may display a visual distress signal on waters of the Commonwealth under any circumstance except in a situation where assistance is needed because of immediate or potential danger to the persons on board.

(13) Rules of the Road.Every vessel operated on the waters of the Commonwealth shall comply with the requirements of Section 2 of the Inland Navigational Rules Act of 1980 (33 USC Sections 2001-2073.

(14) Personal Flotation Device- Children.Any person under 12 years of age, aboard and above deck on any vessel underway on the waters of the Commonwealth shall wear at all times a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device of Type I, II, III, or V.

(15) The operator, if at least 18 years of age,or owner of a vessel operating on the waters of the Commonwealth shall ensure that passengers and/or operators wear personal flotation devices as required in 323 CMR 2.07(8)(9)(10) and (14).

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2.08 Operation by Minors

(1) Safety Certificate.Any person of at least 12 years of age and less than 16 years of age shall satisfactorily complete a training course in boating safety approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Courses approved include those sponsored by the Division of Law Enforcement, boating agencies of other states in the USA , the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, the United States Power Squadron, or any other entity approved by the Director. Any such person who satisfactorily completes said course will be issued a safety certificate, which shall be in possession when operating a motorboat and available for inspection by empowered law enforcement officers.

(2) Exception. The provisions of 323 CMR 2.08(1) shall not apply if the person who is operating the motorboat is accompanied on-board and directly supervised by a competent person 18 years of age or older.

(3) Minimum Age.No person under 12 years of age may operated a motorboat on the waters of the Commonwealth, unless accompanied on board and directly supervised by a competent person 18 years of age or older.

2.09 Permits

(1) Events.A race, regatta, parade, exhibition, or practice for a race which is conducted according to a pre-arranged schedule and which by its nature, circumstances or location will introduce extra or unusual hazards to the safety of life or property on the waters of Commonwealth may not be conducted without either a permit issued by the Director or a Permit for Marine Event issued by the United States Coast Guard.

(3) Plan Contents. The detailed plan shall include the following:

(a) name, address and telephone number of the sponsor;

(b) nature and purpose of the event;

(c) information as to general public interest;

(d) estimated number and types of vessels participating in the event;

(e) estimated number and types of spectator vessels;

(f) a time schedule and description of events;

(g) a scale drawing or sketch showing the boundaries of the event and various water courses or areas to be utilized by participants, officials, and spectator vessels; and

(h) the written approval of the local harbormaster, or in a municipality without a harbormaster the local police chief.

(4) Permit Issuance.If, in the discretion of the Director, the event may be held with safety of life and property, a permit may be issued. Permits may be issued either for a single event or for a number or series of events; but in no event for longer than one year. Permits may be issued with conditions.

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2.10 Towing

(1) Authorization. If deemed necessary for the protection of public safety by any person authorized to enforce MGL c. 90B. such person may cause another vessel to place such vessel in tow:

(a) when the operator of a vessel laying to or underway on the waters of the Commonwealth willfully neglects or refuses to obey the order of a person authorized to enforce MGL c. 90B, SS 1 through 19;

(b) when the operator of a vessel laying to or underway is placed under arrest on the waters of the Commonwealth;

(c) whenever a vessel is afloat and unrestrained on the waters of the Commonwealth and is unattended;

(d) whenever the operator of a vessel is operating while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic drug, barbituate, or marijuana;

(e) whenever use of such vessel has been terminated as unsafe; or

(f) whenever a vessel is abandoned on the shores of the waters of the Commonwealth or on property of another.

(2) Liability. In the event a vessel is towed under the provisions of 323 CMR 2.10, or is otherwise lawfully towed, any person authorized to enforce MGL c. 90B. SS 1 through 19 shall not be liable and shall remain harmless for any act or omission in providing or arranging such towage or other assistance unless such person acts recklessly or with gross negligence.

(3) Disposition. If a vessel is towed pursuant to 323 CMR 2.10 the owner of such vessel shall be liable for the cost of such tow and such vessel shall be held and disposed of pursuant to procedures parallel to those prescribed by MGL c. 135.

(4) Presumption. For purposes of 323 CMR 2.00 a vessel shall be presumed to be abandoned if left on the shores of the waters of the Commonwealth not moored, anchored, or made fast to the shore and unattended and/or on property of another without the consent of such property owner for a period of greater than 72 hours. The last owner of record of a vessel at the time it was abandoned shall be presumed to be the person who abandoned the same or caused or procured its abandonment, unless such vessel has been reported as stolen.

2.11 Penalties

(1) For purposes of MGL c. 90B. S. 14 any violation of 323 CMR 2.03 shall be deemed a violation of MGL c. 90B S. 3.

(2) For purposes of MGL c. 90B S. 14 any violation of 323 CMR 2.05 shall be deemed a violation of MGL c. 90B S. 9(b).

(3) For purposes of MGL c. 90B S. 14 any violation of 323 CMR 2.06(1), (3), or (4) shall be deemed a violation of MGL c. 90B S. 5 and any violation of 323 CMR 2.06(2) shall be deemed a violation of MGL c. 90B S. 6.

(4) For purposes of MGL c. 90B. S. 14, any violation of 323 CMR 2.07 (1), (2), (3), (5), (6), (7), (8)(b), (8)(c), (10), (11), (12), or (13) shall be deemed a violation of MGL c. 90B. S. 8(e). For purposes of MGL c. 90B S 14 any violations of 323 CMR 2.07(4) or (8)(a) shall be deemed a violation of MGL c. 90B, S. 5; and any violation of 323 CMR 2.07(9) or (10) shall be deemd a violation of MGL c. 90B S. 5A. Any violation of 323 CMR 2.07(14) shall be deemed a violation of MGL c. 90B S. 12A.

(5) For purposes of MGL c. 90B, S. 14, any violation of 323 CMR 2.08 shall be deemed a violation of MGL c. 90B S. 5.

(6) Any violation of 323 CMR 2.09 shall be deemed a violation of MGL c. 90B, S.8(e).

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2.12 Special Rules (see latest 323 CMR)

2.13 Lakes and Great Ponds (see latest 323 CMR)

2.15 Severability

The provisions of 323 CMR 2.00 are severable, and if any provision hereof or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions hereof or application thereof which can be given effect without such invalid provision or application.

323 CMR 4.00 THE OPERATION OF PERSONAL WATERCRAFT

Section

4.01: Purpose and Scope

4.02: Definitions

4.03: Operation

4.04: Rental

4.05: Penalties

4.01: Purpose and Scope

The purpose and scope of 323 CMR 4.00 is to protect the public safety by establishing rules

of conduct governing the operation of personal watercraft, by promoting voluntary compliance

with the rules, and, when necessary, by deterring, through fines and penalties, noncompliance

with the rules. The Division of Law Enforcement intends to improve, through the rules, the safe

and appropriate use of personal watercraft.

4.02: Definitions

Headway speed shall mean the slowest speed at which a personal watercraft may be operated

 

and maintain steerage way. To be considered operating at headway speed under 323 CMR 4.00

the operator shall be either kneeling or sitting.

Personal watercraft shall mean a vessel propelled by a water jet pump or other machinery as its

primary source of motor propulsion which is designed to be operated by a person sitting,

standing or kneeling on the vessel rather than being operated in the conventional manner by a

person sitting or standing inside the vessel.

4.03: Operation

(1) Minimum Age. No person shall operate a personal watercraft if such person is:

(a) Under the age of 16;

(b) 16 or 17 years of age without first having received a safety certificate evidencing

satisfactory completion of a training course in safe operation conducted by the United States

Coast Guard Auxiliary, the United States Power Squadron, the Division of Law

Enforcement, or such other entity approved in writing by the Director.

(c) 16 or 17 years of age without having first received a safety certificate evidencing

satisfactory completion of a training program in personal watercraft safety conducted by the

Division of Law Enforcement or other such entity approved in writing by the Director.

(2) Personal Floatation Device. Any person aboard a personal watercraft shall wear at all times

a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device of Type I, II, III or V.

(3) Towing. No person shall tow a water skier or any person in any other manner from a

personal watercraft.

(4) Evening Operation. No person shall operate a personal watercraft between the hours of

sunset and sunrise, as determined by the chart set forth at 323 CMR 2.00, Appendix I, or when

vision is unduly restricted by the weather.

(5) Safe Operation. No person shall operate a personal watercraft except in a safe and prudent

manner, having due regard for other waterborne traffic, posted speed and wake restrictions,

323 CMR 4.00 etseq., and all other attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb

or property of any person.

No person who owns, rents, operates or who otherwise has charge of a personal watercraft

shall permit said personal watercraft to be operated in violation of M.G.L. C. 90B or any

applicable regulation 323 CMR 2.00 and 323 CMR 4.00.

(6) Negligent Operation. No person shall operate a personal watercraft in a negligent manner.

The following are prohibited as examples of negligent operation:

(a) Unreasonably jumping, or attempting to jump, the wake of another vessel;

(b) Following within 150 feet of a water skier;

(c) Weaving through congested vessel traffic;

(d) Speeding in restricted areas;

(e) Crossing unreasonably close to another vessel;

(f) Operating a personal watercraft in such a manner that it endangers the life, limb or

property of any person;

(g) Towing a waterskier or any person in any manner from a personal watercraft; and

(h) Operating a personal watercraft during the evening, as defined by 323 CMR 4.03(4).

(7) Modification. Except as otherwise provided in 323 CMR 4.03(9), no person shall:

(a) Remove or modify the exhaust or muffler system of a personal watercraft, or

(b) Operate a personal watercraft so modified.

(8) Exceptions.

(a) The provision of 323 CMR 4.03(6)(a) throguh (h) and (7)(a) through (e) shall not apply

to a person performing in an event for which a permit has been issued in writing by the

director.

(b) The provisions of 323 CMR 4.03(7)(a) through (d) shall not apply in an area expressly

designated in writing by the director or his designee as appropriate for personal watercraft

operation.

(9) Automatic Cut-Off. Every person operating a personal watercraft equipped by the

manufacturer with a lanyard type engine cut-off switch shall attach said lanyard to his person,

clothing, or personal floatation device as is appropriate for the specific craft.

4.04: Rental of Personal Watercraft

(1) Minimum Age. No person shall lease, hire or rent a personal watercraft to any person under

16 years of age, nor to any person 16 or 17 years of age unless said person produces a certificate

evidencing compliance with 323 CMR 4.03(1)(b).

(2) Notice of Regulations. No person shall lease, hire or rent a personal watercraft to any

person unless said lease, hire or rental is accompanied by a copy of 323 CMR 4.00 etseq.

(3) Safety Rules Stickers. No person shall lease, hire or rent a personal watercraft to any person

unless said personal watercraft shall have the most current version of the Safety Rules Sticker

prominently affixed thereto so that it is visible and readable by the operator.

(4) Safety Equipment and Education. A personal floatation device complying with 323 CMR

4.03(2) shall be provided with all rented personal watercraft. The safe operation of the personal

watercraft shall be explained by the rental livery. This explanation shall include a complete

review of 323 CMR 4.00 etseq.

4.05: Penalties

(1) For purposes of M.G.L. c. 90B, § 14, any violation of 323 CMR 4.03(1), (3), (4), (5), (6), or

(7) shall be deemed a violation of M.G.L. c. 90B, § 8.

(2) For purposes of M.G.L. c. 90B, § 14, any violation of 323 CMR 4.03(2) shall be deemed a

violation of M.G.L. c. 90B, § 5A.

(3) For purposes of M.G.L. c. 90B, § 14, any violation of 323 CMR 4.03(8) shall be deemed a

violation of M.G.L. c. 90B, § 6.

If you witness any violation of the rules, contact the Stow Police Department, they in turn, will notify the LBC and patrol officer for follow up.  

Note: It would be of great help to cite the specific rule that is being violated and any regisration numbers if applicable.

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