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kevkan
06-03-2011, 01:03 AM
I'm interested in others opinions on the "skier down flag". In principle, I think it could be a good idea. But in practice, it is a total failure. NO ONE understands the concept. Most people just fly an orange flag anytime they are on the water. Even those that put it up and down, fly it anytime they have a person tubing/skiing/boarding.

The flag is only to be flown when a person is IN the water, not ON the water.

I have a flag if necessary, but I generally refuse to use it, as the whole concept doesn't work, because no one understands. I was even told by the water patrol at Table Rock that they can't enforce it, or he couldn't even get across the lake, because of pulling so many people over.

What are your thoughts on the "skier down flag"? If I get a ticket for refusing to use one, I will document the total abuse of the purpose, and take my chances in court.

DJ 50
06-03-2011, 01:08 AM
We ski on Beaver Lake in Ar. We are NOT required to use it by law and we don't use it neither do most people. I agree with you and say that it doesn't help protect your skier at all.

Thrall
06-03-2011, 01:08 AM
I understand the concept, but like you it is not adhered to hardly at all. As much as we try, we even forget sometimes. That and the rest of the jack legs on the leake that aren't doing watersports don't seem to look fro or care if they see the flag anyway.
Personally I'd be a fan of having the flag UP anytime you're doing watersports. That way, you can't forget on occasion and it would signal anyone around you that you either have someone in or on the water, so watch out.
Edit: And if you look at the pic I just posted in the "96 Prrostar LT-1" thread, I'm the tool with it stuck to the side of my boat with noone in the water! (It was in Missouri though, so that's ok!)

06x2
06-03-2011, 03:10 AM
Here in BC we dont have this law I think it's good in theory also but when I board on watcom lake in washington no one bothers or just flys it all the Time I think that maybe a different color light that's put on when a person is down or just f#%^}£g give people some room and respect eachother I know the my fellow mc owners all do but others need to Learn. I don't know why people think its cool to do a fly by when a person is floating behind the boat.

Brian B
06-03-2011, 03:18 AM
I believe they should be up when the skiier is up or down.

Can someone confirm whether or not a "non manned" flag holder is legal? Like a flag mount or automatic remote flag?

DJ 50
06-03-2011, 07:08 AM
I believe they should be up when the skiier is up or down.

Can someone confirm whether or not a "non manned" flag holder is legal? Like a flag mount or automatic remote flag?

That would depend on the state and body of water you are on.

bturner2
06-03-2011, 08:06 AM
About as useful as daytime running lights. Another stupid idea most likely made up by people that don't ski.

CantRepeat
06-03-2011, 08:38 AM
When I lived in CA we used it only when the skier was down. It was law and everyone used and followed it. It worked well because everyone knew what it meant. There was a counter sign that the driver would raise an arm extending the hand high in the air when they had identified the downed skier so even the skier knew he had been seen by on coming boaters.

In the Southeast, not only is it not law it's totally unknown what the flag means. It took me a long time to get used to not using one.

UrbantuxTN
06-03-2011, 08:57 AM
The southeast has no idea (including me) what they are for. My wife moved out here from Cali and first time aboard the boat I was really confused about this silly orange flag. It wouldn't do a lick of good, and probably more danger then help around here. Some drunk idiot would run you down while staring at the bright orange flag.

CantRepeat
06-03-2011, 09:08 AM
The southeast has no idea (including me) what they are for. My wife moved out here from Cali and first time aboard the boat I was really confused about this silly orange flag. It wouldn't do a lick of good, and probably more danger then help around here. Some drunk idiot would run you down while staring at the bright orange flag.

Your wife and I have the exact same experience when it comes to the ski flag. When I'd hold it up people would come closer to me and the downed skier. lol

chawk610
06-03-2011, 11:21 AM
I propose someone invent a remote killswitch that automatically kills ALL jet skis the moment your skier goes down!!! For that matter... just KILL ALL JET SKIS!

TxsRiverRat
06-03-2011, 11:21 AM
We’re not required to use them in Texas. I skied with a few folks out in AZ years ago and I literally saw boats change directions when they saw our flag go up. So I think they work, but it would take years for the lakes to get accustomed to them.

TxsRiverRat
06-03-2011, 11:23 AM
I propose someone invent a remote killswitch that automatically kills ALL jet skis the moment your skier goes down!!! For that matter... just KILL ALL JET SKIS!

I'd like an M-50 and a chair on my bow... But for the fishermen on my lake (jetskis arent allowed on my lake)

flipper
06-03-2011, 11:24 AM
They seem to work well here. I pretty much never see them out unless somebody is in the water.

Dylan
06-03-2011, 12:11 PM
When I lived in CA we used it only when the skier was down. It was law and everyone used and followed it. It worked well because everyone knew what it meant. There was a counter sign that the driver would raise an arm extending the hand high in the air when they had identified the downed skier so even the skier knew he had been seen by on coming boaters.

In the Southeast, not only is it not law it's totally unknown what the flag means. It took me a long time to get used to not using one.

I couldn't agree more with your statement. Out here in California, the skier down flag is one of the few laws that actually work!

paus21
06-03-2011, 01:48 PM
We use them here in NE and they work well. Only problem lies with some of the idiots on our lake. When they see the flag, they put theirs up so you have a whole line of boats with orange flags waving and you don't know which boat actually has a skier down.

Typically they put the flag up and you go around. Maybe give a little wave to let them know you see the person.

I had NO clue that it wasnt used everywhere.

kkkeating
06-03-2011, 02:03 PM
Under California law, the display of a ski flag is mandatory to indicate a skier in the water, or a ski, a line, or similar equipment in the immediate area. The display of the ski flag does not in itself restrict the use of the water, but warns boaters operating in the area to exercise caution. Boaters who see a red or orange flag being displayed should be on the lookout for a skier or equipment in the water. The law says:

The water-ski flag must be displayed to indicate any of the following conditions:
A downed skier.
A skier in the water preparing to ski.
A ski line extended from the vessel.
A ski in the water in the vicinity of the vessel

Typically the flag is not raised when the water skier is skiing. The flag does help out in alerting you if someone has a skier in water; you know you need to look around because the skier may not be near the boat.

What’s unusual about the law is it just mentions a skier only; the wording is as shown above. No mention about someone swimming nearby, a wake surfer, wake boarder or tuber.

M-Funf
06-03-2011, 02:11 PM
I have one in the boat, but there's usually nobody around when and where we ski. We use it if there is, but that's really not that often.
I've been inspected by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and they ask to see it.

I agree with the raised arm counter-action. I do that to let the flag holder know that I see them.

Cobra Rob
06-03-2011, 03:17 PM
In Oregon it's heavily enforced. I think the cops may use it as probable cause to stop a boat and talk to determine if they were drinking however too.

I have seen multiple boats ticketed for not using one and I have been asked to see mine before when we were not even boarding but there was boards in the rack. They wanted to make sure we had one.

Jerseydave
06-03-2011, 03:25 PM
In New Jersey:

Ski boats must carry an orange or red ski flag. It must be displayed a minimum of 4 feet above the highest part of the boat, and be at least 12 inches on each edge of the triangle. It must be displayed during each of the following activities only:
-While pulling or retrieving a skier
-While a skier is in the water; or
-While a towline is in the water

It's actually catching on here, and it is easier for boat operators to notice which boats are pulling skiers and which ones are not. Better than no flag at all IMHO.

BTW, in NJ boats are required to stay at least 200 feet away from a person in the water (like a downed skier) but that is almost never the case!

aaron.
06-03-2011, 03:49 PM
i think the whole idea is pretty stupid. everyone on the water should be aware of their surroundings... flag or no flag. if anything they are more of a distraction

TxsRiverRat
06-03-2011, 03:52 PM
Definitely a pain in the ace, but they definitely help...

Consider at the beginning/end the day when the sun is glaring down at that perfect angle... you might not see a person / ski in the water until its too late...

CantRepeat
06-03-2011, 04:01 PM
i think the whole idea is pretty stupid. everyone on the water should be aware of their surroundings... flag or no flag. if anything they are more of a distraction

We know what everyone should be doing, but it's pretty stupid to think that they are?

DooSPX
06-03-2011, 04:04 PM
We know what everyone should be doing, but it's pretty stupid to think that they are?

^
Agree my friend, agree!!!

Thrall
06-04-2011, 02:10 AM
I like the Jersey rule.
Leave the flag up during watersports, put it away otherwise.
I understand the concept of downed skiier, but it really is a pain......."Flag up! Flag down...Flag up!".....

Brian B
06-04-2011, 03:52 AM
I like the Jersey rule.
Leave the flag up during watersports, put it away otherwise.
I understand the concept of downed skiier, but it really is a pain......."Flag up! Flag down...Flag up!".....

Agreed!

Anyone have a link to Arizona ski laws?

UrbantuxTN
06-04-2011, 10:10 AM
Agreed!

Anyone have a link to Arizona ski laws?

Arizona law requires that vessels towing person(s) on water skis or similar devices display a
red or orange “skier down” flag, at least 12 x 12 inches in size and mounted on a handle,
whenever the towed person(s) is preparing to ski or has fallen into the water.
When operating a vessel for the purpose of towing a person on water skis or other similar
devices, these regulations must be followed:
• No watercraft with a person or persons on water skis in tow, a surfboard, or similar
contrivance must be operated on any waterway unless such watercraft is occupied by
at least two persons, an operator and an observer. 6
• The operator must observe other watercraft traffic, swimmers, and hazards and shall
not tow a person(s) on water skis, a surfboard, or similar contrivance so close to other
watercraft, swimmers, or structures as to constitute a hazard to life or limb of any
person.
• The observer must continuously observe the person or persons being towed and must
display a flag immediately after the towed person or persons falls into the water and
during the time preparatory to skiing while the person or persons are still in the water
• A watercraft operator cannot tow a person or persons on water skis, a surfboard or
similar contrivance during the hours between sunset and sunrise.
• Each person being towed behind a vessel on water skis or similar devices must wear a
PFD or buoyant belt. However, note that the USCG does not approve buoyant belts for
use on federal waters

http://www.boater101.com/Course/documents/AZ/AZstatelaws.pdf

Brian B
06-04-2011, 01:46 PM
Arizona law requires that vessels towing person(s) on water skis or similar devices display a
red or orange “skier down” flag, at least 12 x 12 inches in size and mounted on a handle,
whenever the towed person(s) is preparing to ski or has fallen into the water.
When operating a vessel for the purpose of towing a person on water skis or other similar
devices, these regulations must be followed:
• No watercraft with a person or persons on water skis in tow, a surfboard, or similar
contrivance must be operated on any waterway unless such watercraft is occupied by
at least two persons, an operator and an observer. 6
• The operator must observe other watercraft traffic, swimmers, and hazards and shall
not tow a person(s) on water skis, a surfboard, or similar contrivance so close to other
watercraft, swimmers, or structures as to constitute a hazard to life or limb of any
person.
• The observer must continuously observe the person or persons being towed and must
display a flag immediately after the towed person or persons falls into the water and
during the time preparatory to skiing while the person or persons are still in the water
• A watercraft operator cannot tow a person or persons on water skis, a surfboard or
similar contrivance during the hours between sunset and sunrise.
• Each person being towed behind a vessel on water skis or similar devices must wear a
PFD or buoyant belt. However, note that the USCG does not approve buoyant belts for
use on federal waters

http://www.boater101.com/Course/documents/AZ/AZstatelaws.pdf


Thank you!

Does the highlighted area suggest that someone who is surfing (not being towed) would not be required to wear a pfd?

Also, this was not mentioned in there, but a friend was stopped the other day because his automatic flag system was installed at an angle. The LEO told him that an automatic flag system must be installed completely upright.....

Kyle
06-04-2011, 02:28 PM
Thank you!

Does the highlighted area suggest that someone who is surfing (not being towed) would not be required to wear a pfd?

Also, this was not mentioned in there, but a friend was stopped the other day because his automatic flag system was installed at an angle. The LEO told him that an automatic flag system must be installed completely upright.....

So can the observer get a ticket for not holding the flag perfectly upright.

I have never seen one of these flags or autoflag system in my life. I had to read the entire thread to understand what you guys are talking about.

We don't have the flag law in Tx. I believe you can ski without a life vest but have to have a uscg vest in the boat. Our laws are pretty chill. Stay sober and 50' away from all craft while underway.

Jerseydave
06-04-2011, 06:03 PM
So can the observer get a ticket for not holding the flag perfectly upright.

I have never seen one of these flags or autoflag system in my life. I had to read the entire thread to understand what you guys are talking about.

We don't have the flag law in Tx. I believe you can ski without a life vest but have to have a uscg vest in the boat. Our laws are pretty chill. Stay sober and 50' away from all craft while underway.

Got mine from wheelerwhip.com
It's really made for ATV's but it works perfect on my xstar.

67257

Brian B
06-04-2011, 06:13 PM
^ we use these on our buggies. Figured you guys would dig them. They're definitely going to be illegal if lite underway, but for those of you who can get away with it they would be awesome on a boat!

http://www.quick-light.com/

Where the best place to get automatic flags?

oldairboater
06-05-2011, 12:16 PM
Seen someone using one of those orange flags the other day. Knew that it was someone that either reads or from another state. Flag is a stupid idea. If they don't see the boat they absolutely must see the flag---don't think so. A warning that a skier is down. Lets make it simple boat stopped in the water with head bobbing behind it. I would figure skier down instead of bait in the water. If I see head bobbing in water but boat isn't around then boat driver sucks. I have stopped before to ask the bait if it would like to get out of the water while we wait for his boat to figure he isn't behind it. Did that once but life isn't over yet. That also means that somewhere around that boat there could be a rope unless the boat driver has inadvertently backed over his rope adjusting his flag. We invent laws to explain simple logic. It is bad enough that I wasted time waiting for the usual idiots to finish unloading their boat while blocking the ramp. They can't load their boats. They can't unload their boats. They don't have enough courtesy to not bring their monster wakes into the boat ramp. Now we are going to give them an orange flag to wave. Glad our stupid politicians haven't seen the novelty of the orange flag yet.

madman
06-06-2011, 11:44 AM
I really only use my flag anytime I have someone "IN" "NOT ON" the water "AND" another boat is approaching my position "AND" I cannot tell whether they have seen that I have someone in the water. I always rush back to my skier when they fall and protect them by putting my boat between them and oncoming vessels, then I have someone wave the flag at the oncoming boat. We ski at Green Peter Resivoir and the channel is not very wide, so everyone (except the fishermen and the jet skiers) pays pretty close attention to people in the water. The channel is only a few hundred feet wide and even less in some places so it is impossible to slow down for everyone that you see floating in the water (if you did no one could ski through it) and the fishermen usually drift or troll right down the middle so you have to fly by them (they love it....LOL) and in all the time I have been on this lake I still have not seen anyone get run over, THANKFULLY.

Eagle
06-06-2011, 01:27 PM
A couple of years ago here in Washington, I was wakeboarding with a couple friends on Lake Washington. It was during the week in early May, which is early season here, and we were the only ones we could see on the lake. A rider fell and we put up the flag -- not sure exactly why we did, since there was no one else around, but we did. Next thing we know, a police boat appears a few hundred yards away and is driving full blast in our direction. He comes right up to us and we have no idea what he wants; maybe just to say hi, have a nice season. Instead in a very angry tone he scolds us for not putting up the flag quickly enough after the rider fell. It was total BS since we did put it up right away. But no sense arguing with him. He kept up with the tongue lashing and threatened us with a ticket. Finally he left, no ticket, but what a jerk he was. I guess he had nothing better to do on that May afternoon with no one else on the lake. Oh, and it's not like we were a bunch a teenagers blasting music. We were in our early 50's and no music or power turns or inside the buoys.

Cobra Rob
06-06-2011, 10:11 PM
We got stopped on Saturday to ask if we had a flag. We were not even in the water but they saw the board in the racks and thought we were going to start riding.


I think the issue of where people think it's stupid vs not might be river vs lakes.

We have areas where it helps a lot to know there could be a rider down in the river since a boat might be coming around a corner and not know there is someone in the water. It is annoying and sometimes we forget but I don't think it's a 'bad' idea.

oldairboater
06-06-2011, 11:20 PM
Two rivers within 15 minutes of the house. Lake at least two hours away. In my 47 years on both rivers have never heard of anyone being ran over by another boat. Can't speak for the lake ---not my favorite place to ski. We have had a couple of people run over their own skiers. A couple of people ran over by their own boat after getting thrown out of the boat or falling overboard. On of them was a Game warden. I know of several incidences of skiers and sliders hitting the bank or docks by stupidity or miscalculation. We have had a couple of collisions from stupidity and a couple of groundings from equipment malfunction or inattention. Can't see that orange flag helping those fools out. Those that like or see the need to use them enjoy. I think it is still a waste of my time.

kevkan
06-07-2011, 08:30 PM
My major problem with the whole concept is that 99% of the people on the water don't know how to use the flags. In the 2 states I boat, Kansas and Missouri, the flag is only to be up when a skier is down, IN the water. Most people just fly the flag all day. I find myself driving into the sun, see a boat, stopped with the flag up, and I search frantically for where is the person in the water. There is no one in the water, they are just floating, taking a break.