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View Full Version : Placing life jackets in rear locker not ok? -and accident story


Cobra Rob
07-10-2011, 03:33 AM
So we had an incident of someone not watching where they were going at all and hit throttle directly infront of me today right after we pushed off the dock.. Didn't think we collided that hard since I was bearly moving but there was nothing I could do it was either hit him or 2 other boats and the dock. The MC survived with only a MINOR scratch. I feel bad because both pickle forks went into the side of his bayliner and made a HUGE hole. Lucky the sherrif was also at the doc and saw the whole thing. I guess Oregon is a no fault boating state so there was no blame. I am not going to make any claim so I am assuming that means his insurance covers his issues and mine does mine and this should not affect my rates at all :whoknows:

Anyway, during the discussion the sheriff did a full boat inspection and said we can not keep the life jackets in the rear locker they have to be accessible. I was like ***?? He says we have to keep them in the main boat area.. Yeah sure buddy just a dozen or so jackets laying around causing a trip hazard and flying out of the boat. Has anyone else ever heard of this? When the coast guard boarded us last week to do a check they were fine with it. I am going to ask one of the other officers on a different part of the river next week I was just wondering anyone else...

FancySauceRules
07-10-2011, 04:33 AM
This is correct. What ramp were you at? We are near memorial park on the upper willamette. We keep our vests zipped up around the tower legs and the sherriff's never ask. For us it's easy, mostly people who aren't boarding hang at our dock, but with an X-45 and 12 people, that would be tough. Also we are rarely out during the day when the sherriffs are out. Water sucks that time of day anyway.

FancySauceRules
07-10-2011, 04:34 AM
Also, when they are zipped around the tower legs they dry fast.

Cobra Rob
07-10-2011, 04:36 AM
This is correct. What ramp were you at? We are near memorial park on the upper willamette. We keep our vests zipped up around the tower legs and the sherriff's never ask. For us it's easy, mostly people who aren't boarding hang at our dock, but with an X-45 and 12 people, that would be tough. Also we are rarely out during the day when the sherriffs are out. Water sucks that time of day anyway.

We went out at Newburg ramp today.. But technically the 45 can hold 18 too could you imagine that mess???

Normally we go out of willamatte park downtown but that is more for the weekend party. Riding sucks down there now since the holgate channel is no wake.

FancySauceRules
07-10-2011, 04:45 AM
I agree, huge mess. But I hear it is one of the "hot buttons" this year.

bturner2
07-10-2011, 08:42 AM
That is not correct, at least not in Michigan or Ohio. Those life jacket are stowed but are directly accessible. At least that's how it is in Michigan and Ohio where I've been checked on several occasions. If that were not the case it would mean that everyone would have to have jackets laying on the floor of every boat out there including passenger boats. I can't say I know anything about your state but the two I've been boating in for the past 30 years don't require you to have the life jackets out in the cockpit..... yet. That may soon change if the nanny state gets their way and requires all boaters to where a life jacket anytime they're in a boat. After this I'm sure they'll be pushing for bike helmets anytime you leave the house.

Sounds to me like he was going to find something to warn you about and this was the best he could come up with. Sorry to hear about you incident. At least on one was injured.

bigmac
07-10-2011, 09:06 AM
Boating laws vary widely from state to state. In Minnesota, there's no problem keeping life vests in storage.

oldairboater
07-10-2011, 09:29 AM
Argued that accessible issue a few times. Has never got beyond argument stage. We usually have plenty of vest fastened to ski pole and inside rails drying plus there are more just under the front seat.

Jim@BAWS
07-10-2011, 09:43 AM
Guess I am a little confused here...You hit another boat with your boat...correct? You hit the other boat hard enough to put the front pickle forks through the side of the other boat...and somehow "NO FAULT" kicks in??? WOW

Iskidaily
07-10-2011, 09:43 AM
I agree with bturner - he was looking for something. That said. We got inspected a couple weeks ago and I was embarrassed that we had to look around a little to get to all the life jackets (I keep 4 orange vests on each boat so we can pass every time). I was thinking the officer would at least make a comment about 'you have to be able to find them to use them' but not a word. I think it was because we had a bunch of kids on board all wearing vests, so he figured (correctly!) that was low risk and he should move on.

gatorguy
07-10-2011, 10:49 AM
Guess I am a little confused here...You hit another boat with your boat...correct? You hit the other boat hard enough to put the front pickle forks through the side of the other boat...and somehow "NO FAULT" kicks in??? WOW

Trying to figure that one out myself. I can't tell what even happened in the wreck based on the discription.

east tx skier
07-10-2011, 01:04 PM
The life jacket thing is a state law thing apparently. The have never given me any trouble during inspections when I drag them out from under the bow. My recollection of Texas law isnone on board for all occupants and any towed riders, who don't actually have to wear a vest at all while riding, much less an approved vest. The trickers seem to like that rule.

FrankSchwab
07-10-2011, 01:09 PM
Ahh, boating laws....

The biggest problem with them is that they're so vague, and every water-based enforcement officer I've talked with (including one we used to go skiing with every week) has an attitude and their own opinion on them.

PFDs must be "accessible" - as you see here, depending on the officer doing the inspection, that could mean within hands reach, or "somewhere on the boat". How about the "No skiing after sundown" rule? I had one officer tell a roomful of people that meant that "if I can't see the sun, it's sundown". When I questioned if that meant that most of the canyons at Lake Powell could never be skiied, his answer was "well, you have to apply a little common sense".

I make sure that the kids are all wearing theirs, and I normally drag out three or four more for the adults. If we have a full boat, however, I don't because there just isn't enough room. Ours are kept in the locker behind the passenger seat, so I hope to be able to claim "accessible" - pull the seatback open, and there they are.

/frank

The8Ball
07-10-2011, 01:11 PM
Texas:

http://www.boat-ed.com/tx/handbook/pfds.htm

The Type IV, throwable, "must be readily accessible." Must have one of those on board. And then there must be at least one Type I, II, III, or V on board, for every person...

So I put all the vests under the seats in the bow. I keep the throwable under the observer seat, or under the rear bench seat, "readily accessible."

east tx skier
07-10-2011, 01:12 PM
They have bags that will hold four or five of the orange ones. If I had to have them in plain view, I would invest in a couple of those.

DJ 50
07-10-2011, 02:04 PM
Guess I am a little confused here...You hit another boat with your boat...correct? You hit the other boat hard enough to put the front pickle forks through the side of the other boat...and somehow "NO FAULT" kicks in??? WOW

There are some states that are "no fault" states when it comes to accidents. This would be for boat and auto. All it means is that each insurance company takes care of the person that they have insured regardless of who caused the accident. It prevents insurance companies from screwing people over for long peroids of times while they fight over who is at fault. It does not mean that the person who caused the accident can't and shouldn't be given a ticket or can't be sued in civil court.

Cobra Rob
07-10-2011, 02:47 PM
Guess I am a little confused here...You hit another boat with your boat...correct? You hit the other boat hard enough to put the front pickle forks through the side of the other boat...and somehow "NO FAULT" kicks in??? WOW

We had just been pushed off the dock by someone who jumped on. I had not even put the boat in gear yet, that's how slow we were going. There was a boat that was infront and behind us on the dock so as we pushed off angeled out trying to get past them so the swim deck did not hit dock or the other boats. The boat we hit came out of the ramp area he was looking to his right but gassed it as he turned to the left right in front of all the boats that were tied to the dock 90 deg to the ramp. Going right in front of us. I saw we were going to hit but there was no choice I could hit reverse and hit dock and the other boat tied up but more than likely that would have caused more damage. I really expected a small bounce but I guess the angle one fork went in and just opened it up... barely any scratch on my boat..


The officer said Oregon is a complete no fault state so I am not sure how that really applies. He just wrote on the tickets accident at dock. States no alcohol was involved and time of day and names etc.


As for the jackets we usually have 2 -3 on the tower and ski pole when we have been riding so they dry but no way we have enough out for everyone. I have over 20 jackets on board so we have different sizes and enough to cover us is the boat is ever full.

It was a crappy situation no doubt and I think both of us felt bad about it but I never really got a chance to look at his boat or talk to him as the officer would not let me walk down that end of the dock.

73blue
07-10-2011, 03:32 PM
They have bags that will hold four or five of the orange ones. If I had to have them in plain view, I would invest in a couple of those.

I've seen officers argue that zipped in a bag is not accessible. Not ticketed but it really does depend on the officer's interpretation (and mood). One reason I go out of my way to get to know the officers on my lake. Never hurts to be polite

JLowder
07-10-2011, 03:37 PM
Guess I am a little confused here...You hit another boat with your boat...correct? You hit the other boat hard enough to put the front pickle forks through the side of the other boat...and somehow "NO FAULT" kicks in??? WOW

He did say it was a Bayliner. You could put your finger through the side of those boats without much pushing. I am amazed that people still purchase those pieces of garbage after the hull separation issue they had in the 80's and 90's.

Cobra Rob
07-10-2011, 03:56 PM
He did say it was a Bayliner. You could put your finger through the side of those boats without much pushing. I am amazed that people still purchase those pieces of garbage after the hull separation issue they had in the 80's and 90's.

It was probably from the early 90s too...


Another note on the lifejackets.. I was really nice with the officer, and I just asked questions. I was also told the same thing about the "container" a couple of years ago we were told we can not use the zipper pouch for the cheap ones as that was in a container and they had to be free. That is what is meant by a container not the storage locker. He didn't agree but we also put the jackets back in before we left dock and he didn't say anything.

I also have my throw-able super accessible it is always right behind the drivers seat not covered by anything just slid between seat and that hump.

JLowder
07-10-2011, 04:08 PM
It was a crappy situation no doubt and I think both of us felt bad about it but I never really got a chance to look at his boat or talk to him as the officer would not let me walk down that end of the dock.

What a load of BS. Just because the guy wears a badge, he is able to restrict you from talking man to man with the other person you hit. Show me were in the reg's the officer is allowed to do this. I an understand a little if you and the other party were screaming at each other, but it sounds like everybody was fairly calm.

As a side note, this is just another reason that I like the picklefork design. Imagine is they had demolition boat derby's. Pickleforks would be outlawed just like the 59'-61' Chrysler Imperials.

NOTE: I am not promoting that ANY MasterCraft be involved in any activity like a demo derby.:D

east tx skier
07-10-2011, 07:06 PM
I've seen officers argue that zipped in a bag is not accessible. Not ticketed but it really does depend on the officer's interpretation (and mood). One reason I go out of my way to get to know the officers on my lake. Never hurts to be polite

Just unzip and leave closed would be my reaction to that logic. I get the overcautiousness of it all. I wonder good all of those life vests under the bow are doing me. Good thing these boats arent prone to sinking fast.

billr
07-10-2011, 07:53 PM
Alabama law states "Accessible means not in a zipped bag, nor in a closed compartment" . I have had to explain the cushion I sit on is an approved, throwable, PFD. He still wanted to know where my "life jacket" was. Go figure!

plunk77
07-10-2011, 08:58 PM
Also, when they are zipped around the tower legs they dry fast.

i thought it was illegal everywhere to have them attached to the boat? it usually says right on there

The8Ball
07-10-2011, 09:24 PM
...all these conflicting laws. Guess you just have to wear them. Everybody. Put them on. We're gonna all look cool...

Cobra Rob
07-11-2011, 01:19 PM
OK I was wrong on the year of the bayliner. The officer gave me the wrong report/ticket. He gave me the other guys info which is a little sketchy since he would not let me talk to him but now that guy has my home address since I assume he has my copy.

Anyway it was a 1987 Bayliner

ShamrockIV
07-11-2011, 02:12 PM
in TN we just have to have them one the boat.

the last tiome they checked us we just held up three. funny thing was all 3 we held up were non approved wake vests lol

anyway what dog does the sherriff have in this hunt??? dont ya'll have game wardens or coast guard to handle the water??

Thrall
07-11-2011, 02:24 PM
Gotta love the fish cops!

Never been hasseled about having all the orange vests stuffed up in the closed bow of the old 190, and yes I've had to pull them all out to prove I had them.
Seems strange, guess he couldn't find anything else to pick on. Must've right before donut break when you collided so he was upset!

Cobra Rob
07-11-2011, 02:40 PM
in TN we just have to have them one the boat.

the last tiome they checked us we just held up three. funny thing was all 3 we held up were non approved wake vests lol

anyway what dog does the sherriff have in this hunt??? dont ya'll have game wardens or coast guard to handle the water??

It's a river, we have both coast guard and sheriff.. The sheriff seem to be much more prevalent. I do have to say 99% of the time they are all super nice though.

jeverett
07-11-2011, 04:54 PM
OK I was wrong on the year of the bayliner. The officer gave me the wrong report/ticket. He gave me the other guys info which is a little sketchy since he would not let me talk to him but now that guy has my home address since I assume he has my copy.

Anyway it was a 1987 Bayliner

Yeah that was the year they called them the dispose - a- boat. The dealer there on the Willamette sold a ton of those to anyone with two$ and a heartbeat. Those hulls were paper thin! I'm not surprised.