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View Full Version : In What Staes do you NOT need an observer??


Mag_Red
09-22-2004, 06:26 PM
Topic says it all. Trying to figure if, in Kentucky, an observer is mandatory. :confused:

Mag_Red
09-22-2004, 06:34 PM
Found my answer on the internet!!!! :dance:
Water Skiing

While this section is titled water skiing, it applies to persons being towed on any device such as kneeboards, inner tubes, etc.

Kentucky law states that persons being towed on any device must wear a Type I, II or III PFD. Further, the law requires in addition to the operator of the boat, an observer 12 years of age or older - or - a wide angle rear view mirror mounted so as to let the operator check on the skier but still give full attention to traffic ahead of him. The primary responsibility of the operator is to watch for oncoming traffic and not to be looking at the skier.

sfitzgerald351
09-22-2004, 08:49 PM
Massachusetts requires an observer, but no flag.... [rant on] As far as I'm concerned a flag is a heck of a lot more useful than an observer, especially with the mirrors we all have (though I will concede that most boats don't have them and have spacey morons driving). For the most part all observers do in my boat is to comment on how good the crash was. I prefer to have a signal to other boats to stay the heck away from me. If I put up my flag in Mass. people come extra close thinking I need help! I 'almost' wish you had to get a license to operate a boat sometimes...[rant off]

jimmer2880
09-23-2004, 06:47 AM
Massachusetts requires an observer, but no flag.... [rant on] As far as I'm concerned a flag is a heck of a lot more useful than an observer, especially with the mirrors we all have (though I will concede that most boats don't have them and have spacey morons driving). For the most part all observers do in my boat is to comment on how good the crash was. I prefer to have a signal to other boats to stay the heck away from me. If I put up my flag in Mass. people come extra close thinking I need help! I 'almost' wish you had to get a license to operate a boat sometimes...[rant off]
I do wish you needed a license to drive. No minimul starting age as long as someone else "responsible" is in the boat (I know some 8 year olds who are much better than their drunk parents at driving boats:mad: )

In MD - spotter required - period. I believe Delaware has the mirror rule. My wife & I used to "outlaw" it all the time when nobody else was out. In a boat with a center-mounted pilon, the driver really doesn't need a mirror, since when the person falls, the rope slaps the engine box.:rant:

Farmer Ted
09-23-2004, 08:46 AM
In Louisiana it goes something like...

drivers over 16 do not require a spoter if they have a concave mirror that measures 7 X 14...

6ballsisall
09-23-2004, 09:41 AM
I know some a couple where the wife is the driver and the husband is a trick skier. It is crazy, he does toe plants and all that stuff needed to do on pin and the wife can do it and drive as well, no observer! Talk about trusting your wifes abilities!!

east tx skier
09-23-2004, 10:49 AM
No observer or flag necessary in Texas so long as you have a mirror of at least 4" x 4".

G-man
09-23-2004, 11:04 AM
In my Coast Guard course in Texas the skier is not required to wear a jacket. There only needs to enough jackets for the people in the boat.

AWSA tournaments trick skiers are not required to wear a jacket.

Ric
09-23-2004, 11:05 AM
Topic says it all. Trying to figure if, in Kentucky, an observer is mandatory. :confused:
They do have a funny daylight savings thing going on in kentucky I think

Rockman
09-23-2004, 11:11 AM
Illinois and Wisconsin require an observer as noted in the replies above. :mad:

Wisconsin does not require a skier to wear a vest. Law states that the driver of the boat needs to have available enough PFDs for all people in the boat and skiing. Not sure about Illinois but we bascially follow the same rules.

It would be nice to have the mirror rule. Then we could get out alot more often. :steering:

CTPJ
09-23-2004, 11:33 AM
This is the way Virginia law reads. Go figure.

"You may tow a water skier only between the hours of one half-hour before sunrise and one half-hour after sunset. PWC are restricted to sunrise to sunset.
A boat, other than a PWC, towing a person(s) on water skis or similar device must have one of the following:
A dedicated person, in addition to the boat operator, onboard and observing the towed person(s) or...
Person(s) being towed are wearing a U. S. Coast Guard-approved PFD. Ski belts and inflatable PFDs are not approved.
If a personal watercraft (PWC) is towing a person(s) on water skis or similar device then the person(s) being towed must wear a U. S. Coast Guard-approved PFD. Ski belts and inflatable PFDs are not approved.
The operator of the towing vessel and the skier must not operate in a manner which endangers the safety of persons or property. It is illegal to cause the person being towed to collide with any object or person."

I guess you don't need to wear a PFD if there is more than one person in the boat. :confused:

Lake_Tippy_Skier
09-23-2004, 11:44 AM
No observer or flag necessary in Texas so long as you have a mirror of at least 4" x 4".
Road Trip :headbang:

aprgriggs
09-23-2004, 11:52 AM
It is illegal to drink beer while driving in Texas....so is it illegal to drink beer while skiing?

Surfing and beer can be much fun. :friday:

DrNautica
09-23-2004, 11:53 AM
The latest info I have indicates that NO OBSERVER is required in Kentucky. However, an observer is always a good idea. Now, that is for Lake Cumberland, I'm not sure if regulations could possibly differ for other bodies of water (I wouldn't think so, but who knows.)

east tx skier
09-23-2004, 12:10 PM
George, you are right. A skier is not required to wear a coast guard approved vest in Texas, or any vest for that matter, so long as there are enough vests for everyone in the boat including the skier.

As for the alcohol rules, it is not illegal to drink while driving a boat (or skiing) as I read the law. It is, however, illegal to have a blood alcohol level above a certain level (and it may be lower than the level for driving a car) when you are driving a boat. I have seen no rule that says you can't be completely tanked and strap on a ski.

These are the rules in Texas. The rules in my boat are a little more strict. You're welcome to drink beer. Just don't spill it! That being said, my alcohol intake is severely limited when I'm out in my boat or planning to do any skiing behind any boat. Somebody's got to get us home.

jpattigr
09-23-2004, 12:27 PM
Up here in the north country of Canada they have brought in boat licensing. As of Oct.1 2002 all PWC operators must have a license, all other boats are by 2009.
You must be 14 to get a boat license and pass a test consisting of 30 questions. It was interesting taking the test as I have boated all my life and still leaned a lot in studying for the test. Many questions regarding right of way and buoy markers which helped explain many things.
The test runs about $30.00 and the License is lifetime. I feel the License was a good idea and will help to promote safe boating.

Here in Canada, you must have a spotter but the skier does not have to wear a PFD just carry enough in the boat for all including skier.

aprgriggs
09-23-2004, 12:36 PM
As for the alcohol rules, it is not illegal to drink while driving a boat (or skiing) as I read the law.

:banana:

Well that is nice to know...where did you find that information?

mgurley
09-23-2004, 12:37 PM
In Alabama you must be 12 or older in order to drive a boat or PWC, in addition you must pass a written test in order to recieve your boating licence. A "V" is added to your drivers licence under the class heading, indicating that you are licenced to drive a Vessel. :steering:

NeilM
09-23-2004, 12:55 PM
Here's a good reference for all states.. Interesting that it includes "Ontario Canada" as a state....


http://www.uscgboating.org/regulations/Nasbla_Ref_Guide_6.pdf

jimmer2880
09-23-2004, 01:10 PM
If you get busted DWI (driving while intox) on your boat, it goes against your auto driver's license. Good rule.

You can, how ever, drink while driving. I like that rule also as why does it matter if I'm drinking a coke & driving drunk, or sipping on a beer and still sober while driving?

Mag_Red
09-23-2004, 01:14 PM
The latest info I have indicates that NO OBSERVER is required in Kentucky. However, an observer is always a good idea. Now, that is for Lake Cumberland, I'm not sure if regulations could possibly differ for other bodies of water (I wouldn't think so, but who knows.) :wavey: Hey Doc...where abouts on Cumberland do you dock?? <----get it?? :D We are usually at Lee's Ford but this week-end will be at Jamestown Marina.

Leroy
09-23-2004, 01:29 PM
I remember this Neil, good file. Two things, found out yesterday min age was 16, 15 with training, those pix of my 9 year old driving :eek: confirmed in here

Also, yesterday went out with my wife skiing and thought we could ski without spotter as long as we had mirror (if I read correctly you cannot) :eek:

You're ruining my day with all of these facts Neil!

EricB
09-23-2004, 02:18 PM
Minnesota does not requirer an observer/spotter as long as you have a mirror.

east tx skier
09-23-2004, 02:50 PM
aprgriggs, the Texas boating rules are available at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/boat/wsdigest.phtml

Also, it appears that water skiing while intoxicated is also illegal in Texas inasmuch as one or more water skis meets the definition of a watercraft. The blood/alcohol level limit on the water is .08 or higher.

The alcohol rules with respect to boating can be found at Texas Penal Code Sections 32.34(a)(2) (definition of motor vehicle excludes watercraft), 49.01(4) (defining "watercraft" to include 1 or more water skis), and 49.06 (setting out a penalty for operating a watercraft while intoxicated. Note the minimum term of confinement of 72 hours.).

Hope this helps.

NeilM
09-23-2004, 03:07 PM
You're ruining my day with all of these facts Neil!Sorry, man, not my intent.

Here's one specific for Indiana

http://boat-ed.com/in/handbook/

Have a close look! You can use a mirror instead of an observer on the Ohio river...

Wierd...

Leroy
09-23-2004, 03:19 PM
Neil; I know it's not your fault I should know this but I grew up in the hills of TN where we didn't have any rules!

Tom Wortham
09-24-2004, 05:17 PM
No observer or flag necessary in Texas so long as you have a mirror of at least 4" x 4".

Doug, When I lived in Houston for a while... they required you to have a flag on Lake Conroe. Luckly, I had a buddy tell me this before I got on the water.. and picked up a flag. Not aware of any other lakes in Texas that require this... Not sure why Conroe does. :confused: Any of you Houston folks know?

Tom Wortham
09-24-2004, 05:20 PM
aprgriggs, the Texas boating rules are available at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/boat/wsdigest.phtml

Also, it appears that water skiing while intoxicated is also illegal in Texas inasmuch as one or more water skis meets the definition of a watercraft. The blood/alcohol level limit on the water is .08 or higher.

The alcohol rules with respect to boating can be found at Texas Penal Code Sections 32.34(a)(2) (definition of motor vehicle excludes watercraft), 49.01(4) (defining "watercraft" to include 1 or more water skis), and 49.06 (setting out a penalty for operating a watercraft while intoxicated. Note the minimum term of confinement of 72 hours.).

Hope this helps.

Doug, So if you are footen... you can have a few cold ones. :friday: Right? Just kidding. :D

east tx skier
09-24-2004, 05:48 PM
Tom, I'd say the answer is technically, yes. Go for it. That'd be about the only way this guy (who bruises easily) is going to learn to b-foot. :D

east tx skier
09-24-2004, 05:50 PM
Doug, When I lived in Houston for a while... they required you to have a flag on Lake Conroe. Luckly, I had a buddy tell me this before I got on the water.. and picked up a flag. Not aware of any other lakes in Texas that require this... Not sure why Conroe does. :confused: Any of you Houston folks know?

Well that explains the orange flag I found in my boat (previous owner was on Conroe).

I think the question is what entity owns/operates Lake Conroe. They can require pretty much whatever they like. I don't know who has the jurisdiction to issue the ticket though. Can a game warden enforce anything that's not a state law? So many questions.

DrNautica
09-27-2004, 11:32 AM
:wavey: Hey Doc...where abouts on Cumberland do you dock?? <----get it?? :D We are usually at Lee's Ford but this week-end will be at Jamestown Marina.


Mag_Red,

We're out of Grider Hill on the West end of the Lake... Every weekend! Sorry for the late reply as we left a day early to make a three day weekend.

Ric
09-27-2004, 11:51 AM
Kinda off subject but conroe must have more than a few unusual differences from other TX lakes.
I was told by some friends that they sold their waterfront home there due to rising taxes.... They explained that there were special taxes for waterfronts that were apparantly skyrocketing...

Mag_Red
09-27-2004, 12:25 PM
Mag_Red,

We're out of Grider Hill on the West end of the Lake... Every weekend! Sorry for the late reply as we left a day early to make a three day weekend. :toast: Too bad you didn't respond earlier. We left on Friday morning and got at the lake around 3. Did a lot of skiing down Greasy and Pumkin Creek. We definately would have looked you up had I know where you were. Maybe next year as the season is drawing to a close. :(

east tx skier
09-28-2004, 11:38 AM
Ric, I've always thought of Conroe as a golfer's lake. All of my memories of trying to ski on it as a child call up memories of whitecaps and sea sickness. Needless to say, I was a bit surprised to learn that it was my boat's original home lake (was told the guy took it out for very early morning sets).

Ric
09-28-2004, 05:13 PM
conroe would be great for early morning sets (I haven't been on that lake in years)
As kids, we would sneak some skis into dad's o/b as we left at 5am to fish and then beg him to pull us when it got too hot to fish. Yes, even 20+yrs ago conroe was a rough place to ski for sure.