Registering a poontoon boat for trolling motor use

Kent ,I should clear somethings up. I only use my pontoon on lakes ,non which are concidered navicable<sp? waters. So if I'm at Nunnally and using a trolling motor on my pontoon,let the officer write away.
P.s. Yes my spelling is bad,and i'm typing with one hand!

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
Kent ,I should clear somethings up. I only use my pontoon on lakes ,non which are concidered navicable<sp? waters. So if I'm at Nunnally and using a trolling motor on my pontoon,let the officer write away.
I fish fresh water exclusively and don't even use a motor, but that's not my point. I'm simply suggesting that if it comes down to your interpretation of the law vs. an enforcement officer's in a court of law, your position is gonna be sorta like a guy bringing a knife to a gun fight, no matter how right you think you are.

And BTW, that's not just in a dispute involving boat registration. If he says you were poaching, fishing out of season in a beaver pond, or didn't have enough life jackets for everyone in your boat, for instance, any defense you offer is gonna be like answering the question, "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?"

Guilty as charged. Next case.


Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
When you operate your boat in "Federally regulated waters," it require a registration if you use a motor, regardless of hull length.
If your boat is less than 16' and you are only using an electric trolling motor and you aren't on "federally regulated waters," you don't need to get a registration. (Here in WA).
In other words, If I take my 15' tinny out on Lake Washington or the lower Chehalis River powered by an electic motor, I need a registration.
Same boat and electic motor would not need a registration for smaller lakes or "non-navigable" rivers.
"Non-navigable" rivers are usually waters above the head of tidewater and too small to allow commercial boat traffic.
Is a river guide taking a guest downstream in a driftboat "commercial boat traffic?"
There is a "gray area" here!

Sometimes, on foggy mornings, I will motor upstream from a boat ramp in my drift pram, un-noticed. When I return to the ramp in the full light of mid-afternoon, the motor is off my transom and I'm rowing. These boat ramps are on the lower, tide-affected sections of coastal creeks, and I only use the motor to get upstream as high as I can before rowing back downstream. Much of the skinny upstream water I can squeeze into with electric power would be considered "non-navigable" for a larger boat with a gas motor. Since I use the motor for considerably less than 50% of the trip, I consider the trolling motor not to be my "main means of propulsion" here. The oars are my main means of propulsion. The motor would be nice to have if I popped my shoulder out of its socket, though, and couldn't row. I don't have any plans to ever put a number on this craft. I just need more fog.

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
WTF Kent, you Never got out of a ticket before ,you sound angry?????????
I'm not angry, just trying to offer a realistic alternative to your bluster about ruining an enforcement officer's day in court.

Sure, I've gotten out of my share of traffic tickets. But traffic law is a whole lot clearer than the maze of regs surrounding fishing and watercraft.

For instance, what exactly is navigable water? Or what is the precise definition of a beaver pond? While those seem like simple questions, the answers can vary a lot depending on who you talk to.

While each of us may believe passionately in our own interpretation of what the law says, the enforcement officer's opinion will almost always trump ours in front of a judge. Based on the two guys I know who tried to stand up for their opinions in court, the only persons whose day got ruined was theirs.

Hmm now that I think about it, actually, since pretty much everything is "regulated" under the "federal" clean water act, I would venture a guess that a DA or judge who is a real dickhead could bust you anywhere. Any f@#K holes errrmm.. I mean attorneys out there know the answer?

Any way TroutMaster listen to Kent. He's giving you some good learnin'.
Why should I listen to him, he doesnt know ,hell I dont think he even read the reg's, I have, have you. I was stating that where I fish. I dont fish navigale waters!noow if they want to write me up for no pfd, guilty as charged.
Thanks to whomever sent this to me last year.
Might shed some light on some waters.
Uncertain as to "Federal Waters" but I believe if commercial vessels and/or the US Coast Guard can touch them that might make them federal in some respect.
You know Mumbles, I think that combined with could provide the technical explanation for where registration would be required. Not sure how "probably navigable" would be handled. But like others have mentioned, odds are better than average law enforcement officers would write a ticket for any boat with a motor in any water and let the court handle it.
I have a new (2010) Skykomish Sunrise. it did not come with a cert of origin and after some research online I found the HIN, but it cannot be read under the powder coat.
if your boat was made after 2000 it has a HIN.
look on the frame section your seat is bolted to.
mine was on the bottom of the right side.
even after using an old school pencil rubbing I still could not make out the HIN

either way... I called Dave at NFO.
he is sending me a new HIN plate (with a new number) and Cert of Origin
he said they get a request often and they will just send out a new hin on an adhesive aluminum sticker.
so far (if you can reach them) NFO has had pretty decent cust service.
I would give them a call and see what they can do for you.