game wardens authority

#17
The only thing that remains unclear to me about the boat registration law is whether or not, and if so which parts of the puget sound might be considered Federal Waters. By my reckoning, based on many documents I just read, Federal Waters begin 3 miles offshore and extend to 200. Whereas State Waters are those from 0 up to 3 miles from shore. If my understanding of said definitions are true, then there is indeed no need for me to register/number my 12' aluminum with 5hp motor as long as I'm fishing the inlets and bays of the South Sound. If I put 10hp+ on the back then it needs numbers, thus the popularity of the 9.9hp?? If anyone can point me to something that really clarifies the boundaries of Federal Waters I would appreciate it, really want to ensure my boat is in compliance in all respects.
 

gt

Active Member
#18
i would guess that if you are operating a boat with a motor anywhere in salt water, you had best have your boat registered. same would hold true for fresh water lakes, the columbia and so forth. if it has a motor, it needs to be registered, is the long and short of it. then, you need to check out the required safety gear required for a boat of your length.
 
#19
I do know that if the waters are patrolled by the Coasties, you can figure they are under federal jurisdiction. These waters include anything salt and the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Lake Roosevelt, for instance, is a federal water and one must abide by federal regs.
 
#20
WA Boating Regs

The basics on WA boating outfit requirements are outlined here:

http://www.boat-ed.com/wa/wa_specific_images/pdfs/WA_handbook_its_the_law.pdf

There is more in other chapters, but this section covers much of what is being discussed in this thread.
The page you've linked, Bert, was for operators of "personal water craft" or jet skis.

On this page, http://www.boat-ed.com/wa/course/p4-7_pfds.htm you'll find the regs for wearing PFDs in other craft. Thanks for that.

While wearing a PFD is a good idea whenever you're on the water, it's not required for 'toons, float tubes, and similar boats, nor for prams or kayaks.

Edit: I did some searching, and here's Washington's take on jurisdiction:

http://www.boat-ed.com/wa/course/p4-10_distressdevices.htm#federalwaters

Federally Controlled Waters

Waters on which vessels must observe federal requirements, including VDS requirements; these waters include:

Coastal waters
Bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, and some lakes
Territorial seas
Bodies of water connected directly to one of the above, up to a point where the body of water is less than two miles wide


I'll add that if you are boating near any military installation, you may well be boarded by the Coasties even if the waters are less than two miles wide, as I've been there and had it happen--twice. When you get boarded, they give you a full inspection, and all of your gear better be up to specs and Coast Guard approved if required. You also must have the current registration papers on board with you.
 
#21
Okay, I was seeing what I thought was some contradictory language across different publications but it is now clear that all of the puget sound is indeed federally regulated and, the lake system connected by the ballard locks is, as well, due to that connection...

The skinny is, you don't have to license if you are under 16' and under 10hp, unless on federally regulated waters, which is all of the puget sound. It appears that human powered vessels of any length do not require registration. The Seattle.gov site really has the most concise human-readable explanations I was able to find.

http://www.seattle.gov/police/units/harbor/harbor_boating.htm

And the clincher that claims the puget sound as federally regulated is here:

From the CFRs:
TITLE 33 - NAVIGATION AND NAVIGABLE WATERS

CHAPTER I - COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

SUBCHAPTER P - PORTS AND WATERWAYS SAFETY

PART 165 - REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS

subpart f - SPECIFIC REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS

165.1301 - Puget Sound and Adjacent Waters in Northwestern WashingtonRegulated Navigation Area.

The following is a regulated navigation areaAll of the following northwestern Washington waters under the jurisdiction of the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound: Puget Sound, Hood Canal, Possession Sound, Elliott Bay, Commencement Bay, the San Juan Archipelago, Rosario Strait, Guemes Channel, Bellingham Bay, U.S. waters of the Strait of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Haro Strait, Boundary Pass, and Georgia Strait, and all lesser bays and harbors adjacent to the above.
Cheers, thanks for the help fellas. :beer2:
 

Milt Roe

Active Member
#22
All I can say is that it was nice to grow up in this State when there were no seasons for salmon, no license for salt, and no registration for a skiff and motor under 16 ft.

Look at all the crap we have in place now and tell me if it really makes any difference. We have multiple agencies who can write me a ticket (and have for for a variety nit-picking reasons) for what I've always done legally in the past without any previous problems. The game wardens used to be looked forward to as a friendly visit when they cam by. Now they want to do a cavity search on us and rip our boats apart.
 

Big E

Active Member
#23
Bit off topic but out there what are the rules for float tubes? Here I just toss one of those floating seat cushions with the straps on it in the back and I'm good. Says its U.S.C.G.-approved Type-IV floatation. Will that be good enough for out there or do I need to wear a PFD?
 

rotato

Active Member
#24
big E

a seat cushion is no longer considered a pfd here
the gamie was quite clear on that
i didnt know he could give me a ticket for it

i was in tacoma friday when an unmarked olympic hard top came to the fuel dock full of gamies
the fuel operator asked what was open out there and the authority figure said "nothing"
its nice to know they have such a handle on it
 
#26
big E

a seat cushion is no longer considered a pfd here
the gamie was quite clear on that
i didnt know he could give me a ticket for it

i was in tacoma friday when an unmarked olympic hard top came to the fuel dock full of gamies
the fuel operator asked what was open out there and the authority figure said "nothing"
its nice to know they have such a handle on it
Sounds like the authority figure should log on here and see if maybe we can help him or her with interpreting the regulations... kinda funny... but really not.
 

kelvin

Active Member
#27
I know they sometimes use them to bust dope houses because they don't need
warrants to conduct searches
all they need is reasonable suspicion and proper ammunition
 

cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
#28
Big-E. In Washinton, a float tube does not require a pdf of any sort. A pontoon boat that is <16' requires a Coast Guard approved pdf on board; if push comes to shove, you may be asked to demonstrate that it fits the individual on board. Adults are not required to wear their pfds. I believe under the current law, a child would be required to be wearing the pfd if on a pontoon boat. I don't know about a float tube.

Steve
 
#29
The law re children is 12 years and under must be wearing a pfd unless in a fully enclosed portion of the vessel (paraphrased...) You sure about the float tube not requiring a pfd? That doesn't sound right, I don't feel like researching it atm but I think I recall reading something about that, and recall a thread a long time ago about someone getting hasseled or ticketed in a float tube. In any case, it would sure as hell be a good idea to be wearing at least an inflatable pfd.

I wear the wading belt inflatable that pops out via co2 and can be put around the neck as a full life preserver... out of the way, and a wading belt to boot! I wear this wading belt (waders or not) in almost all of my fishing situations. It looks like a little like a fanny pack... but screw it...

Edit: I think, Cab, and no disrespect intended of course (I've just been reading that stuff intensely in the last few days while finishing out my safety checklist..), that anything capable of conveying one across the water is the definition of "vessel" and therefore the pfd requirement sticks on float tubes, even NIRodneck's kitchen tables...
 

Bruce Gibson

What's that?...umm tastes good.
#30
With regard to what are Federal waters, here is some guidance that comes from the Boater Education Course. Pay close attention to the statment "bordering federal land"

Registration Requirement:
Any boat or other water vessel that is 16 feet or longer, has a motor larger than 10 horsepower, or is used on federal waters.

Waters on which vessels must observe federal requirements; these waters include:
Coastal waters, Bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, and some lakes, Territorial seas, Bodies of water connected directly to one of the above, up to a point where the body of water is less than two miles wide

Some Federal bodies of water are Puget Sound, Hood Canal, Lake Washington, Lake Union, Lake Sammamish, Columbia River, Snake River, Lake Washington Ship Canal, Capitol Lake, Pend Oreille River, Walla Walla River, Yakima River, and other bodies of water effected by the ebb and flow of the tide and are on or bordering federal land. For further clarification of federal waters, please contact the local marine law enforcement office in the jurisdiction.
 

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