View Full Version : New Boating rules.

10-15-2008, 07:49 PM
Hi Everyone,

I think I need to post this because it is something that was passed in Oregon after a majority of the people at the previous public hearing where not for it (about a 10 to 1). Because Oregon has passed this it opens the door for other states to do the same. The boaters in Oregon are still working to fight it before it goes into effect. It is saying that by 2010 we will not be able to use any “Wake-enhancing devices” on a part of the Willamette River. The part of the River that is talked about goes thru Portland which is the biggest city in Oregon. This opens up other water ways in Oregon and other states to have the same rules applied to them. Below is the new rules.

This was taken from the Oregon State Marine Board site http://www.boatoregon.com/OSMB/BoatLaws/ProposedRules.shtml

Rule Adopted for the Lower Willamette River
On October 14, 2008 the Marine Board adopted the staff recommendation which proposed the following:

"Based on the large body of public comment as well as direction from the Governor's office and the Department of State Lands, staff recommended that the Board adopt the following amendments to OAR 250-020-0032 and 250-020-0385 to be in effect on January 1, 2009":

On the Willamette River from the Hwy 219 Bridge at RM 48.5 to the upper end of Willow Island at RM 31.5, the following rules apply:
(a) No person shall operate a motorboat at a speed in excess of a "Slow-No-Wake" maximum 5 mph speed within 100 feet of private docks, boathouses or moorages legally permitted by the Oregon Department of State Lands.
(b) No person shall use wake-enhancing devices, including ballast tanks, wedges or hydrofoils or other mechanical devices, or un-even loading of persons or gear, to artificially operate bow-high.

After allowing brief comments from meeting attendees, the Board discussed the proposed rules and the staff recommendation. Board Member Trey Carskadon recommended an amendment to the staff recommendation timeline for item (b), to take effect January 1, 2010. The Board voted with three members in support of the revised staff recommendation and one member opposed.

SUMMARY: Beginning January 1, 2009 (a) No person shall operate a motorboat at a speed in excess of a "Slow-No-Wake" maximum 5 mph speed within 100 feet of private docks, boathouses or moorages legally permitted by the Oregon Department of State Lands.
Beginning January 1, 2010 (b) No person shall use wake-enhancing devices, including ballast tanks, wedges or hydrofoils or other mechanical devices, or un-even loading of persons or gear, to artificially operate bow-high.

10-15-2008, 08:47 PM
I see a couple of flaws. One is that is says "ballast tanks" our Moomba's use ballast bags/sacs. The other flaw is the intent to keep boats from artificially operating bow high. If we weigh our boats in the front and keep the bow down we should be okay, regardless of wake size.

If these flaws don't work I could always use my giant costco cooler loaded with 300 cans of soda for ballast.

Sure makes the new ballast system seem cool. See flashers hit switch and dump.

10-15-2008, 09:21 PM
I like B.. no "un-even loading of persons or gear, to artificially operate bow-high. "
I don't know about ya'll, but my Mobius porpoises when it is stern heavy..
matter of fact, working on a bow ballast system to put more up front!

So, if I meet the USCG rating for my boat for max people, AND, the are evenly distributed, I can wakeboard?.... Typical bureacracy..

Robert...just hope you get them dumped before the Boat 5 0 gets to ya! ha..

actually, it would be better to have hidden tanks with the reversable pump in this situation!
Interesting they did word the wedges, hydrofoils or other mechanical devices.

SO.. a wake plate is illegal.. but is a fishing boat with Trim tabs illegal??

10-15-2008, 09:30 PM
Just to be on the safe side, I am going to put an article in the classifides that offers free boat rides to anyone that is over 250 lbs. I will supply them with free lunch and beer. Lets seem them write an ammendment to shut that one down. We can claim discrimination for our larger than life friends.

10-15-2008, 10:18 PM
well put Jesse, my father-in-law is 6'8 and 300+ i would like them to tell him where to sit. LOL:p

10-16-2008, 12:39 AM
The real issues with these laws are enforcement. The only way to tag someone for being within 100 feet is to measure them. Since the boat is only at that location a very short period of time, how could they. It would be like a state trooper going to court and saying ' Well no I did not get him on radar, but he looked like he was going 5 mph over the limit.'

And bow high? how high is bow high? Is it a percentage of the boat out of the water? Or is it the height of the bow above the water? Or is it the height of the bow relative to the stern? Whose going to measure it and how?

These laws are unenforceable - or at least unlikely to hold up in court.

10-16-2008, 12:01 PM
These laws are unenforceable - or at least unlikely to hold up in court.

The problem is that you have to take the time to go challenge them after you are issued the citation. Many folks won't do it. Eventually it is just the law. It needs to be repealed immediately.

10-17-2008, 01:17 AM

This is not good, not good at all. That is the exact stretch of river that I wakeboard and surf. There is a lot of talk on pdxwake.com about it. Lots of angry boarders as you can imagine.


10-17-2008, 11:00 AM
I can see where both sides of this issue need to be addressed. First off I always try to wakeboard and wake surf where I am the least annoying to the home owners on the lake. Most people do not want to see a fully loaded wake boat buzz their dock with music blaring. Do not get me wrong, I am definitely one of the 1000 watt plus, 1300 lbs plus ballast wake boats. I always make sure that if I am loaded up and blaring, I am on a part of the lake where there are very few houses. If I am wake surfing, I aim the large wake away from houses towards the shore where there are no docks. I try to stay as far away from the shores as possible. It is simply a curtsey to the home owners.

No to go on the other side of the fence. At my parents lake house there is a jack leg that buzzes our dock at about 11 mph EVERY weekend with his tunes playing and boat loaded down really heavy. He also buzzes us with wakeboarders with a massive wake behind his 24’ fully loaded wake boat. It has caused damage to our sea wall and my parent’s pontoon boat hitting the frikin roof of the boat house!!! Not to mention multiple gouges to my rub rail from being slammed against the dock. In the end it is people like this that cause laws like these to be written. I do agree that it is an open door to further hurt our sport, but this problem has already cost us a couple thousand over the years from repairs from people that should have their boating licenses revoked. I would love to see this guy get what he deserves! We have asked him multiple times to please pass our place further out in the lake, but he still buzzes our place EVERY weekend.

10-17-2008, 12:07 PM

Understood, and I always respect other people's boat docks and such whenever possible. But this stretch of river is only 200' wide. I always go right down the middle and stay on the upriver part of this stretch because there are fewer houses/boat docks on it. But if you meet another boat coming the other way, both boats have to give room so enivitably, we end up closer to shore that we would otherwise.

So in my opinion, if you build a house on this public waterway, you have to accept that it's used for watersports and the waves crashing on the shore are part of the deal. People have been using this river for watersports long before the houses and boat docks were there.

It's like I wrote on the pdxwake site - if you build a house right beside a freeway that's been there forever, would you expect everyone to suddenly start driving 20 MPH because it's too noisy in your living room?

The thing that really irks the wakeboaters is that they held several public hearings on this issue and the wakeboat community came out in force, including several who own a house on the river and keep their wakeboat there who were opposed to the restrictions. Placing WED restrictions was opposed by those present by a margin of 10 to 1. But in the end, a four member OSMB committe (Oregon State Marine Board) voted to implement the restrictions by a 3 to 1 vote. That's just wrong.


10-17-2008, 01:56 PM
I see your point on the narrow water way. That would really hinder your use of the lake. In my case it has to be at lest 3/4 mile to the other side and that specific boater feels it is necessary to buzz our dock by less than 100'. We knew that the house would be on a highly used waterway and were aware of what we were getting into, but at or over 3/4 mile wide, why does he have to be less than 100' off of our dock!!! This law would obviousley not work where they have inacted it on your spot, but I sure would welcome it on our very wide lake.

I hope that they repeal it on the narrow waterways where it is obviously a law that can not and will not work. Good luck my friend!


10-17-2008, 10:20 PM

I agree, your "friend" is being a complete jerk.


10-19-2008, 12:12 AM
Wow interesting topic. If I may jump in here I have some thoughts.

First off to Jesse what is a Jack Leg?

On the Fox river by our house the river gets very narrow at times. We have the same 100ft law. The 5 0 leaves us alone as there is just no way you can run the river in certian sections without getting within 100 ft of a pier. That being said yrs ago I got a speeding ticket on the river with my old boat and went to court to fight it. Now that's another story but in court my point was no radar gun. I was told that they didn't need one as it was at the discretion of the officer. It seemed that somehow the law allowed for this due to the fact that there is no way to radar a tapered glass hull consistantly.

So my point is that sometimes these laws are written in a way that they need no burden of proof.

The foils and wedges are for your Malibus and such that use mechanical means to help create there wake.

Now do I agree with this new law, absolutly not. Do I see problems, absolutly. Bigger problem like with most of these things, is that without some kind of leader or orginization for your side you may not get the strength needed to overturn this. Best of luck, and keep us posted.

10-20-2008, 09:52 AM
First off to Jesse what is a Jack Leg?

A family board friendly verison of a Jack "donkey"....

Also known as the red kneck version of the above...

10-20-2008, 12:16 PM
Jesse, thank you for clearing that up. I didn't want to seem slow, but some times that is just not possible :)

10-20-2008, 01:13 PM
sounds like you all need to organize an effort to repeal the laws. I would agree to some extent the 100ft rule, although it sounds like it will be interesting to enforce with the width of the lake, but the wake surfing one would be the one to go after. I would suspect that unless you are loaded down with 2k in ballast, tunes cranked and running 20ft off the docks, the first one will probably be lightly enforced.

10-20-2008, 06:13 PM
The 100 ft rule is more than just for erosion control. People do from time to time still swim off their dock, and occasionally dive from the dock and may be submerged for a period of time. The 100 ft rule is as much to protect them as anything. If you have a boat 100 ft from a dock and a skier on a 75 foot rope the skier is dangerously close to docks.

In the past I have been pulled too close to docks by well meaning drivers trying to get the best water, and taken a 'yard sale' type fall and ended up under a doc.

10-20-2008, 09:27 PM
The 100' rule i dont have a problem with. It is the part about weight i have a problem with. I have been thinking about this and i think i will install two Kegs in the back lockup. Then i can clam that it has to do with drinking and not getting a bigger wake. I will also have to pump in water around the kegs to keep then cool.

On the other note we have been organized with fighting this process. We have had people writing letters and showing up to the OSMB meethings. The people in the group are trying to get the local newspapers and TV stations involved to show our story.

10-21-2008, 12:06 PM
Don't forget to have your group show up on a Sat. morning for a "Lake Cleanup Day". This will get the press on your side and demonstrate that you are, in fact, the good guys.

10-21-2008, 06:50 PM
KB that is an excellent suggestion. I don't think we as boaters do enough as a whole to keep public opinion on our side. We do plenty for others in our groups, but should reach out more to the communties.

10-22-2008, 04:08 PM
I learned as a small boy to pick up trash and even the cigarette butts at our place on the river. My Dad was a big entertainer and we'd have 60 people out there sometimes over a big weekend. Keeping things clean was a priority because we rented the spot on the riverbank from the farmers who owned it. Eventually we were the only tenant left because they couldn't stand the messes and hassles from the other ones. Since then, I pick up the trash wherever I see it and pick cans, cups and bottles out of the river or lake every time I go out. If every one of us did this and all the complainers found out about it I think it would make a big difference in how they see us. I sure hope nobody on here is tossing stuff over the side or allowing their guests to do that. Anybody who gets behind a lake cleanup day will get a lot more from it than just a cleaner lake.

10-22-2008, 07:17 PM
I agree with KB 100%. What I can't figure out is how I have to constantly clean up my frontage. I know I'm not littering on my own property. I amazes me how much trash washes up on my shore.

The lake we go to in Canada for our fishing trips is very remote and difficult to get to. I am always so dissapointed in how we find the landing and our camping spot. My group (the terrible ten) together for almost 2 decades now has made these places our special projects. Now that we all have kids and bring them with us, we have instilled upon them the importance of keeping the lake clean so that we all can enjoy it. While loading and unlodaing to cross the lake to the camping spot all kids are given garbage bags to help clean up. I'm not saying they like it, but they understand it.

10-23-2008, 01:49 PM
Good for you, Sled. Imagine if half the boaters out there did this . . .

10-23-2008, 07:36 PM
Ya, that's the point though isn't it.