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 No Wake Zone - gray area?
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Author Previous Topic: Gas guage - Does yours suck? Topic Next Topic: 30 Express boat, jetski, stupid move  

SLW

RO# 2186

Posted - Jul 31 2006 :  12:14:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I went out to dinner on a friend's boat on Friday night. Our approach on the way home was more or less a straight shot from the lake into the marina basin. We were travelling at no wake speeds before we entered the marina itself, but some of our wake followed us and rocked a few boats. One of those boats was a gray and blue CC with the words "POLICE" on the side...

They followed us to the slip and told us that we had created a wake. I had noticed that our wake followed us in, because I've done the same thing in the past. I think our skipper (very experienced) was surprised/confused.

They conducted a safety inspection and issued a verbal warning.

Later, I wondered if we had broken a law. The marina is exposed to the southeast and regular waves can enter under certain conditions. We were also traveling at no-wake speeds before we reached the basin.

This might be a dumb question, but assuming that no damage was done by the wake, is it illegal to create a wake (that can be accompanied by waves) that follows you into a no-wake zone?

In defense of my possibly dumb question, I wouldn't have questioned it had they issued a citation, but since they didn't press the issue AT ALL, and instead checked our alcohol consumption and safetly items, I wondered if they thought they were on shaky legal ground.

Homeport: Cedar Pt, Oh / Mi / Miami

L Hall

RO# 1



Posted - Aug 02 2006 :  20:31:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is where Sailoar and I have a difference of opinion. No wake consideration works both ways. It is extremely unreasonable to ask every powerboat running down a channel that is not a no wake zone to slow down just because someone decides to paddle around a busy water way.

Les Hall, ATC Forum Host

Homeport: Concord, NH Go to Top of Page

L Hall

RO# 1



Posted - Aug 03 2006 :  07:14:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In that case, Sail, the problem is not common sense or courtesy, it's lack of enforcement. Anyone blowing through a no-wake zone deserves a $500 ticket.

Jim, I'm not sure how a stop sign equates to a no-wake zone. A "stop" is objective, one either stops or one doesn't. However, a boat can not travel through water without creating a wake. Therefore, "no-wake" is a restriction that is impossible to acheive. A boat anchored in current will produce a wake.

The common definition is, "Definition: "Slow-no-Wake" means that speed at which a boat moves as slowly as possible while still maintaining steerage control." That is about as subjective a definition as could be concocted - the sort of thing created by fat arsed administrators sitting behind a desk. "As slowly as possible" could be a tenth of a knot that would take us ten hours to transverse one mile of no-wake zone. Obviously, no one moves "as slowly as possible." As a result, it's up to the water police to try to guess what no-wake really is. That is why so many no-wake violations wind up getting tossed out of court and cops are reluctant to issue violations.


Les Hall, ATC Forum Host

Homeport: Concord, NH Go to Top of Page

L Hall

RO# 1



Posted - Aug 03 2006 :  10:02:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
At what point, Jim, does a ripple become a wake, according to the law? And think about what you wrote. If everyone else's boat won't do what yours will do, they need to get it fixed or exercise the hell out of their transmission by shifting in and out of gear for a three mile stretch of no wake zone. Regardless, the legal definition says nothing about the size of the "ripple." It says you need to travel at the slowest possible speed required to maintain steerage. That is subjective. Who gets to determine what that is? On a day with a 20 knot breeze, a captain could decide that 5 knots is his minimum safe speed. A cop may determine that is too fast. But the cop is not responsible for the safe operation of the vessel; the captain is.

My old boat would produce a three or four inch "ripple" at idle. I spent years in Palm Beach, home of about six different water police agencies, and never got so much as a sideways glance from any of them. No-wake, as defined, is about as nebulous a term as could be created.



Les Hall, ATC Forum Host

Homeport: Concord, NH Go to Top of Page

L Hall

RO# 1



Posted - Aug 03 2006 :  10:41:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
tim, yes, most all are subjective - the primary reason why so few citations are issued on the water. But I'm not the one arguing that the issue is black and white. It isn't.

Pascal, the no wake zone beginning and end should be established to account for the fact that most boaters don't slow down until they get on top of the sign.



Les Hall, ATC Forum Host

Homeport: Concord, NH Go to Top of Page

L Hall

RO# 1



Posted - Aug 03 2006 :  11:24:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's a catch 22. Pas. The laws are difficult to enforce, therefore very few citations get written. Because few citations get written, there is little revenue from fines, Because there is little revenue, they can't afford to higher more enforcement people. As a result, most folks seem to believe that they can do whatever they want. You know what the highways are like, even with the number of patrol cars. You can imagine what they'd be like if there was practically no enforcement.


Les Hall, ATC Forum Host

Homeport: Concord, NH Go to Top of Page

L Hall

RO# 1



Posted - Aug 03 2006 :  12:37:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's a tough question but one that needs to go in boaters' favor. Seems like every sailboater, kayaker, row boat owner, marina, waterfront homeowner, condo owner, manatee lover, mangrove tree lover and anyone else who doesn't own a boat wants the entire inland waterway system to be no wake. Boating is already wrought with hassles that didn't exist 20 years ago. Enough is enough.


Les Hall, ATC Forum Host

Homeport: Concord, NH Go to Top of Page

L Hall

RO# 1



Posted - Aug 04 2006 :  17:21:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There has to be more to this story. I can't see the cops laughing at theft. Stealing the guys trailer is grand larceny.


Les Hall, ATC Forum Host

Homeport: Concord, NH Go to Top of Page

L Hall

RO# 1



Posted - Aug 05 2006 :  06:07:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"The most common offenders of the speed limit/wake in Alamitos Bay were the coaching boats (13 foot whalers)who accompanied the sculls on their work outs..."

I'm anxious to hear what Sailoar has to say about that.



Les Hall, ATC Forum Host

Homeport: Concord, NH Go to Top of Page
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