Visit the Oregon State Marine Board frequently to keep current on boating laws and regulations. Their web site is: http://www.boatoregon.com
Here is a partial list of some of the important laws to be aware of. It’s important to note that the state of Oregon has tightened down on Personal Watercraft (PWC) restrictions due to the large number of accidents that have occurred in recent years. SYBC supports these laws, and strongly encourages its members to understand the laws and abide by them.
Disregarding laws on safe operation of any boat is considered grounds for disciplinary action, including loss of membership in SYBC.
- You must be at least 16 years of age to operate a personal watercraft by yourself. Boaters 12-15 can operate a PWC if an adult (18 years or older) is also on the PWC, and both are carrying a boater’s card.
- You cannot tow a skier or other towable unless there is an observer on the personal watercraft, as well as enough seats for the person being towed as well.
- You cannot come within 200 feet behind a skier or towable.
- You must slow to 10 miles per hour when within 100 feet of another boat that is underway.
- You must slow to 5 miles per hour (no wake) when within 200 feet of a swimmer or dock.
- It is illegal to operate a boat when legally intoxicated (0.08 BAC). This is the same limit as when operating a car.
- It is not illegal to have an open container on the boat, but it is illegal to be intoxicated.
- You cannot pull a skier or towable through an area where there are swimmers.
- You cannot tow a skier or towable between dusk and sunrise.
- All boats must have an observer when towing a skier or towable. You can be cited for not have an observer, as well as for the boat operator watching the skier and not the water ahead.
SYBC’s Boating Rules
- Do not leave vehicles or trailers unattended on the ramp. Do not block the ramp.
- Guests may not launch from SYBC’s ramp.
- When dropping a skier or wakeboarder on the beach, please watch carefully for swimmers or boats underway. If swimmers are in the water or boats are moving, DO NOT drop on the beach. If there are several boats on the beach, please do not drop the skier on the beach, as this can dislodge beached boats, and there may be swimmers you do not see.
- When dropping a skier or wakeboarder on the beach, always approach the beach from downriver only.
- SYBC requests that members with personal watercraft (PWC) operate the PWC upriver in areas away from other boaters on days when the river is busy.
- If you see a member blatantly violating rules or laws, please contact a board member rather than confronting the member yourself.