2.07 - Operation

2.07. Operation

(1) Distance.

(a) All motorboats must be operated in such a manner and at such a distance to prevent their wash from being thrown into, or causing excessive rocking to other vessels, rafts, or floats.

(b) Waterskiiers shall ski at a safe distance to prevent their wash from being thrown into, or causing excessive rocking to other vessels, rafts, or floats.

(c) Motorboats shall not be operated:

1. within 150 feet of shoreline which is being used as a swimming area, whether public or private, or

2. within 75 feet of the seaward boundary of a public or private swimming beach, if designated by markers, floats or otherwise.

(d)323 CMR 2.07(1) shall apply to motorboats, barges, waterskiers, or other devices being towed by power and the operator of the towing vessel shall be responsible for compliance there with.

(2) Guardrails. A person operating a motorboat underway shall not permit anyone to ride or sit on the gunwales or on the decking of a bow, unless the motorboat is equipped with adequate guard rails to prevent persons from falling overboard. This provision shall not apply so as to prevent persons aboard a motorboat from standing on the decking over the bow in order to secure the motorboat to a mooring buoy or cast off from a buoy or for any other necessary purpose.

(3) Headway Speed. A motorboat shall not be operated at more than headway speed:

(a) When the operator's vision is obscured under a bridge or by bends or curves or in any other manner;

(b) When the motorboat is operated within 150 feet of a marina, boat launching facility, raft or float;

(c) When the vessel is operated within 300 feet of a shoreline being used as a swimming area whether public or private. (refer to 323 CMR 2.07(1)(c)); or

(d) When the motorboat is in a channel, unless a duly authorized local, state or federal marine enforcement agency has (1) permitted otherwise; and (2) placed markers in the channel indicating the permitted speed.

(e) When the motorboat is operated within 150 feet of a swimmer.

(4) Vessels for Hire. Operators of vessels carrying passengers for hire must have the appropriate United States Coast Guard license.

(5) Aids to Navigation. Vessels shall not be moored to aids to navigation. No person shall willfully destroy, move, injure, deface, or remove any aid to navigation established or placed by any governmental entity.

(6) Discharge. The dischage of raw sewage, garbage, rubbish or debris from motorboats on or into the waters of the Commonwealth is prohibited.

(7) Overloading. No vessel may be operated in an overloaded condition. Overloaded condition means that the number of persons on board and/or the cargo being carried exceeds the manufacturers' recommended limit for such vessel or is excessive given wind, water and weather conditions.

(8) Personal Watercraft. refer to 323 CMR 4.00et seq.

(9) Waterskiing. Any person waterskiing or being towed in any manner shall wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device of Type I, II or III, except persons engaged in slalom skiing on a marked course or persons engaged in barefoot, jump or trick skiing who may elect to wear in lieu of a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device and at their own risk, a wetsuit designed specifically for such activity, provided that:

(a) The device must be marketed by the manufacturer as a waterski wetsuit;

(b) The device must be constructed ofnylon covered neoprene or similar material and have either long or short arms and legs;

(c) The device must be equipped with additional flotation/padding material of a closed cell non-adsorptive type such a PVC foam or Ensolite. This flotation/padding must be sewn into the device according to the following:

1. On the front extending from the clavicle to the top of the pelvis vertically and covering the front rib cage and covering as much of the side area as feasible. The maximum gap between padded areas on the side of the suit under the arm is four inches;

2. On the rear of the device padding/flotation material must cover the are a from the top of the shoulder blade to the top of the pelvis and span the entire width of the back; and

3. Padding/flotation shall be at least½ inch thick. This thickness excludes any covering material thickness; and

(d) A Coast Guard approved personal flotation device Type I, II, or III must be carried in the tow boat for each skiier electing to wear a water ski wetsuit.

(10) Canoeing or Kayaking. Any person aboard a canoe or kayak between January 1 to May 15 and between September 15 to December 31 shall wear at all times a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device of Type I, II, or III except persons aboard vessels excluded by M.G.L. c. 90B, § 5A.

(11) Speed Limit. No motorboat shall be operated at any time on the waters of the Commonwealth at a speed greater than is reasonable and proper having regard to the lives and safety of the public; the state of visibility; the traffic density; the maneuverability of the vessel; the state of wind, water and current; and the proximity of navigational hazards. On the inland waters of the Commonwealth (as defined by M.G.L.c. 131, § 1) and in the absence of a specified speed limit established by federal, state or the particular water body or area, speed by a motorboat, in excess of 45 miles per hour shall be presumed to be in excess of a reasonable and proper speed. The provisions hereof shall not apply to vessels engaged in or practicing for organized competitive racing pursuant to a permit issued under 323 CMR 2.09.

(12) False Display of Distress Signal. No person in a vessel may display a visual distress signal on waters of the Commonwealth under any circumstance except in a situation where assistance is needed because of immediate or potential danger to the persons on board.

(13) Rules of the Road. Every vessel operated on the waters of the Commonwealth shall comply with the requirements of section 2 of the Inland Navigational Rules Act of 1980 (33 U.S.C. sections 2001 -2073).

(14) Personal Floatation Device-Children. Any person under 12 years of age, aboard and above deck on any vessel underway on the waters of the Commonwealth shall wear at all times a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device of Type I, II, III or V.

(15) The operator, if at least 18 years of age, or owner of a vessel operating on the waters of the Commonwealth shall ensure that passengers and/or operators wear personal flotation devices as required in 323 CMR 2.07(8)(9)(10) and (14).

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