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STATE of INDIANA - Boater Safety 

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All boats and watercraft must be operated in a careful manner with consideration given to such factors as traffic, other’s property and weather. 


PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE [PFD] -All boats must be equipped with a least one coastguard  

 [USCG] approved lifesaving devices [appropriately sized] for each person on board. In addition, vessels 16 ft in length or longer [except canoe or kayak] must have a Type IV [ring buoy or cushion] USCG approved PFD on board and readily accessible as a throwable device.

FIRE EXTINGUISHER - It is advisable to have a Type B Fire Extinguisher on board in case gasoline vapors explode.


BOAT CAPACITY – Look for the maximum capacity plate near the operator’s position. Never exceed the stated max weight capacity or max number of people [weight includes gear and fuel]. Boats loaded beyond the capacity will swamp or capsize more easily and will be more difficult to control.

AGE RESTRICTIONS- Effective 1/1/96, all motorboats or PWC [ jet ski] operators must have a valid driver’s license to operate on all Indiana public waters. Any person who is at least 15 years old may operate a motorboat or PWC only if they successfully complete a boater education course approved by the DNR and have onboard an ID issued by the IN BMV. No one under 15 years of age many legally operate a PWC or motorboat with greater than 10 horsepower.

VESSEL SPEED RESTRICTIONS- All boats must operate at 10mph or less between sunset and sunrise.

No person operating a motorboat or PWC shall approach or pass another boat in a manner, or at a high rate of speed which creates a hazardous wake or wash. A person operating any motorboat/PWC less than two hundred [200] feet off to the shoreline shall operate at idle speed. 


IDLE SPEED or NO WAKE-IDLE SPEED- When you see buoys or signs indicating idle or no wake speed, they indicate a boating restricted area established to protect the safety of the public, protection of ecological resources and property. Idle speed means the slowest possible speed, not exceeding five mph, to maintain steerage with minimal wake. Do not tamper with buoys as they are HLA property. Swimmer should stay between the buoys and shore. Boats must always watch for swimmers in the water.

RECKLESS/ CARELESS OPERATION- IT IS UNLAWFUL TO FOLL0W DIRECTLY BEHIND A BOAT OR PWC THAT IS PULLING A TUBER, SKIER, ECT.  Operating a boat or PWC in a manner that unnecessarily endangers a person or property of another person is considered dangerous.




INTERFERENCE WITH NAVIGATION-It is against the law to operate your boat in any way that interferes with the navigation of another vessel. It is illegal to anchor a boat in a well-traveled portion of the lake or channel that will prevent or interfere with any other boat passing thru the same area.

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