Boat Inspections


Staff member
I reported this when it happened here on the forum but it has been a while. I was pulled over because my boy was sitting on his seatback, feet in the seat. Nice young lady ranger who was new and her partner, a big old boy with the mirrored shades. I recorded the event by putting my iPhone on record and at the windshield ledge. Not sure if they noticed. My extinguisher was within reach and in the green, the bottom was stamped with a date that was exactly ten years. We discussed this and neither one was entirely sure if I should get a ticket for it. I was also sitting on my throwable. THe rangerette was very thorough, and I had every thing she asked for. It was hot and we were into this for about 25 minutes, (registration, spare oar despite my trolling motor, all life jackets inspected etc) when a big wake started making our boats bump. I put my hand on the patrol boat to stop it from hitting mine and the big boy fairly screamed at me to not touch his boat, with his hand on his firearm (yes still bolstered) and leaning forward like he was going to jump on me. I picked up my phone and pointed it at him and told him very surely that if I could not touch his boat that he should ensure my boat did not get damaged from his himself. I thought for a second he was going to come unglued but the rangerette must have realized this and quickly interjected and let us go with a warning. I also was recording to the cloud, and that thought crossed my mind as I figured he might reach across and accidentally drop my phone in the water. I have no problem with being stopped for a safety check, as long as it is done with professionalism and courtesy. That lady ranger exhibited both. She was also wearing a body cam, which I thought was awesome. I treat people with respect, and I expect that respect in return from law enforcement. I don’t think that is unreasonable. I also understand that the rangers probably deal with a great many people who don’t live by the same rules I do and that can make them jaded... that still doesn’t make it right to treat me poorly. That being said, and as I always tell my kids, don’t argue during a stop, don’t retaliate verbally, record it and go visit their boss after the fact. You are not going to win with someone who is empowered, is carrying a gun and is being unreasonable, especially in the middle of the lake. When I got home I did some research and the date should be stamped on the bottom, and good for ten years is the norm. I have noticed some that I could not find a date on. I always have one less then 10 years now.


Last summer my friends son in a rental boat with friends got a very expensive ticket here on Havasu because one of the girls in the group was sitting up on the back of the seat instead of in the seat. He tried calling to see what the fine was and couldn't get through, received a notice of arrest in the mail [they live in CA] and had to come out here and make a personal appearance to pay the fine. His complaint was the rental people didn't tell them the law in that regard. It didn't wash with the rangers or with the judge.


Well-Known Member
Here’s Utah’s law that allows inspections

73-18a-10 Enforcement -- Inspection of vessels, marinas, and other boating facilities.
Enforcement of this chapter or the rules promulgated under it shall be by law enforcement officers. Any vessel in this state is subject to inspection by the officers for the purpose of determining whether the vessel is equipped in compliance with this chapter. If the vessel is not so equipped, the division may suspend its registration until the proper installation is completed or the marine toilet is sealed
in a manner which prohibits its use. The division may inspect marinas or other waterside public facilities used by vessels for launching, docking, or mooring purposes to determine whether they are adequately equipped for proper handling, storing, or disposal of waste, litter, or human body waste.
I appreciate your follow up, even if I don't agree with it. I wonder if this statue has ever been tested in court?

I asked a question about this on another forum, and found an answer in regard to the powers of the Coast Guard. The second part of this deals expressly with your 4th Amendment Rights. Interesting read.

I still question how these rights have been expanded beyond the Coast Guard and to agencies that weren't around for another couple hundred years after this precedent was set.


Active Member
A lawyer friend explained the legalese regarding dui checkpoints to me years ago. Essentially, the Supreme Court decided that the Benefit to society (getting drunks off the road) outweighs a modest violation of the fourth amendment (30 second polite interaction with a traffic officer).

While I tend to be a libertarian extremist, I can’t really fault them in that instance. The problem is the slippery slope leads to the 30 minute, aggressive interaction with the life jacket gestapo that TR described. It would be interesting to see how the court balanced that interaction vs the benefit to society of ensuring his fire extinguisher wasn’t too old.


Active Member
Was watching this thread as I prepared for my trip to powell last week. Check out my fire extiguiser and it was dated on the bottom 2013. The real issue is it was in the red and no good. Picked up a new one (RV-Kiddie) and no date on the bottom. There was 2018 in small print on the upper right hand side of the label though.