Boat safety regulations and enforcement

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jt465

Active Member
We have kicked his question around a little bit on another thread - thanks to those who contributed. Question is whether an outboard trolling motor fills the requirement for “alternate propulsion device.” In my mind that’s exactly what a trolling motor is but not sure if a LE Officer will see it the same way. Does anyone know for certain?
 

jimco

Member
There is no definition for this term in the statute. Rather, the statute refers to the state regulatory agency having the authority to establish additional requirements. Copied form the State's page on Boating:


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Of course another section in the statute states the any equipment has to be operating in good order. Hope it helps answer the question.
 

Ryan

Escalante-Class Member
I keep an oar in my Malibu as well as my Lund to meet the regulation.

I am curious how far the legislature that writes these laws thinks you could paddle any boat that isn't designed to use that as propulsion. Even on my little Lund, I don't think I could paddle it very far.

As an aside, I was with a friend many years ago in Wyoming. They told us that a water ski could substitute as a paddle to meet their requirements.
 

Jared

New Member
As far as the UT law goes you are correct. An electric trolling motor or a gas kicker/trolling motor meet the requirement as long as they work just like a paddle/oar does. We recommend having a paddle as back up to your trolling motor just in case you have lost electric for the trolling motor or the gas for the kicker so you can at least get your self to shore of you need to, but any of them meet the legal requirement.

Jared Jones
The UT Park Ranger
 
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jt465

Active Member
As far as the UT law goes you are correct. An electric trolling motor or a gas kicker/trolling motor meet the requirement as long as they work just like a paddle/oar does. We recommend having a paddle as back up to your trolling motor just in case you have lost electric for the trolling motor or the gas for the kicker son you can at least get your self to shore of you need to, but any of them meet the legal requirement.

Jared Jones
The UT Park Ranger
Thank you for answering my question. Much appreciated
 

Jared

New Member
Interesting! I got stopped while trolling for stripers on Easter weekend. Even though I have a kicker he still made me show him an oar. I really think the LEO’s make thier own rules sometimes, which really grinds my gears.

Well if it was in UT I apologize for that! I'm not positive if the AZ law is the same. The fact is that there are always going to be inexperienced LEO's working at powell and the inspection form might lead them to ask for the paddle. Unfortunately if they don't know much about boating they may think that it needs to be that. I ask folks with trolling/kicker motors if they have a paddle just in case they loose electric or gas for the kicker but tell them any of the three meet the requirement. Feel free to tell them Jared with UT St. Parks said a working auxillary motor is all you need!
 

greg sr

Active Member
Just a comment, I was stopped on a lake in New Mexico, and was told to get a oar because my trolling motor on my ranger bass boat did not qualify as a back up power source!
 

TR.

Escalante-Class Member
Well if it was in UT I apologize for that! I'm not positive if the AZ law is the same. The fact is that there are always going to be inexperienced LEO's working at powell and the inspection form might lead them to ask for the paddle. Unfortunately if they don't know much about boating they may think that it needs to be that. I ask folks with trolling/kicker motors if they have a paddle just in case they loose electric or gas for the kicker but tell them any of the three meet the requirement. Feel free to tell them Jared with UT St. Parks said a working auxillary motor is all you need!
Jared...a ranger with good common sense and honesty...I tip my hat to you sir.

TR
 

kylesredapple

New Member
I met Jared a month ago. I wish I had his boat. He is what all LE should aspire to be like. Professional, personable, informative and honest to name a few things, he wasn't looking for a reason to give me a ticket, he was looking to make sure I was complying with the law and that we had what we needed to boat safely. I believe in both the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. It's why I carry a bail bucket on my pontoon (cause thats gonna help me!) And an oar, even though I have a kicker motor and a trolling motor in addition to my main motor. I couldn't row my boat with 10 oars and a whole crew of Vikings but I make sure the oar is on the boat.
 

jimco

Member
Fortunately, I have not ever broken down to need my paddle. But I have found it invaluable to keep me off and out of the rocks when I drift in too close lake because I was not paying attention or when I hook up to the shore with one of those inexpensive crank baits that I refuse to loose!
 

Meatwagon

Escalante-Class Member
I have always carried a paddle, I only ever had to use it one time back on the Mississippi River where I grew up. I had to row my skeeter out of a back water slough so I could flag down some one who gave me a tow back to the boat ramp. Now I mostly just use it to grab the dock when it's really windy and I am glad to have it then as well.
 

Leardriver

Well-Known Member
I carry a paddle to push off of hard objects with, like rocks on shore. I would much rather have the smallest of trolling motors than try to rely on paddling my 27' boat in the wind.
 
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