(6) Bilge, engine and fuel compartment ventilators.
Every boat, except open boats, using as fuel any liquid of a volatile nature, shall be provided with an efficient natural or mechanical ventilation system which is capable of removing resulting inflammable or explosive gases.
(8) Battery cover.
Every motorboat equipped with storage batteries shall be provided with suitable supports and secured against shifting with the motion of the boat. Such storage batteries shall be equipped with a nonconductive shielding means to prevent accidental shorting of battery terminals.
(9) Department may promulgate rules.
The department shall promulgate such rules modifying or supplementing the associated equipment requirements of this section as are necessary to keep those requirements in conformity with federal regulations.
Rental of personal watercraft. 30.625(1)
No person who is engaged in the rental or leasing of personal watercraft to the public may do any of the following:
Rent or lease a personal watercraft for operation by a person who will be operating a personal watercraft for the first time and who does not hold a valid certificate issued under s. 30.74 (1)
unless the person engaged in the rental or leasing gives the person instruction on how to operate a personal watercraft.
Rent or lease a personal watercraft to a person under 16 years of age.
Rent or lease a personal watercraft without providing the person who will be operating the personal watercraft with a personal flotation device that meets the requirements specified under s. 30.62 (3) (b)
The department may promulgate rules to establish minimum standards for the instruction given under sub. (1) (a)
History: 1991 a. 257
Sale and use of certain outboard motors restricted. 30.63(1)(1)
No person may sell any new outboard motor for use in the waters of this state unless such motor is equipped with a crankcase effectively sealed to prevent the drainage of raw fuel into the waters in which the motor is operated.
Beginning January 1, 1990, no person may operate an outboard motor in the waters of this state unless such motor is equipped with a crankcase effectively sealed to prevent the drainage of raw fuel into the waters in which such motor is operated.
History: 1973 c. 125
; 1989 a. 56
On lakes 50 acres or less having public access, motorboats may not be operated in excess of slow-no-wake speed, except when such lakes serve as thoroughfares between 2 or more navigable lakes. The department by rule may modify or waive the requirements of this section as to particular lakes, if it finds that public safety is not impaired by such modification or waiver.
History: 1973 c. 302
; Stats. 1973 s. 30.63; 1973 c. 336
; Stats. 1973 s. 30.635.
Patrol boats. 30.64(1)(1)
The operator of a duly authorized patrol boat, when responding to an emergency call or when in pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, need not comply with state law or local ordinances fixing maximum speed limits when a siren is being sounded and if due regard is given to the safety of other persons in the vicinity. If a light is used in conjunction with a siren it shall be the oscillating or flashing type and be fitted with a blue lens.
Upon the approach of a duly authorized patrol boat giving an audio or visual signal the operator of a boat shall reduce the boat speed to that speed necessary to maintain steerage control and yield the right-of-way to the patrol boat until it has passed.
No person operating a boat may refuse to stop after being requested or signaled to do so by a law enforcement officer.
History: 1979 c. 275
; 1993 a. 167
Traffic rules. 30.65(1)(1)
Meeting; overtaking; right-of-way.
Every person operating a boat shall comply with the following traffic rules, except when deviation therefrom is necessary to comply with federal pilot rules while operating on the navigable waters of the United States:
When 2 motorboats are approaching each other "head and head," or so nearly so as to involve risk of collision, each boat shall bear to the right and pass the other boat on its left side.
When 2 motorboats are approaching each other obliquely or at right angles, the boat which has the other on her right shall yield the right-of-way to the other. "Right" means from dead ahead, clockwise to 2 points abaft the starboard beam.
When a motorboat and a boat propelled entirely by sail or muscular power are proceeding in such a direction as to involve risk of collision, the motorboat shall yield the right-of-way to the other boat.
A boat may overtake and pass another boat on either side if it can be done with safety but the boat doing the overtaking shall yield the right-of-way to the boat being overtaken, notwithstanding any other rule in this section to the contrary.
A boat granted the right-of-way by this section shall maintain her course and speed, unless to do so would probably result in a collision.
(2) Additional traffic rules.
The department may promulgate such additional traffic rules as it deems necessary in the interest of public safety. Such rules shall conform as nearly as possible to the federal pilot rules.
History: 1985 a. 332
s. 251 (1)
; 1993 a. 490
Speed restrictions. 30.66(1)(1)
Speed to be reasonable and prudent.
No person shall operate a motorboat at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard for the actual and potential hazards then existing. The speed of a motorboat shall be so controlled as to avoid colliding with any object lawfully in or on the water or with any person, boat or other conveyance in or on the water in compliance with legal requirements and exercising due care.
(2) Fixed limits.
In addition to complying with sub. (1)
, no person may operate a motorboat at a speed in excess of the posted notice as established by regulatory markers.
Except under s. 30.69 (3)
, no person may operate a motorboat within 100 feet of any dock, raft, pier or buoyed restricted area on any lake at a speed in excess of slow-no-wake speed.
No person may operate a personal watercraft at a speed in excess of slow-no-wake within 100 feet of any other boat or within 200 feet of the shoreline of any lake. This paragraph does not apply if s. 30.69 (3) (a)
applies to the operation of the personal watercraft.
Accidents and accident reports. 30.67(1)
Duty to render aid.
Insofar as the operator of a boat can do so without serious danger to the operator's boat or to persons on board, the operator of a boat involved in a boating accident shall stop the operator's boat and render to other persons affected thereby such assistance as may be practicable and necessary to save them from or minimize any danger caused by the accident. The operator shall give the operator's name and address and identification of the operator's boat to any person injured and to the owner of any property damaged in the accident.
If a boating accident results in death or injury to any person, the disappearance of any person from a boat under circumstances indicating death or injury, or property damage, every operator of a boat involved in an accident shall, without delay and by the quickest means available, give notice of the accident to a conservation warden or local law enforcement officer and shall file a written report with the department on the form prescribed by it. The department shall promulgate rules necessary to keep accident reporting requirements in conformity with rules adopted by the U.S. coast guard.
If the operator of a boat is physically incapable of making the report required by this subsection and there was another occupant in the boat at the time of the accident capable of making the report the other occupant shall make such report.
(3) Terms defined.
In this section:
"Boating accident" means a collision, accident or other casualty involving a boat.
"Injury" means any injury of a physical nature resulting in medical treatment, disability for more than 24 hours or loss of consciousness.
"Total property damage" means the sum total cost of putting the property damaged in the condition it was in before the accident, if repair thereof is practical, and if not practical, the sum total cost of replacing the property.
(4) Reports confidential.
No report required by this section to be filed with the department shall be used as evidence in any trial, civil or criminal, arising out of an accident, except that the department shall furnish upon demand of any person who has or claims to have made such a report, or upon demand of any court, a certificate showing that a specified accident report has or has not been made to the department solely to prove a compliance or a failure to comply with the requirement that such a report be made.
(5) Transmittal of information to federal and state authorities.
If any request for information available on the basis of reports filed pursuant to this section is duly made by an authorized official or agency of the U.S. government or of the state which registered the boat involved or the state where the accident occurred, the department shall compile and furnish such information in accordance with such request.
(6) Coroners and medical examiners to report; require blood specimen. 30.67(6)(a)(a)
Every coroner or medical examiner shall on or before the 10th day of each month report in writing to the department the death of any person within his or her jurisdiction during the preceding calendar month as the result of an accident involving a boat and the circumstances of the accident.
In cases of death involving a boat in which the person died within 6 hours of the time of the accident, a blood specimen of at least 10 cc. shall be withdrawn from the body of the decedent within 12 hours after his or her death, by the coroner or medical examiner or by a physician so designated by the coroner or medical examiner or by a qualified person at the direction of the physician. All morticians shall obtain a release from the coroner or medical examiner prior to proceeding with embalming any body coming under the scope of this section. The blood so drawn shall be forwarded to a laboratory approved by the state health officer for analysis of the alcoholic content of the blood specimen. The coroner or medical examiner causing the blood to be withdrawn shall be notified of the results of each analysis made and shall forward the results of each analysis to the state health officer. The state health officer shall keep a record of all examinations to be used for statistical purposes only. The cumulative results of the examinations, without identifying the individuals involved, shall be disseminated and made public by the state health officer. The department shall reimburse coroners and medical examiners for the costs incurred in submitting reports and taking blood specimens and laboratories for the costs incurred in analyzing blood specimens under this section.
Distress signal flag.
The display on a boat or by a person of an orange flag approximately 18 by 30 inches in size shall indicate that such boat or person is in need of help.
Insofar as is possible without serious danger to the operator's boat or persons on board, the operator of a boat observing a distress signal shall render to the boat or person displaying the signal such assistance as may be practicable and necessary to save the boat or person or to minimize any danger to them.
No person shall display a flag like that described in sub. (1)
unless such person is in need of assistance to prevent bodily injury or destruction of property.
History: 1991 a. 316
Prohibited operation. 30.68(2)
No person may operate or use any boat, or manipulate any water skis, aquaplane or similar device upon the waters of this state in a careless, negligent or reckless manner so as to endanger that person's life, property or person or the life, property or person of another.
(3) Operation by incapacitated person or minor. 30.68(3)(a)(a)
No person in charge or control of a boat shall authorize or knowingly permit the boat to be operated by any person who by reason of physical or mental disability is incapable of operating such boat under the prevailing circumstances.
No person under the age of 10 years may operate a motorboat. Persons at least 10 and less than 12 years of age may operate a motorboat only if they are either accompanied in the boat by a parent or guardian or a person at least 18 years of age designated by a parent or guardian. Persons at least 12 and less than 16 years of age may operate a motor of any horsepower, but only if they are either accompanied by a parent or guardian or a person at least 18 years of age designated by a parent or guardian, or in possession of a certificate issued under s. 30.74 (1)
. This paragraph does not apply to personal watercraft.
No person under the age of 12 years may operate, lease or rent a personal watercraft.
No person who is at least 12 years of age but under 16 years of age may rent or lease a personal watercraft.
No person who is at least 12 years of age but under 16 years of age may operate a personal watercraft unless he or she is in possession of a certificate issued under s. 30.74 (1)
A violation of par. (b)
done with the knowledge of a parent or guardian shall be deemed a violation by the parent or guardian, and punishable under s. 30.80
(4) Creating hazardous wake or wash. 30.68(4)(a)(a)
No person shall operate a motorboat so as to approach or pass another boat in such a manner as to create a hazardous wake or wash.
An operator of a motorboat is liable for any damage caused to the person or property of another by the wake or wash from such motorboat unless the negligence of such other person was the primary cause of the damage.
(4m) Facing backwards.
No person may operate a personal watercraft while facing backwards.
(5) Operating in circular course.
No person may operate a motorboat repeatedly in a circuitous course around any other boat, or around any person who is swimming, if such circuitous course is within 200 feet of such boat or swimmer; nor shall any boat or water skier operate or approach closer than 100 feet to any skin diver's flag or any swimmer unless the boat is part of the skin diving operation or is accompanying the swimmer, or unless physical conditions make compliance impossible.
(5m) Towing by a personal watercraft.
A person may use a personal watercraft to tow a stranded or disabled boat if, during towing, the speed of the personal watercraft does not exceed slow-no-wake.
(6) Riding on decks and gunwales.
No person operating a motorboat may ride or sit, or may allow any other person in the motorboat to ride or sit, on the gunwales, tops of seat backs or sides or on the decking over the bow of the boat in an unsafe manner while under way, unless such person is inboard of guards or railings provided on the boat to prevent persons from being lost overboard. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit entry upon the decking over the bow of the boat for the purpose of anchoring, mooring or casting off or other necessary purpose.
(7) Restricted areas.
No person shall operate a boat within a water area which has been clearly marked by buoys or some other distinguishing device as a bathing or swimming area; nor operate a boat in restricted use areas contrary to regulatory notice pursuant to s. 30.74 (2)
. This subsection does not apply in the case of an emergency, or to patrol or rescue craft.
(8) Anchoring in traffic lanes.
No person may anchor, place, affix or abandon any unattended boat, raft, float or similar structure in the traveled portion of any river or channel or in any traffic lane established and legally marked, so as to prevent, impede or interfere with the safe passage of any other boat through the same.
No person may use a mooring or attach a boat to a mooring buoy if the mooring or mooring buoy violates s. 30.772
No person may use a piling for mooring a boat, except for mooring a boat in Lake Michigan or Lake Superior or on the Mississippi River.
No person may operate, and no owner of a boat may allow a person to operate, a boat that is loaded with passengers or cargo beyond its safe carrying capacity, taking into consideration weather and other existing operating conditions.
(11) Unnecessarily sounding whistles.
No person shall unnecessarily sound a horn, whistle or other sound-producing device on any boat while at anchor or under way. The use of a siren on any except duly authorized patrol boats on patrol or rescue duty is prohibited.
(12) Molesting or destroying aids to navigation and regulatory markers.
No unauthorized person shall move, remove, molest, tamper with, destroy or attempt to destroy, or moor or fasten a boat (except to mooring buoys) to any navigation aids or regulatory markers, signs or other devices established and maintained to aid boaters.
Intoxicated boating. 30.681(1)(a)(a)
Operating while under the influence of an intoxicant.
No person may engage in the operation of a motorboat while under the influence of an intoxicant to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safe motorboat operation.
Operating with alcohol concentrations at or above specified levels. 30.681(1)(b)1.1.
No person may engage in the operation of a motorboat while the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.1 or more. This subdivision does not apply to commercial motorboats.
No person may engage in the operation of a commercial motorboat while the person has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04% or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood. No person may engage in the operation of a commercial motorboat while the person has 0.04 grams or more of alcohol in 210 liters of his or her breath.