No person may operate or use a boat unless all of the following requirements are met:
Each PFD is used in accordance with any requirements on the approved label.
Each PFD is used in accordance with any requirements in its owner's manual, if the approval label makes reference to such a manual.
No person may operate or use a boat 16 feet or more in length, except a canoe or kayak, unless at least one throwable PFD is on board in addition to the total number of wearable PFDs required in par. (a)
No person may operate or use a boat of any size to carry passengers for hire unless at least one wearable PFD is on board for each person and in addition one throwable PFD must be carried on board such recreational vessels which are 26 feet or more in length.
No person may use a boat unless each wearable PFD required by sub. (2)
is readily accessible.
No person may operate or use a boat unless each throwable PFD required by sub. (2)
is immediately available.
(4) Conditions, approval, marking.
No person may operate or use a boat unless each device required by this section is marked as follows:
In serviceable condition to perform the intended uses and absent of any tears, punctures or other deformations from its original manufactured design.
Of an appropriate size for the person for whom it is intended.
Each personal flotation device must be marked in accordance with the recognized laboratory's listing and labelling requirements. At a minimum, labels must include all of the following:
Any limitations or restrictions on approval or special instructions for use.
Marking must be of a type which will be durable and legible for the expected live of the device.
(5) Visual Distress Signals.
It is unlawful to operate any watercraft on the coastal waters of the United States without having onboard visual distress signals as required and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, so placed as to be readily accessible and in such condition as to be ready for immediate and effective use.
As required by the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rules, a vessel less than 39.4 feet must, at a minimum, have some means of making an efficient sound signal, (i.e., handheld air horn, athletic whistle, installed horn, etc.). A human voice or sound is not acceptable.
A vessel 39.4 feet or greater must have a sound signaling appliance capable of producing an efficient sound signal, audible for 1/2 mile with a 4 to 6 seconds duration. In addition, the vessel must carry on board a bell with a clapper. The bell size shall be no less than 7.9 inches, based on the diameter of the mouth.
NR 5.13 History
Cr. Register, June, 1974, No. 222
, eff. 7-1-74; am. (1) (intro.), (2) (a), (b), (c), r. (3) (a), renum. (3) (b) and (c) to be (2) (d) and (e), (4) to (6) to be (3) to (5) and am. (4) (intro.) and (5), Register, April, 1985, No. 352
, eff. 5-1-85; am. (4) (a), Register, July, 1993, No. 451
, eff. 8-1-83; am. (2) (a), r. (2) (b), renum. (2) (c) to (e) to be (2) (b) to (d) and am. (2) (b), Register, May, 1995, No. 473
, eff. 6-1-95; CR 14-048: am. (1) (intro.), (2) (a), (b), r. (c), renum. (2) (c) from (2) (d) and am., am. (3), (4) (intro.), r. (4) (b), renum. (4) (b) from (4) (c), cr. (4) (c), (d), am. (5), r. (5) Figure 1, cr. (6) Register May 2015 No. 713, eff. 6-1-15, correction in (6) (a), (b) under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 1., Stats., Register May 2015 No. 713, eff. 6-1-15; correction in numbering (6) (a), (b) under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 1., Stats., Register May 2015 No. 713.
NR 5.14 Jurisdiction of municipal water safety patrols.
The Wisconsin department of natural resources hereby defines by rule, pursuant to s. 30.79 (4)
, Stats., the following waters which may be patrolled by the respective water safety patrol units mentioned:
The waters of Wallace lake, located in section 1, township 11 north, range 19 east and section 6, township 11 north, range 20 east in Washington county, by a water safety patrol operated by the town of Trenton.
The portion of Golden Lake, described herein, located in sections 30 and 31, township 7 north, range 17 east, Waukesha county, by a water safety patrol unit operated by the town of Summit: all of Golden lake except that portion in section 25, township 7 north, range 16 east, Jefferson county, which lies to the west of the easterly boundary of section 25; said boundary marked by a north-south line drawn between two certified land corner monuments; the north concrete monument being located 1167.5 feet south from the northeast corner of section 25 and the south concrete monument being located 576.7 feet north from the southeast corner of section 25.
NR 5.14 History
Cr. Register, August, 1975, No. 236
, eff. 9-1-75; cr. (2), Register, November, 1977, No. 263
, eff. 12-1-77.
NR 5.15 Posting requirements.
The posting requirements for local authorities under s. 30.77 (4)
, Stats., shall be a sign with a minimum of 3 inch lettering stating “Local Ordinance" posted at each public landing. The sign shall list, in letters with a minimum height of one inch, a summary, synopsis, or outline of those regulations more restrictive than state law, or shall contain a map made of a durable material showing those areas with local restrictions, or both, including but not limited to speed limits, water ski hours and personal watercraft restrictions, if any.
NR 5.15 History
Cr. Register, July, 1993, No. 451
, eff. 8-1-93; am. Register, March, 2000, No. 531
, eff. 4-1-00.
NR 5.16 Instruction for rental or leased personal watercraft.
Instruction for the purpose of s. 30.625 (1) (a)
, Stats., shall include the following:
The display of a personal watercraft decal in a location as specified by the department on the decal, by the owner or lessor of the watercraft explaining personal watercraft rules.
A minimum of a 5 minute oral review to the operator of all of Wisconsin's special personal watercraft rules as supplied by the department by the lessor, or by an agent of the lessor, before operation of the personal watercraft occurs.
NR 5.16 Note
Note: Personal watercraft decals and special watercraft rules and acknowledgement forms, may be obtained from the Boating Safety Section, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, Wisconsin 53707.
NR 5.16 History
Cr. Register, May, 1995
, Register, No. 473
, eff. 6-1-95.
NR 5.17 Lighting requirements. NR 5.17(1)(1)
In addition to the lighting requirements specified in s. 30.61
, Stats., operators of boats in the state of Wisconsin shall also comply with all federal lighting requirements.
No vessel may be equipped with or display any blue colored light or lamp unless the vessel is a patrol boat defined in s. 30.50 (9b)
NR 5.17 History
Cr. Register, March, 2000, No. 531
, eff. 4-1-00; CR 14-048: renum. to (1), cr. (2) Register May 2015 No. 713, eff. 6-1-15.
NR 5.18 Boating education certification program fee. NR 5.18(1)(1)
Temporary boating education certificates. NR 5.18(1)(a)(a) Eligibility.
Only individuals who meet all of the following are eligible to receive a temporary boating education certificate:
A person who is or will be renting or leasing a motor boat from a rental agent who has agreed to provide them with boating education training as required under par. (c)
(b) Effective period.
All of the following conditions apply to a temporary boating education certificate issued under this section:
Shall be valid from the time and date of issuance, until the end of the calendar year issued.
Shall only be valid for the operation of a motor boat which is rented or leased by the holder of the certificate.
NR 5.18 Note
Temporary boating education certificates are only available for and may not to be issued to persons who are not renting or leasing the motor boat. Persons age 10-15 are not eligible for a temporary boating education certificate. Pursuant to s. 30.678(1)
, Stats., a person age 10-15 may operate a motor boat that is not a personal watercraft (PWC) if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian or by a person who is at least 18 years of age and who is designated by a parent or guardian. Persons age 12-15 may operate a motor boat, including a PWC without an adult, parent or guardian present if they hold a valid boating education certificate issued by the department under s. 30.74(1)(a)
The department shall create a short course of instruction which covers the Wisconsin general boating laws and the safe operation of a motor boat. These courses may be offered through a rental agent that rents or leases motor boats to the public, or by the department.
A rental agent that rents or leases motor boats and offers a course of instruction under this paragraph shall issue a temporary boating education certificate to persons 16 years of age or older successfully completing the course.
The department shall prescribe the course content in a student manual to be provided to any rental agent that rents or leases motor boats to the public.
The department shall prescribe the form of the temporary certificate that shall be provided to any person that successfully completes that training and passes an exam provided by the department with the manual.
(2) Course and certificate issuance fees. NR 5.18(2)(a)(a)
Department sponsored courses.
The fee for the boating education certification course taught by the department or an instructor certified by the department to teach the department's boating education program authorized under s. 30.74 (1) (a)
, Stats., shall be $10.00. The department may authorize the instructors to retain up to 50% of the fee to defray expenses incurred locally to operate the program based on the actual cost incurred to the instructor. The remaining funds shall be turned in to the department to defray expenses incurred to operate the boating safety program during the year.
(b) Department approved courses.
The portion of the fees collected for certification and turned into the department for courses taught by the United States Power Squadron, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and other entities which are covered by a memorandum of understanding with the department regarding boating education courses shall be $1.00. This paragraph does not prevent those entities covered by a memorandum of understanding with the department from charging a fee that is reasonable to defray their costs of administering and operating the courses they provide. The department may authorize specialized fees for internet based education certification programs pursuant to a memorandum of understanding with the managing entity. The fee shall be sufficient to defray authorized operational costs of the managing entity and the department.
The fees for a temporary boating education certificate issued under sub. (1)
shall be $10.00. A rental agent that offers training and certification pursuant to sub. (1) (c)
, shall collect the fee and may retain up to 50% of the fee to defray expenses incurred by them to conduct the training and exam and issue the certificate. The remaining funds shall be remitted to the department along with the records to be submitted under subd. 2.
All rental agents who provide a course of instruction under this section shall submit an annual report to the department by December 31 each year for any training provided and certification issued during that calendar year. The report shall contain the following information regarding each person who completes the training and exam described in sub. (1) (c)
during the calendar year:
The date each person's temporary boating education certificate was issued.
Rental agents shall maintain a written or electronic record of all information required under subd. 2.
for a period of 2 years after the deadline for submitting the information to the department a required under subd. 2.
Copies of records or reports required to be kept under this section shall be made available for inspection and coping by the department during normal business hours. No rental agent who has been requested to submit to an inspection under this section, or employee or person acting on behalf of such rental agent shall refuse to provide the department or its agents any record or report required to be kept under this section.
NR 5.18 History
Cr. Register, March, 2000, No. 531
, eff. 4-1-00; CR 06-132
: r. and recr. Register August 2007 No. 620
, eff. 9-1-07.
NR 5.19 Exemptions for water exhibitions and races. NR 5.19(1)(1)
Exemptions to s. 30.61 (1)
, 30.62 (2)
, 30.68 (4m)
, or 30.69 (1) (c)
or (3) (a)
, Stats., are granted to persons participating in water exhibitions or races provided the water exhibition or race is conducted under a permit issued by the appropriate political subdivision pursuant to s. 30.77
, Stats., or by an authorized agency of the federal government.
Permits granted by appropriate political subdivisions or an authorized agency of the federal government shall designate the location, time and activities to be allowed and shall be at the site when any race or exhibition is taking place and available for inspection upon demand of the department or a representative of the appropriate political subdivision of the state.
NR 5.19 History
Cr. Register, July, 1993, No. 451
, eff. 8-1-93;
correction in (1) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register November 2001 No. 551
NR 5.20 Modification or waiver of slow-no-wake speed restriction on certain lakes.
, Stats., provides that the department may modify or waive the slow-no-wake speed restriction on lakes 50 acres or less in size having public access. The following procedure is established to implement that provision:
(1) Submission of petition for modification or waiver by rule.
Pursuant to s. 227.12
, Stats., any municipality, corporation or any 5 or more persons having an interest in a rule may petition for such a rule to modify or waive the slow-no-wake speed restriction on a particular lake.
(2) Contents of petition.
The petition shall state clearly and concisely:
The substance or nature of the rule-making which is requested; and
The reasons for the request and the petitioners' interest in the request; and
References to the authority of the agency to take the action which is requested.
(3) Service on the department.
The petition shall be served on the department of natural resources either by delivery to the office of the secretary or by mailing to the secretary by certified mail at the following address: P.O. Box 7921, Madison, Wisconsin 53707.
(4) Department action on petition.
Upon receipt of a petition for modification or waiver, the following procedures shall apply without prior authorization of the natural resources board:
The department shall schedule a rule-making hearing within a reasonable period of time for the purpose of receiving the comments and views of all interested persons on the petition.
Based upon information received at the hearing and the determinations made pursuant to par. (c)
, the department will either proceed with rule-making or deny the petition in writing. The department is not limited to the rule-making proposed by the petitioner but may modify or waive the slow-no-wake speed restriction in any manner it deems appropriate.
The department shall in making the decision under par. (b)
If the lake is in fact 50 acres or less and has public access. A petition may be received for a lake fluctuating in size where the petitioner shows that the lake has been 50 acres or less in the past.
Whether public safety will be impaired by modification or waiver of the slow-no-wake speed restriction.
Whether modification or waiver of the slow-no-wake speed restriction will cause environmental pollution as defined in s. 283.01 (6m)
NR 5.20 History
Emerg. cr. eff. 7-28-75; cr. Register, June, 1976, No. 246
, eff. 7-1-76; am. (3), Register, April, 1985, No. 352
, eff. 5-1-85; correction in (1) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, January, 1989, No. 397
; correction in (4) (c) 3. made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, March, 2000, No. 531
NR 5.21 Lakes upon which the slow-no-wake speed restriction is modified or waived.
The Wisconsin department of natural resources hereby defines by rule, pursuant to s. 30.635
, Stats., the following waters upon which the slow-no-wake speed restriction is modified or waived: