U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Apr 19, 2024

§ 3.8 - What vessel operations are prohibited?

(a) The following operations are prohibited:

(1) Launching or operating an airboat.

(2) Launching or recovering a vessel, except at a launch site designated by the superintendent.

(3) Operating a power-driven vessel on waters not accessible by road.

(4) Operating a vessel in excess of a length, width, or horsepower restriction established by the superintendent in accordance with §§ 1.5 and 1.7 of this chapter. For the purposes of this paragraph, vessel length is measured according to criteria established in 46 CFR chapter I or 33 CFR chapter I.

(b) The following operations are inherently unsafe and therefore prohibited:

(1) Operating a power-driven or sailing vessel within 100 feet of a diver's flag except a vessel in support of dive operations, which may not be operated in excess of flat wake speed.

(2) Failing to observe restriction(s) established by a regulatory marker.

(3) Operating a vessel in excess of flat wake speed in designated areas.

(4) Operating a vessel in excess of flat wake speed within 100 feet of:

(i) A downed water skier;

(ii) A person swimming, wading, fishing from shore or floating with the aid of a flotation device;

(iii) A designated launch site; or

(iv) A manually propelled, anchored or drifting vessel. If the park is located within a State specifying different conditions, then that State law is adopted in lieu of this paragraph.

(5) Unless a designated area is marked otherwise, operating a power-driven or sailing vessel within 500 feet of a shoreline designated as a swimming beach. This prohibition does not apply in locations such as a river, channel, or narrow cove where passage is restricted to less than 500 feet. In such restrictive locations where swim beaches are designated, the operation of a vessel in excess of a flat wake speed is prohibited.

(6) Operating a power-driven vessel while a person is riding on the decking over the bow, gunwales, top edge of the transom, motor cover, or in any other unsafe position when the vessel is being operated. This provision does not apply when that portion of the vessel is designed and constructed for the purpose of carrying passengers safely at all speeds or when the vessel is maneuvering for anchoring, docking or mooring.

(7) Operating a power driven vessel engine/s or generator with a person sitting, riding or hanging on to a swim platform or swim ladder.

(8) Operating a vessel, or knowingly allowing another person to operate a vessel in a negligent manner, by failing to exercise that degree of care which a reasonable person, under like circumstances, would demonstrate in order to prevent the endangering of the life, limb, or property of a person(s) through the operator's lack of knowledge, inattention, or general carelessness.

(9) Operating a vessel or knowingly allowing another person to operate a vessel in a grossly negligent manner, by willfully and wantonly creating an unreasonable risk of harm to person(s) or property, regardless of whether the operator intended to cause harm.