Chapter 11.16


11.16.010    Operation – Overloading prohibited.

11.16.020    Operation – Right-of-way rules.

11.16.030    Speed regulations.

11.16.010 Operation – Overloading prohibited.

It is unlawful for any vessel to be loaded with passengers or cargo which exceed the safe-carrying capacity of the vessel where the safe-carrying capacity of the vessel is specified by the manufacturer. Such limitation shall be considered the maximum safe load, and in no event shall a vessel be loaded beyond a capacity which is reasonable and prudent under given atmospheric conditions and other actual and potential hazards affecting operation. (Ord. 90-83 (part)).

11.16.020 Operation – Right-of-way rules.

The operation rules as between vessels are provided as follows:

A. When two vessels are approaching each other head on, or so nearly so as to involve the risks of collision, each boat shall bear to the right and pass the other boat on its left side.

B. One vessel may overtake another on either side but shall grant the right-of-way to the overtaken boat.

C. When two vessels are approaching each other obliquely or at right angles, the boat approaching on the right side has the right-of-way.

D. A vessel underway must yield the right-of-way to a craft not underway.

E. A motor-powered vessel underway must yield the right-of-way to a sailboat, rowboat, canoe, or other vessel not propelled by a motor.

F. A seaplane underway shall yield the right-of-way to all other vessels.

G. A swimmer including a person on a flotation device, or a fallen skier, has the right-of-way over any craft.

H. No vessel shall approach within 50 feet of a diver’s flag indicating the presence of a person operating under water.

I. All vessels shall reduce speed and, if necessary, stop and, in any event, yield the right-of-way upon the approach of an emergency vessel. (Ord. 90-83 (part)).

11.16.030 Speed regulations.

A. Speed Limits. No vessel shall exceed the following speeds, except as provided in Chapter 11.36 WCC:

1. Within 100 feet of a swimmer, six miles per hour;

2. Within 150 feet from docks, floats, or the shoreline on every lake except Lake Whatcom where the distance shall be 300 feet from docks, floats, or the shoreline (except when necessary for a safe take off as defined in WCC 11.20.010(C)), six miles per hour;

3. Within 100 feet of any vessel not propelled by a motor, six miles per hour;

4. One-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, eight miles per hour;

5. During daylight hours in unrestricted areas, 40 miles per hour;

6. Within 300 feet of any public boat launch, six miles per hour;

7. Within South Bay Lake Whatcom south of a line approximately as defined as extending from 48° 40′ 48′′ N, 122° 18′ 49′′ W to 48° 40′ 43′′ N, 122° 18′ 36′′, shall be designated as a “no-wake” zone.

B. Due Care and Caution Required. Compliance with the speed regulations contained herein shall not relieve the operator of any vessel from the further exercise of due care and caution as circumstances shall require. (Ord. 2004-036 § 1; Ord. 2002-027; Ord. 90-83 (part)).