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Boating Regulations

State and municipal regulations are strictly enforced.

Below are some basic regulations regarding safe boating.  All boaters must be familiar with state and local laws.

  • Boating While Intoxicated and negligent vessel operation are strictly forbidden.
  • Boaters born after January 1st, 1955, are required to have a valid Boater Education card on their person while operating a vessel if that vessel has mechanical power of fifteen horsepower or greater. RCW 79A.60.640
  • All vessels must stop when signaled to do so by the Law Enforcement and officers may stop and board any vessel. RCW 79A.60.100
  • Maintain due caution around swimmers and other vessels.
  • Vessels requiring registrations (see WAC 308-93-145) must have a valid registration, and registration decals must be properly displayed when on a public waterway regardless of operation status.
  • All vessel registrations expire on the last day in June of each calendar year.
  • All vessel accidents resulting in injury, death, or damage over $2,000 must be reported to the Ocean Shores Police Department.
  •  Every vessel is required to have a USCG Approved Type I, II or III personal flotation device for each person on board.
  • Children under 12 years old are required to wear a personal flotation device at all times.
  • No one under 12 years old may operate any motorboat.
  • All motorized vessels must have an audible signaling device.
  •  All motorized vessels must have a USCG Approved Class B Fire extinguisher.
  • All motorized vessels must have a carbon monoxide sticker conspicuously displayed.
  • Speed limits are as follows:
    • 35 mph maximum on Duck Lake and Lake Minard.
    • 5 mph or wake speed on all canals.
    • 5 mph or wake speed under all bridges.
    • 5 mph or wake speed within 50 feet of any safety buoy, dock, pier, stationary or trolling vessel, shoreline, swimmer, marked swimming area, float, or scuba dive flag.
    • 5 mph or wake speed on Duck Lake north of the E. Chance ala Mer NE bridge.
  • Water skiers must have a “skier down” flag and a qualified observer (other than the vessel operator) in the boat.
  • It is illegal to follow a boat towing a water skier closer than 300 feet or to come within 100 feet of a water skier.
  • All marine events (regattas, races, tournaments and exhibitions) require a Marine Event Permit.  The application must be filed no less than 30 days prior to the event.