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Author Topic:   It's illegal to stand in a Montauk?!?!
Arch Autenreith posted 06-02-2002 08:50 AM ET (US)   Profile for Arch Autenreith   Send Email to Arch Autenreith  
Got a $61 ticket last night in Pittsburgh for standing while driving the Montauk.

The new handbook now says: "It is operate a motorboat less than 20 feet in length at greater than slow no wake while a person is standing on or in the boat."

And now they're saying I have to buy a fire extinguisher too.

How do I fight these rediculous Pennsylvania laws? Anyone else had this happen to them and if so how did you handle it? I just want to scream sometimes.

Florida (or anyplace other than here) is sounding better and better.

mbking1 posted 06-02-2002 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for mbking1  Send Email to mbking1     

Come to Florida! Low cost of living, hardly any taxes, AND the place must have been designed for WHALERING !! Mark

whalernut posted 06-02-2002 09:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Arch, you gotta be kidding me!!! That is totally ridiculous and have never heard of that ridiculous law!! I have the currituck, but just think if it was a Montauk or the like, I would have to watch my back all of the time. I have to look into this ridiculous law some more. Let me know if you find anything else about it?? As a side, Pennsylvania was rated the highest taxes in the nation in 2 different studies, I love PA. for the beauty, fishing and hunting opportunities, but the taxes are way out of line, and to boot our roads are rated the worst by truckers every year, so I know it isn`t going there!!! I think the legeslators are stuffing their pockets for retirement and the like, I wouldn`t dought that one bit. As far as Florida goes, I love visiting and fishing, but I couldn`t live there, no snow and too flat, but it has it`s charm. JaCK.
aubv posted 06-02-2002 11:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for aubv  Send Email to aubv     

Can't argue about the fire extinguisher. I thought that was required by CG.

As for the standing while driving, most CC boats seem to be designed to do exactly that. I think you have much better visibility on CC's while standing. What would they do if your boat has a leaning post?

jimh posted 06-02-2002 11:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If there is the opportunity to challenge this in a hearing, I would be tempted to do so, if it didn't cost me a day off work or some ridiculous court costs.

These local regulations are often absurd. On my local lake the governing municipality as enacted a ban against possession on any beverage aboard a boat. You can't even have a bottle of water while you're out fisihing. How ridiculous is that?

jimp posted 06-02-2002 12:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Arch -

I feel your pain. Some things are just dumb! Many municipalities pass laws/regs that look good on paper, but defy common sense.

Marine sanitation devices - not a big concern for smaller WHalers, but larger. If you have a MSD installed, it must be the approved type with "Y" valve and holding tank, etc. But it is still OK to go directly over the side, or to go in a bucket and dump it over the side. Not sure of inland waters though.


ShrimpBurrito posted 06-02-2002 12:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
Arch -
What is the specific statute do they accuse you of violating? There should be some numbers refering to such on the ticket.
Fishcop posted 06-02-2002 12:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Fishcop  Send Email to Fishcop     
This is very interesting to me. Who cited you and were they standing in their boat?
Out here on the West Coast, all Govt. agencies order their enforcement boats with leaning posts or stand up helms. There are some safety laws regarding passengers or PFD's, but STANDING!!! Wow! I agree, start boating and spending your money in some other state. Good luck with the court!
Dick E posted 06-02-2002 12:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick E  Send Email to Dick E     
What would you do if you have an Outrage with a leaning post and no seat; sit on the floor?
philmoses posted 06-02-2002 01:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for philmoses  Send Email to philmoses     
No, No , No,
It is only illegal to stand in a Montauk in Pittsburgh. This is stated on page 68 of the handbook *1001 reasons why Phil is glad he moved out of Pittsburgh 10 years ago*

Geez, I cannot believe they would take the time to write a citation for that. Unbelivable.


dchris2 posted 06-02-2002 02:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for dchris2  Send Email to dchris2     
Just by posting on this board, you are hurting them more than they hurt you. To the person referred to two studies about taxes , can you give us the names of the studies? I, too, live in Pa. Taxes are outrageous and the state legislature is sleazy. The Pittsburgh regatta is a joke. A lot of go fast boats and drunkeness. There are nicer places to boat than the Allegheny or the Mon. Pgh, Say good bye to your tourist dollars.
whalernut posted 06-02-2002 05:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I mentioned the studies, and only read them in the PGH. Post-Gazette, and that was a week ago, and don`t remember who did the studies, but I believe it. In Allegheny County, our Taxes are sky high!!! I am getting pissed off at their(legeslators) attitudes towards taxation in PA. They are theives. Where else can you get such an awsome pention in just a few terms!! We have more legeslators than any other state, even more than CA.!!! Our taxes are high and our roads suck!!! But the fishing and hunting is great!!! I have never ridden on or put my boat in the rivers in Pgh. and never will now due to that stupid law. I am going to check into this one more closely. Jack.
Lil Ernie posted 06-02-2002 05:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lil Ernie  Send Email to Lil Ernie     
I can't beleive this hogwash! If I were you, I would hire an attorney (I know a good one) and take this all the way to the Supremes,(the Temptations are all dead.) Did I tell you I love my Currituck! Wanna buy my intereer? I stand up in my Currituc, which I love. When i stand up, I cant reach the steeing weel, but it doesnt matter cause my weel doesnt work, I crash into lots of stuff and walk home.

red eyes in the morning, Depends at night!
Your pal, LilErnie

Clark Roberts posted 06-02-2002 07:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
As a native Floridian and long time (really long)boater I can advise that here there are many, many (most) miles of water in the penensula of Fla. that have very restrictive slow speed zones for protection of the sea cow (endangered so some say). Actually these laws are, in my opinion, anti-boating laws! Only with careful, detailed planning can one take a cruise of any significant length ..etc,,etc..etc.. It's true that we have low taxes but we also have our share of beuracratic hassles and rediculous laws.. Also it's hot most of the time and most northerners will not like the minimal change of season... too crowded already! Happy Whalin'.. Clark.. Spruce Creek Navy...
Done Fudgin posted 06-02-2002 07:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Done Fudgin  Send Email to Done Fudgin     
They must have low bridges in Pittsburgh! Or maybe it's an after effect as a result of the Steeler's playoff loss to the Patriots!(They didn't get to stand to often after the National Anthem)
whalernut posted 06-02-2002 07:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
LilErnie, it is great to meet another Currituck owner, what year is yours,what engine is on yours, mine is a 73`. I was thinking of selling my interior to and turning her into a Montauk, but now I am not sure. I stand in mine sometimes, but my back is really arched(no pun intended) and it starts hurting after about 5 minutes. Jack.
triblet posted 06-02-2002 08:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     

Were you standing? Or sitting on the RPS
back? If you weren't sitting on the RPS
back, you could easily have landed on your
butt. If you were sitting on the RPS seat
back, fight the ticket.

The typical Montauk has a 20+ gallon gas
tank. Anything over 7 gallons is not
"portable". If you have a non-portable tank,
you gotta have an extinguisher (that's the
CG rule). You deserved the second part of
the ticket.

Wasn't that Bruce Willis movie filmed in
Pittsburgh? He drove the whaler standing
up. Do the water cops have whalers and
drive standing up?

Finally, I'll bet BW would give you a letter
stating that the Montauk was designed to be
driven sitting on the back of the RPS.

The operative word here is "Reversable".
It's a seat. It's reversable. You were
using it as designed.

Jimp: it is not legal to go in a bucket and
dump the bucket. It is legal to go over the side. This is a bit of a disavantage to
the ladies.


DanT posted 06-02-2002 08:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for DanT  Send Email to DanT     
This doesn't seem to be a local regulation but rather a state regulation. It can be seen here, It's absurd.
Arch Autenreith posted 06-02-2002 10:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
You’d have to have heard the actual conversation to believe it. I couldn’t make up the things they were saying. They were a couple young bucks packing more heat and weaponry than most of our fellas over seas fighting terrorism have. I’m sure my attitude didn’t help much but I was just pissed. So, as he’s looking at my cc (any cc for the first time I’m sure) he says that because the wheel’s almost vertical it must be designed for sitting. If it were for standing then it would be almost bus-like horizontal. And while the other Fish Commission’s finest is writing the ticket, he calls a friend who ‘knows’ everything. Here’s how the conversation goes. “This guy has a Boston Whaler and says it’s designed for standing. Uh, huh. Uh, huh. Yep. YOU have a Boston Whaler also? And it’s a 17foot? (another pause) But that’s only you, right? It’s not really designed…..” (He turned away from me and shortly finished the conversation in private after he realized what I heard him saying. I swear that’s how the conversation went.)

Our River Rescue does have a 25’ Outrage (Ala “Striking Distance”, the movie) but other than that no one (except you, Jack) knows what a center consol is. The most often comment is “What is it for?” Always a good chuckle. And they have a leaning post too.

And yes, Chuck, I was standing and not sitting on the RPS back. My legs are too short especially that it’s on blocks for the 28 gal Tempo.

Shrimpburrito - It’s a PA Fish and Boat Commission Non-traffic citation/summons. Section 5123/subsection(a)-5 regulation number 9.7-something. Does that mean something?

Can you define the ‘studies’ you want? I don’t know what that is.

I fully intend to do something about this but if I have to hire an attorney I won’t pursue it this way I guess. I guess I have to get involved with local legislation to get any kind of real help here. I doubt I’ll get much cooperation or understanding from the local JP as he/she probably won’t know what a cc is anyhow.

The thing that’s so frustrating is that I’m definitely a law-supporting citizen in general, as I know most of us are. I also make it a point to try to pick up at least one piece of trash wherever I am and especially on the water. But all these little unnecessary irritants just chip away little by little at my respect for local government and law-enforcement in general. I know it’s probably not right to lump them all into one category but I just can’t help it sometimes.

This is pretty much the end of boating here for me but of course I won’t be missing much. It’s close for me though and in a pinch it was better than nothing…until now.

Having said that I see it could be worse…I told friends at the dinner table tonight what jimh said about the no-container law on his local lake. All conversations stopped and their jaws dropped. I can’t even imagine that. What is it with people sometime? Maybe it’s just the price we have to pay sometimes to live in a free country.

ShrimpBurrito posted 06-03-2002 01:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
Arch -

According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. § 5123, Section 105.3, "It is unlawful to operate a motorboat—less than 20 feet in length—at greater than slow, minimum height swell speed while a person is standing on or in the boat. It is not a violation of this paragraph if the boat is designed for the operator or a passenger, or both, to stand while underway at that speed."

You can find this statute at:

This may or may not be the same statute as what you were cited for violating (I couldn't tell from your citation), but they are both at least part of the Fish and Boat Code. I've seen the statute cited verbatim numberous places (like the site), so if it is cited elsewhere, I would be it says the same thing. Unfortunately, that second sentence is omitted everywhere except the books.

In any event, unless you can fight by mail, you are going to have to go to court to fight this -- no attorney should be required; in fact, if they're like California, they won't even be allowed. You likely will just show up as if you were going to fight a traffic ticket.

My first strategy would be to find anything in your boat manual that says you can stand in your boat while underway. That should get you off hands down. If nothing is there, I would try to get some kind of written document from BW (I bet an email from Chuck would do) stating that your boat is designed such that you can stand while underway. Take this documentation to your "arraignment" and show it to the judge. S/he will likely throw the ticket out, and it's a done deal. If the judge schedules a trial, you can present the same case then.

Of course, this is not legal advice, and you should consult an attorney for such, blah, blah, blah.

ShrimpBurrito posted 06-03-2002 01:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
On the topic of marine law enforcement, there are definitely some renegade officers ruling the seas, more so than what I think are on the roads. I had out-of-state boat registration while on the water after first moving to Portland, OR, and a county sheriff pulled me over. That was fine at first, as the state in which was registered required that the current registration sticker be placed only on one side. So, from his view, he couldn't see the sticker, and likely assumed the boat wasn't registered. However, when we started talking, he proceeded to tell me that it was federal law that boats had to have registration stickers on both sides. Maybe he thought that because Oregon has them on both sides, or, maybe because Oregon requires license plates on the front and back of vehicles. In any event, even if it was federal law (which it isn't), he couldn't give me a ticket for it. As a county sheriff, he has zero jurisdiction over federal laws. So, he decided to "let me off" with a warning. I guess that was intended to make me feel lucky.
Tom W Clark posted 06-03-2002 01:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

Yep, it looks like they got you for § 105.3.2 which you clearly have not violated as a Montauk is designed for operation while standing up. I would take as many Whaler catalogs and photographs showing a Montauk operated while standing up as possible to your hearing. Something from Chuck Bennett wouldn't hurt either.

By the way, I found nothing in the boat equipment requirements of Pennsylvania law that differed from the Coast Guard requirements. Thus your are NOT required to have a fire extinguisher on board as your Montauk is outboard powered and has above the deck fuel tank(s).

mudpuppy posted 06-03-2002 02:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for mudpuppy  Send Email to mudpuppy     
I empathize. In the Peoples' Republik of California, I was once ARRESTED for "whitewater canoeing at high water". Like when ARE you supposed to paddle whitewater? In a drought?

And because I was wearing a swift-water rescue life vest unfamiliar to the fish cop, I was cited for not having a USCG approved life vest (it had the USCG approval number and tag sewn onto it!).

There's hope for you though. Went to court, it was thrown out and the local DA was ridiculed by the judge.

Arch Autenreith posted 06-03-2002 08:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
Thanks Shrimpburrito, Tom and others. I wasn't aware of the Code and that helps a lot. I'll be using that for sure.

After this is over I wonder if I should have a courtesy USCG auxiliary inspection (?) and then have the sticker prominently displayed? It might discourage some future randome acts of rookie ticket-itis. Hopefully.

jameso posted 06-03-2002 09:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
Nothing like getting me on my soap box early Mon morn,
Sounds to me like the real problem is the two young 'punks' who issued the citation. I have met a lot like that, most are under 30 and can't get a job anywhere else.
I saw the same thing in GA a couple of times, both on the water and on land.
Time for a chill pill.
Jim Armstrong
george nagy posted 06-03-2002 10:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
I'm sorry to hear that you fell victim to "police state" tactics. Attitudes like thiers can really be degredating for you and a negative reflection to our other more professional law enforcers.

It has been a long time since I have ridden in a montauk, but as I have the same console I can tell you this if sitting at that low rear pilot seat the wheel is at an uncomfortable height and visibility isn't as good.

Go to court yourself and this will insure that the officer will need to attend, so you will be WASTING his time too. I would also challenge him as to his comments and knowledge of center console boats and thier helm layouts. Some enlarged pictures canvasing many centerconsole boats would do the trick. I wonder if it would be possible to get some stills from "striking distance" showing them standing.

My guess is that if you simply brought to court a commercial products division brochure that would be more than enough to illustrate the proper use of a center console. This year's brochure has many police boats with leaning posts and officers STANDING in front of them.

Good Luck and Don't surrender your RIGHT to protest. If you end up spending twice the ticket to beat it wouldn't it be worth it in satisfaction. It doesn't sound like this problem will go away unless it solved, Afterall are you going to stop standing in a montauk?

triblet posted 06-03-2002 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
A fire extinguisher is generally required on a
Montauk. See [rul[[/url]
Most Montauks have one big tank. If full, you
can't move it. Thus, extinguisher on board.


triblet posted 06-03-2002 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet
Whalerdan posted 06-03-2002 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Whether you can move it or not depends on how strong you are. I can move mine, although not easily when full. 6 x 27 = 162 pounds.
where2 posted 06-03-2002 01:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
If it's mounted like a bus, you can operate it standing up??? Time to show up with a picture of a 15' Sport, that has it 14" off the deck and mounted 20° from horizontal. I can't even operate mine on my knees!

Don't come to Florida unless you bring $3M for a piece of waterfront. You'll need $2M for the house, and $1M to give to me so I can keep paying the State Subsidized Windostorm insurance on my 40 year old house. Went for a cruise up the ICW last night, and I still don't know where all these people get $2M to buy a house. They don't earn it here! None of the people I knew from the University of Florida are pulling down enough $$$ to buy a $2M house! All my college friends are just happy to be able to afford ANY house! Even my friend who got his law degree from George Washington Univ. can't afford a $2M house!

Remind me not to choose Pensylvania to retire in... You have STUPID laws. You can't operate a boat under 20' while standing, but you can stand on waterskis behind it. You're holding on to the steering wheel, isn't that like holding on to the tow rope?

Arch Autenreith posted 06-03-2002 01:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     

Your comparison about standing while driving and waterskiing is too funny...and so true!! lol. And also true is our laws. Stupid is as stupid does...our local lawmakers.


lhg posted 06-03-2002 02:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
It sounds to me like the "no standing" law is probably OK, at least as far as a Montauk exemption goes, but the cops were wrong.

But this would present a problem for the typical sit down drive bow-rider, windshield style boat, where people do stand up to drive them, bending over to reach the low wheel.
The Whaler Ventura would be a problem under that law. We've all seen these guys driving these Bayliner-type boats this way. Maybe that's what they're after.

lhg posted 06-03-2002 02:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
JimH - Is water really considered a beverage?
I'll bet not. Someone arrested for drinking a bottle of water on a boat, in a freshwater lake? It seems Cokes, coffee, tea, beer, booze would be, and I agree in the case of a soda, etc, the law is ridiculous. I can understand the "no-booze" thing, though.
Bigshot posted 06-03-2002 03:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
factory brochure(1982?) has the Montauk on the cover with them standing and a big tuna.

A couple years ago these 3 18 year old CG punks pulled me over in my Montauk. It was maiden voyage and I had NOTHING on board but 2 jackets. No registration...nothing. Just as we were being "released" the one dope asks what kind of boat it was. I was puzzled! I thought everyone, especially CG knew a 17 Whaler and I assumed they still trained CG on them. Well you all know what Assume gets you.

Where I lived in NJ the CG and marine police and wildlife all had 17's with either 90 or 115's. Guess they don't have too many in PoDunk Nebraska or wherever these squids come from.

whalernut posted 06-03-2002 04:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Arch, go get um!!!! If you need me to back you up, I am there, the only catch is I can`t take off of work to do it, but if you can get a hearing late enough, I can vouch for you!! Jack.
Lil Ernie posted 06-03-2002 08:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lil Ernie  Send Email to Lil Ernie     
BS, I wood take the day off and go with you. I have pictures of me driving my Currituck, which I love and wouldnt trade for a Nash Rambler, I drive standing up and my arms are too short to reach the stering weel so i keep crashin into stuff, which is why I want to sell my inteereer,and the CG keps telling me to sit down, which is why they are punks who don't know as much as we do!

Red eyes in morning..Depends at nite'
Your pal,Lil Ernie

stagalv posted 06-04-2002 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for stagalv  Send Email to stagalv     
Boy that standing law certainly doesn't make sense to me. The CG rules of the road require you to maintain a proper lookout at all times. I think standing up behind or a passenger beside the console is the best way to maintain a lookout for other craft, floating obstructions etc.. If you fight this you should mention the federal CG rule.
JohnAz posted 06-04-2002 11:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for JohnAz  Send Email to JohnAz     
And how do you drive a stand up Jet Ski...
TightPenny posted 06-04-2002 02:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
Good, lets ban the jet skis. :)
Samars posted 06-05-2002 06:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Samars  Send Email to Samars     

We've got company in Pittsburgh...sounds like maybe a meeting of Whalers in our part of the county might be in order...

whalernut posted 06-05-2002 08:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Sam, yea since we get together up on Lake Erie, how about some of you guys join us, how about it Arch!!!!! I have asked you before but you kind of ignored me, is it personal?? Anyway, Sam and I run our Whalers out of Conneaut,OH. on Lake Erie, 35 miles West of Erie,PA. and 78 miles East of Cleveland,OH. It is right off of US 90. Anybody want to hang out with Sam and I??? I belong to the Conneaut Boat Club, so we can have a few brews and I always bring good cigars!! We have a great Sandbar in Conneaut Harbour.We can find room at our cabin, or if that gets filled, pitch tents in the front yard, our cabin is like 100 ft. from the lake and we have a big beach!! Let me know and I will set up the date between us all!!! Jack.
Arch Autenreith posted 06-05-2002 09:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
Thanks, Sam and Jack for the offer.
I'm still in the middle of kid-rearing stuff and there's never even time for myself it seems. When all that started I just quit trying to do anything with anyone til he's off to college. That way I never got disappointed when I couldn't do whatever it was I wanted. You understand I'm sure.
FISHNFF posted 06-06-2002 12:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for FISHNFF  Send Email to FISHNFF     
Those idiots must have never been in a rough water or have seen all the center console boats with stand-up consoles. Heck, you can't see over many large ocean consoles sitting down! Not to mention leaning posts! I don't even have a seat on my Alert!
I can understand that it may be dangerous operating a runabout standing with the steering wheel at your knees, or a tiller operated boat which could turn 90 degrees with a flick of a wrist. With nothing to hold on to, you can get tossed quickly.
Some bad accident must have occured to bring up such a law, but it is not applicable to all situations and should be ammended.


PMUCCIOLO posted 06-06-2002 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
Arch Autenreith,

Your story disturbs me deeply. Did the officer ever consider educating you or warning you prior to breaking out the citation pad? Your situation sours me as much as the ridiculous restrictions in the arbitrary manatee zones we have in Volusia County, Florida.

Clark Roberts lives nearby, and he boats in the same waters as I. We have felt similar pain which was inflicted by a Sheriff's deputy and a Marine Patrol Officer (both of whom receive honorable mention in the local boating circles) who take pride in having coined the term "PIP". That, ladies and gentleman, is the acronym used by these two shining examples of our water-bourne law enforcement officers which means "the Public Is the Problem." What do you think of that?

The overwhelming majority of the Sheriff's Deputies, Marine Patrol Officers, and Coast Guard personell here are courteous, respectful, helpful, and friendly. Many of them are friends of mine, with whom I have worked in a professional capacity caring for victims of boating accidents. However, as with all groups, it takes just a few bad apples to taint the basket.

I hope that you can get the situation worked out with a minimal amount of aggravation. This is supposed to be PLEASURE boating!


Arch Autenreith posted 06-06-2002 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
Thanks for the note, Paul.

Of course it's not the money. It's the realization that this kind of thing is never going to stop. My jobs as I see it is to waste their time also by taking them to the hearing and make them look as unreasonable as possible. I'm sure I'll win (famous last words) but I just want them to know this is part of the checks and balances: You write me up and I'll call you on it. I used to wave but from now on I’ll just stare and ‘dare’ them to do it again. (You can see this still irks me.)

They also were 'threatening' me to have a fire extinguisher, which I don't believe is required. I will provide the language (thanks to Shrimpburrito for the URL) to prove my position.

I feel the problem was more they were Cop wanna-bees and don’t have the skills and knowledge that is normally associated with professionals. No matter what I said they wouldn’t be ‘wrong’ in front of someone that didn’t have a gun like they did. That’s where experience and age on their part would have benefited the situation.

I was reading the Boating Industry Int’l site and it was talking once again about the Manatee stuff you have to deal with down there. What a pain. I spent 1 month in and around the Pine Island Sound area last year and there were quite a few slow-zones for the Manatee. I could live with what was in place then but I can see that once they get started closing off areas it’s likely it’ll get worse.

george nagy posted 06-06-2002 10:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
Just a reminder about MANATEE ZONES.

These zones were created to protect a disappearing specis from our coastlines here in Florida. These restrictions are very different than those of a more insane nature banning standing in a center console.

We need to keep separate those laws controlling what we do WITH our watercraft vs. those laws that dictate what we can do IN our watercraft.

Here in SOUTH Florida I was at first put-off by the larger NO-WAKE ZONES (manatee zones)but now with the ever increasing number of large wake making searay type boats I'm somewhat relieved that EVERYONE must go slow.

You see our whalers are small in comparisson to the majority of boats found in the intracoastal here today. The smaller family fun teams are at a rarity here so when I'm in my 18' cruising down a narrow intracoastal waterway with sea walls on each side it can be murder when just one 30+ footer blasts by me at full throtle.

I guess it was easier to make everyone suffer idle speeds than to try to hold those rally accountable for destructive unsafe boating practices often associated with larger searay type boats.

I know slow speed areas are annoying but sometimes very necessary, certainly more necessary than NO-STANDING!

mudpuppy posted 06-06-2002 10:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for mudpuppy  Send Email to mudpuppy     
Regarding being asked to slow down for a really dumb marine mammal. We need to remember the one simple fact: the only thing there is no shortage of on this planet is people. Many of our activities have a significantly deleterious effect on our environment, powerboating not the least among those.

Boaters complain about having to switch over to four-strokes, waterfowlers complain about the ban on toxic lead shot, Floridians aren't pleased that they haven't yet succeeded in wiping out the manatee.

While I have had my own absurd problems with "law enforcement" (arrests for rock-climbing without a permit, surfing on a no-surfing beach (February in New Jersey), whitewater canoeing at high water, riding a bicycle without a light, exceeding the speed limit on a bicycle, cross-country skiing in a parking lot (under six feet of snow while on a search and rescue operation)) I have to basically but regretfully agree: the public is the problem, if only by virtue of sheer critical mass.

And anytime you're carting around 10+ gallons of gas, a fire extinguisher is a minor inconvenience. The only time I've used mine was on somebody else's car at the ramp. Glad I had it.

crashq posted 06-06-2002 04:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for crashq  Send Email to crashq     
I once had a (retarded) Santa Cruz Police officer check all of my boat equipment. He told me I could not launch because I didn't have "offshore" life vests. I had type III vests, which are all that is required by California regulations. He told me that he was into boating and that I had to have "offshore" vests. By this he meant Type I (with the Mae West style collars). The only thing he was going on was that the description of them had "offshore" in it. He said that anything in the ocean was considered "offshore". They would not have even let this guy into the Boy Scouts.
JohnAz posted 06-06-2002 06:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnAz  Send Email to JohnAz     
In New Mexico ,,actualy part of the United States,, at a ramp check prior to launching,,i had a "Zodiac" inflatable, the Fish and Game guy says i have to have a one gallon bucket to bail with,,,or a bilge pump,,well the Zodiac is self baling,,but he will not let me on the lake,,so i remove the cover from the 40 Johnson and say 'IT'S A BAILER",,,He says NO,,I fill the motor cover with lake water & go right up next to him lift it over head and say "wanna see a gallon of water" ,,,,,He left,,,guess he realized i was P:%#ed
mudpuppy posted 06-06-2002 07:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for mudpuppy  Send Email to mudpuppy     
Since this thread has degenerated into "stupid cops" stories, here's another.

Was swimming 100 yds offshore in a deserted section of a lake with two fetch-dogs when a fish cop came by to tell me that all dogs had to be on leash. Swam back in, put a 1-ft "traffic leash" on each dog, made some reference to self-reproduction, and finished our swim.

PMUCCIOLO posted 06-06-2002 07:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
george nagy,

Allow me to clarify: My statements regarding the absurdity of manatee zones in Volusia County, Florida stem not from the purpose of such zones, but the seeming arbitrary distribution thereof. The manatee zones here consist of short segments of waterway immediately adjacent to speed zones. What is the poor (big and slow) sea cow to do when it goes from a "protected" zone to one where the speed limit is 30MPH? Clearly, the situation as you have described it in South Florida is affected by the width of the waterway, but not so here.

I find it hard to believe that the borders of the manatee zones are a product of the recommendations of those well versed in the biology of the manatee. I would like to see the data supporting the effectiveness of these areas.

Conceptually, designating "slow speed" and "no wake" zones sounds reasonable, but the reality of the situation is that animals which we are trying to protect are not contained to these areas. The only way to truly protect them (if slowing down the boats even does so) is to restrict speed on the entire waterway. As the State of Florida has, from my understanding, used these zones as leverage against local (county and city) governments to restrict funding and permits, these zones are expanding. The impetus behind these areas designated to protect the manatee seems to be driven by econonmics and not sound scientific data.

I agree that the "insanity" to which you refer is pervasive--in the enforcement of seemingly ridiculous laws. The purpose of the law regarding standing behind a center console (to increase safety?) is as laughable as that of the law regarding arbitrarily distributed manatee zones (to protect the animals?). Whether the preposition "with" or "in" is applied, the result is the same: The boater is fined for an activity whose restriction in the manner outlined in the statute has no proven benefit, whether it be to public safety or to the environment.

The law enforcement officers here, as I said before, are a courteous, professional, and friendly group...with the exception of two individuals with whom I've had personal (and VERY negative) interactions. This is where mudpuppy's statements ring true regarding "The Public is the Problem." As the numbers of boaters increase, the number of "bad apples" will increase as as a direct proportion. Caution must be taken, however, in applying anectodal experiences to the activity of larger populations, the rate of growth of which can be alarming.


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