A COUPLE OF BASICS REGARDING BOATING ON LAKE WHATCOM:
No 2 stroke engines (unless environmentally approved) anywhere on the lake
No throwing garbage overboard, and use a real toilet if ya gotta go!
- SPEED LIMITS: In most situations, the speed limit is 6 miles per hour (mph) within 300' from shore. The speed limit is also 6 mph if you are within 100' of a swimmer or any non-motorized boat. Maximum speed limit is 40mph in unrestricted areas. One-half hour before sunrise and one-half hour after sunset, the maximum speed is 8 mph. TRANSLATION? NO WATERSKIING HALF HOUR BEFORE SUNSET!
- HOW OLD DO YOU HAVE TO BE to drive a boat? The good news is that you're never too old to drive a boat! But you must be at least 10 years old to operate a motor boat up to 20 HP without an adult (jet skis start at around 60 HP). You must be 16 to operate a boat with a motor greater than 20 HP.
- RIGHT OF WAY: Swimmers and fallen skiers have the right-of-way over ANY watercraft. Similarly, sailboats, canoes, kayaks, sailboards etc have the right-of-way over any motor-powered vessel underway.
- WHAT YOU NEED TO HAVE ON BOARD:
1. Coast guard approved lifejackets for each person on the boat. I suggest that you know exactly where they are and you can access them immediately. Kids under the age of 7 must always wear a PFD when aboard any boat, motorized or not.
2. Whistle (if over 16' in length)
3. Approved Fire Extinguisher (all motorized vehicles)
4. Type 4 PDF( that's the seat cushion with handles on it) (if over 15' long)
5. Skier Down Flag for boaters who tow!
And for those of you who enjoy a cocktail with your afternoon cruise~ enjoying a drink on the boat is ok~perfectly legal, just don't over do it. Drunk driving on the lake will not be tolerated.
WHO YA GONNA CALL? The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office enforces boating regulations on Lake Whatcom. Deputy Sheriff Stuart Smith randomly patrols the lake during the boating season. If there's an emergency or a problem on the lake, call 911. Questions? Call Stu @360-676-6650