Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-01-2019, 16:32   #1
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,397
Minnesota DNR confirms that it is illegal to ride on the tubes of an inflatable boat

Wow.



Quote:
From: [Jammer]
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2019 4:33 PM
To: MN_Info (DNR) <info.dnr@state.mn.us>
Subject: Boating safety rules interpretation for inflatable craft

Dear DNR:

I have been boating in Minnesota for many years and am familiar with the laws and regulations. I understand that it is unlawful to ride or sit on the gunwales of a motorboat while it is underway unless the boat is equipped with an appropriate railing. This is mentioned on p.35 of the 2018 boating guide.

I am considering the purchase of a rigid inflatable boat (RIB). The nature of these boats is that the sponsons (tubes/pontoons) that make up the sides are used for seating. This is the manufacturers' recommendation as it is the only way that these boats can accommodate a reasonable number of people and stay safely balanced.

Here is a web page from a manufacturer whose boats are being sold by a local dealer in Bloomington. Note the photographs illustrating the customary seating position for the operator on the sponson:


Classic 310 - Highfield Boats

My question is how the state law regarding seating on the gunwales is interpreted by the DNR for boats with this type of construction. If the DNR considers the sponsons to be the gunwales of the boat, making it unlawful to operate the boat while seated there, I would not purchase a boat of this type.




[ Reply from DNR ]

I have attached the statute that covers your question. You will notice the statute refers to gunwales but also sides of the watercraft. With that said the statute also states "unless the motorboat is provided with adequate guards or railing to prevent passengers from falling overboard." Could the courts interpret the manufacture handles located on the sides as guards? Maybe. This is bit of a questionable call for law enforcement on the water given the circumstances seen at the time. However, I did notice that the manufacture offers a front bench seat and/or a console steering set up which would clearly put it 100% into the legal operation arena if used in that capacity. I think what you would find is more often than not law enforcement would interpret and testify that the handles are not adequate to prevent falling overboard. Given my years working on the water, I would interpret it that way.


86B.311 GENERAL RULES FOR OPERATION


Subd. 5. Riding on gunwales or decking. A person may not ride or sit and a person may not operate a motorboat while a person is riding or sitting on (i) the starboard or port gunwales; (ii) the decking over the bow, sides, or stern; or (iii) the transom, of a motorboat while underway unless the motorboat is provided with adequate guards or railing to prevent passengers from falling overboard.


Lieutenant A[...]
State Boating Law Administrator | Division of Enforcement
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road
St Paul, MN 55155-4047
[...phone...]

[...email address...]
mndnr.gov
Contact information redacted in compliance with forum expectations
__________________

Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2019, 16:40   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Everywhere
Boat: 2011 FP Orana 44 M
Posts: 832
Re: Minnesota DNR confirms that it is illegal to ride on the tubes of an inflatable b

Law breaker! Risk taker! Livin' on the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeddddddggggeeee!!!


__________________

LoudMusic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2019, 16:45   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: New Zealand
Boat: 50í Bavaria
Posts: 1,603
Re: Minnesota DNR confirms that it is illegal to ride on the tubes of an inflatable b

How exactly are you supposed to use 90% of inflatables without sitting on the tubes?
Tillsbury is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2019, 16:47   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Everywhere
Boat: 2011 FP Orana 44 M
Posts: 832
Re: Minnesota DNR confirms that it is illegal to ride on the tubes of an inflatable b

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tillsbury View Post
How exactly are you supposed to use 90% of inflatables without sitting on the tubes?
You'll need to install lifelines, sir. Load bearing up to 250 lbs.
LoudMusic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2019, 16:55   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Easton, MD
Boat: Catalina 22 Capri, 15' Catboat, Bristol 35.5
Posts: 2,564
Re: Minnesota DNR confirms that it is illegal to ride on the tubes of an inflatable b

Government over-reach. Looks like a knee jerk reaction to one tragedy. You know what politicians say, "never let a tragedy go to waste".
kmacdonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2019, 17:40   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Fiji Airways/ Lake Ontario
Boat: Want a B430!
Posts: 1,417
Images: 10
Re: Minnesota DNR confirms that it is illegal to ride on the tubes of an inflatable b

There are no gunwhales or decking on an inflatable so subd 5 is meaningless.
Tetepare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2019, 17:47   #7
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 6,080
Re: Minnesota DNR confirms that it is illegal to ride on the tubes of an inflatable b

If it is impossible to fall overboard why do the make us use those pesky kill switch lanyards?
transmitterdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2019, 18:17   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Easton, MD
Boat: Catalina 22 Capri, 15' Catboat, Bristol 35.5
Posts: 2,564
Re: Minnesota DNR confirms that it is illegal to ride on the tubes of an inflatable b

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
If it is impossible to fall overboard why do the make us use those pesky kill switch lanyards?
It makes them feel important.
kmacdonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2019, 19:37   #9
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: St Augustine, FL
Boat: Woods Vardo 34 Cat
Posts: 3,515
Re: Minnesota DNR confirms that it is illegal to ride on the tubes of an inflatable b

Doubt it will be enforced much and perhaps intended to apply to larger say 14' plus boats going 25 or more knots? Just a thought. I wouldn't sweat it. Heck, probably not many days in MN you could!
__________________
@mojomarine1
Boatguy30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2019, 20:21   #10
Registered User
 
Tayana42's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Boat: Tayana Vancouver 42
Posts: 2,423
Re: Minnesota DNR confirms that it is illegal to ride on the tubes of an inflatable b

There are lots of days you canít fall into the water in Minnesota.
Tayana42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2019, 20:58   #11
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,397
Re: Minnesota DNR confirms that it is illegal to ride on the tubes of an inflatable b

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
There are lots of days you canít fall into the water in Minnesota.

Right, this time of year you fall onto it in most cases, because it's solid and slippery.
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2019, 21:01   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Easton, MD
Boat: Catalina 22 Capri, 15' Catboat, Bristol 35.5
Posts: 2,564
Re: Minnesota DNR confirms that it is illegal to ride on the tubes of an inflatable b

Does this rule apply to ice boats?
kmacdonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2019, 21:09   #13
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,397
Re: Minnesota DNR confirms that it is illegal to ride on the tubes of an inflatable b

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
Doubt it will be enforced much and perhaps intended to apply to larger say 14' plus boats going 25 or more knots? Just a thought. I wouldn't sweat it. Heck, probably not many days in MN you could!

Well, we have too many rules. They've been tinkering with the new carbon monoxide detector rule, which affects sailboats, and requires three ugly warning stickers and a specially approved marine CO detector (ones from the home center don't qualify). Whole thing was motivated by a fatality a few years ago where someone was running a cheap gasoline generator so they could plug in an electric heater in the cabin of their boat when they were caught out in a storm.



The "sitting on gunwales" thing was first on the books in the 1970s and I remember friends being stopped and warned because they had low (6" high) railings meant as handholds, rather than lifelines, on the bow decking. I believe the rule was originally motivated by situations where someone could be hit by the prop if they fell, but this aspect of it has been lost.



It is generally sheriff's deputies enforcing these rules and this is one of their favorite ones to enforce because they can observe a violation from a distance and they consider it safety related. Right up there with overloading and not enough PFDs in things they will try to bust people for.
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2019, 21:14   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Easton, MD
Boat: Catalina 22 Capri, 15' Catboat, Bristol 35.5
Posts: 2,564
Re: Minnesota DNR confirms that it is illegal to ride on the tubes of an inflatable b

The old knee jerk, revenue producer disguised as "public safety".
kmacdonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2019, 09:08   #15
Registered User
 
SVTwilight's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Newport, RI USA
Boat: Tayana 51' FD-12
Posts: 363
Send a message via Skype™ to SVTwilight
Re: Minnesota DNR confirms that it is illegal to ride on the tubes of an inflatable b

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
There are lots of days you canít fall into the water in Minnesota.


LMAO!
__________________

SVTwilight is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boat, inflatable, legal, minnesota

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
U.S. Confirms The Existence Of Mermaids!! Ocean Girl Off Topic Forum 14 20-12-2013 03:14
Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD redcobra Our Community 161 26-01-2012 08:22

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 00:34.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.