There are a number of federal statutes that govern pleasure crafts on the basis of their size, type, and place of navigation. These statutes apply generally to all public and private vessels of the United States. The Inland Navigation Rules (33 USCS § 2001) provide navigation rules for harbors, rivers, and inland waters. The Rules apply to all vessels upon the inland waters of the United States and to vessels of the United States on the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes to the extent that there is no conflict with Canadian law.
Moreover, there are special statues that deal with regulation of ‘motorboats’, their numbering, either by the states or the Coast Guard, in order to promote safety in recreational boating and to encourage uniformity of regulation among the states and the federal government. Pursuant to 46 USCS § 4302, the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating has the power to prescribe regulations establishing minimum safety standards for recreational vessels. Penalties are prescribed for violations of the Inland Navigational Rules.