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State And Local Regulation

States and local authorities can make rules and regulations for the safety and convenience of vessels in local ports and channels.  However, these rules and regulations must not be contradict federal rules on the same subject matter.  These rules and regulations are binding on foreign and domestic vessels.

There are various state statutes and safety regulations enacted by states that govern pleasure crafts on the navigable waters of the state.  These statutes govern matters such as equipment requirements, operation, licensing, and numbering.  Penalties to the owner or operator of the boat for violation of statutory provisions are also included in the statutes.

In addition, counties and municipalities of many states have enacted laws or ordinances governing the operation of vessels generally or pleasure craft in particular upon waters within such political subdivisions.  Such local laws must not be inconsistent with state statutes.  The local laws are unconstitutional and unenforceable if they exceed the power granted to the municipality.

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