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Name:   Oak A Choy - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Wake Question
Date:   6/16/2016 9:36:00 AM   IP ADDRESS: 166.137.10.113

I keep seeing people post that there is a law that says people can be held responsible for wake damage, or something similar.  I'd like somebody to link that law.  I've read all the boating laws I can find for Alabama.  I've yet to see a law that says this.

Thanks for your help.





Name:   wix - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Wake Question
Date:   6/16/2016 10:26:23 AM   IP ADDRESS: 71.82.18.33

There is no law per se, but boats fall under marine laws, which clearly state that a boat is responsible for damage to property caused by the vessel, which includes damage caused by wake.  Unfortunately the damaged party usually has to sue to recover damages, unless witnesses or video is available.  Good example:  Boaters have been held responsible for damages caused by boats during storms when the boat is not properly secured and wind up on top of homes.

 





Name:   MartiniMan - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Here you go
Date:   6/16/2016 11:22:27 AM   IP ADDRESS: 208.44.244.4

Here is the relevant section from the Alabama Laws and Regulations, my emphasis added:

 

It shall be unlawful to operate a vessel in a careless manner upon the waters of this state. Careless operation is the endangerment of life, limb, or property through negligence, carelessness, or inattention of the operator. Examples of careless operation includes but is not limited to the following: Sitting in any position that is above the gunwale or cap of a vessel while moving above idle speed. Riding on bow of vessel not equipped with handrails. Riding on vessel with lower extremities hanging over the gunwale or cap of the vessel. Creating hazardous wake in congested area.

Source:  http://www.outdooralabama.com/boating-rules-and-regulations

As you can see, it is unlawful to operate a vessel in a manner that results in endengerment of property which is interpreted to be damage. Of course the key issue is the term "careless".  That is certainly open to the interpretation of the Marine Police.  Is careless operation any operation so close to a dock where your wake causes damage to docks or boats?  Certainly open to debate.  I can tell you if you take the Boating Operator Course they state very strongly that a boater is reponsible for any damage that occurs as a result of their wake.





Name:   Oak A Choy - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Wake Question
Date:   6/16/2016 11:34:43 AM   IP ADDRESS: 166.137.10.113

Can you provide a link to these "marine laws"? Maybe my Google skills aren't that great, but I don't see it.

I'm trying to find something in writing, not just something anecdotal, to back up the idea that you can video a boat passing your dock and somehow prosecute them because a boat is responsible for its wake.  I don't think it exists yet it is often repeated here.

 





Name:   MartiniMan - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Answer below
Date:   6/16/2016 11:48:05 AM (updated 6/16/2016 11:51:56 AM)    IP ADDRESS: 208.44.244.4

But here's the rub, you can video boats making big waves all day long but unless you can document that a specific wave from a specific boat at a specific time causing the damage it will go nowhere.  But if you can, they are responsible for the damage by state law.





Name:   Oak A Choy - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Here you go
Date:   6/16/2016 11:50:27 AM   IP ADDRESS: 166.137.10.113

Here's the problem.  Those examples of careless operation listed on outdooralabama.com are not in the law.  Here's the law for careless operation.  It's 33-5-70b.  

(b) Any person operating a vessel upon the waters of this state shall operate the vessel in a reasonable and prudent manner, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person. The endangerment of life, limb, or property through the negligence, carelessness, or inattention of any person operating a vessel on the waters of this state shall constitute careless operation. Vessel wake and shoreline wash resulting from the reasonable and prudent operation of a vessel shall, absent negligence, not constitute damage or endangerment to property.

Code of Alabama

How do you prove that the boat you video going by your place is being negligent?  Obviously, the video that was posted in the 'Disrespectful Wake Boat' thread (video now removed) didn't show any negligence.





Name:   MartiniMan - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Here you go
Date:   6/16/2016 11:58:30 AM   IP ADDRESS: 208.44.244.4

Like any law revolving around the term careless operation, it is in the eyes of the beholder.  And the beholder has defined careless operation as one that results in endangerment to property (and the other issues, but property is the main issue being discussed).  We see this a lot in the environmental world where regulations are promulgated based on a law and can be enforced as such.  Simply put, my understanding from the reading of the language and from the boating course you take to obtain a boat operator's license in Alabama is that it is unlawful to operate your boat in a manner that causes damage to someone else's property.

Proving it is another matter.  I watched the video and while I think the wake surf boat operator was an ignoramus, I did not see the waves from his boat cause any damage.  Therefore he would be able to argue strongly that it does not constutute careless operation resulting in endangerment to property.





Name:   GoneFishin - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Here you go
Date:   6/16/2016 12:12:52 PM   IP ADDRESS: 173.169.31.17

There are 2 parts to the section....Reckless and Careless. Here it is in its entirety:

It is unlawful to operate a vessel in a reckless manner upon the waters of this state. A person is guilty of reckless operation when he operates any vessel or manipulates any waterskis or any other marine transportation device upon the waters of this state in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property at a speed or in a manner to endanger or likely to endanger life, limb, or property or injury of any person.

It shall be unlawful to operate a vessel in a careless manner upon the waters of this state. Careless operation is the endangerment of life, limb, or property through negligence, carelessness, or inattention of the operator.?Examples of careless operation includes but is not limited to the following: • Sitting in any position that is above the gunwale or cap of a vessel while moving above idle speed. • Riding on bow of vessel not equipped with handrails. • Riding on vessel with lower extremities hanging over the gunwale or cap of the vessel. • Creating hazardous wake in congested area.

Reckless is a criminal offense and careless is considered a civil offense. Reckless can result in arrest.





Name:   MartiniMan - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Agree
Date:   6/16/2016 12:32:39 PM   IP ADDRESS: 208.44.244.4

Either one is unlawful and can be enforced and either involve harm to property.  I don't think anyone is advocating arresting wakeboat operators that cause damage.....at least not yet......but they asked for the law that makes them responsible for damage.  Careless operation certainly fits the bill.  And again, the boating course was unequivocal about this, in the state of Alabama if your wake causes property damage you are responsible.  As with auto accidents, you may not be cited but you may still be held responsible for the damage to another person's property.  Again, proving that a specific wave from a specific boat at a specific time caused a specific damage is not going to be easy.





Name:   WAKINitUP!! - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Agree
Date:   6/16/2016 1:38:17 PM   IP ADDRESS: 71.91.61.117

I fully understand that property damage does occur because of waves. It's part of living on the lake. I had to replace the post for my floating dock a few years back because of wave action. Over at my dad's place their wooden sea wall built in the mid90s recently had to be torn down and replaced with rip rap because the wall was caving in. However to say that all wakeboard boats are irresponsible and careless is ridiculous. All boats cause a wake and can damage property if your boats aren't properly secured. A wakeboard boat is not acting careless by pulling a surfer/skier/wakeboarder.





Name:   MartiniMan - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Agree
Date:   6/16/2016 2:28:16 PM   IP ADDRESS: 208.44.244.4

No one said all these boats are careless.  I don't consider someone wake surfing and causing damage any differently than I would a big Sea Ray tooling along at 2,000 rpm and generating a big wake.  Both are legally responsible for the damage they cause.  You may not like it or agree with it but its a fact.  As I said, I own a Malibu Wakesetter and we wake surf all the time.  I choose to do it in areas where there are no homes or docks because a) I have respect for other's property and their enjoyment of the lake; and b) I don't want to have to pay to repair a dock or boat that I damage as a result of my waves.  Based on your responses you take the view that your convenience and enjoyment trumps all others on the lake.  Fair enough......I choose to be considerate of others on the lake.  Different strokes and all that.

And just to be clear, as I stated I believe that if you own a place on a large part of the lake you should design and construct your dock system to account for larger waves because they will happen regardless of how much complaining and shaking your fist at boaters.  But at the same time, even when I am pulling tubes on larger areas I try to stay away from the shore so as to allow my waves to dissipate before they get there.  Again, a matter of common courtesy and a recogniition that I am not the only one on the lake trying to enjoy it.  

Frankly, I don't see many wake boaters with your attitude where I frequent the lake and am glad for that.





Name:   wix - Email Member Reply
Subject:   WAKINbigTIME...
Date:   6/16/2016 3:57:28 PM (updated 6/16/2016 3:58:27 PM)    IP ADDRESS: 71.82.18.33

You really seem to want to push your point that you'll make big wakes any where you want....and to hell with everyone else....I think I've seen you often come by my house.  What kinda boat ya got?





Name:   CAT BOAT - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Agree
Date:   6/18/2016 1:51:57 PM   IP ADDRESS: 97.78.153.220

Don't yall wish you had the Go Fast boats back.





Name:   jalcz - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Agree
Date:   6/19/2016 1:28:48 AM   IP ADDRESS: 173.187.51.247

No. Because we didn't trade one for the other.





Name:   CAT BOAT - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Yes you did!
Date:   6/19/2016 9:17:44 AM   IP ADDRESS: 71.91.35.35

Now I own a Wake Board Boat!





Name:   mariah1 - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Yes you did!
Date:   6/19/2016 10:12:58 AM   IP ADDRESS: 70.193.70.124

Bad ole kitty







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