A wakeless or idle speed is required when operating a boat in a designated slow, wakeless speed area and within 150 feet of another boat, a person in or floating on the water, a water skier (except those you are towing), shore angler, launch ramp, dock, or designated swimming area. You are responsible for any injury or damage caused by your boat’s wake. Be courteous and give others plenty of room.


Persons under 16 years of age may operate a motorboat when accompanied on board and under the direct supervision of a responsible person who is at least 18 years of age. Persons under 16 years of age may operate a sailboat if they are under the direct supervision of a responsible person who is at least 18 years of age.


Persons 12 through 17 years of age may operate a PWC (Jet Ski, Wave Runner, Sea Doo, etc), provided the operator completes a boating education course accepted by Utah State Parks and Recreation and has in their possession the course certificate. In addition to the education requirement, persons 12 through 15 years of age must operate under direct supervision of a responsible person who is at least 18 years of age. A person less than 18 years of age who has not met the above requirements may not operate a PWC unless accompanied on board by a responsible person who is at least 18 years of age.


Boat operators must maintain a safe course with a proper lookout when towing a person on water skis, wakeboards or other towed devices. In addition to the operator, an observer, at least eight years old, must be on board to watch and communicate with the skier. The observer shall display an international orange flag, at least 12 inches by 12 inches square and mounted on a handle, when the person(s) being towed is in the water, either preparing to be towed or finishing a tow. Towing people behind a boat is allowed only between sunrise and sunset. All persons being towed must wear a properly sized life jacket approved for the activity in which it is going to be used. It is prohibited to tow a person(s) in a non-standing position within 20 feet of the stern of the towing boat. You must have room on board your boat, within the boat’s maximum persons capacity, for any person(s) being towed behind the boat. When operating your boat within the designated slow, wakeless speed area of a launch ramp or developed marina, you are prohibited from towing a person(s) on towed devices.

THE RULES OF THE ROAD (Who has the Right of Way)

A boat operator is required to keep a proper lookout by sight and hearing at all times. The operator of a boat is required to operate at a safe speed and distance so as to have adequate time and distance to avoid a collision with another boat or object. When meeting another boat head-on, each boat should alter its course to the right.

When two boats are crossing paths, the boat on the left must slow down and alter its course to allow the other boat to pass.

In overtaking situations (passing from the rear), the boat being passed has the right of way, and the passing boat is required to alter its course to stay clear of the boat being passed.

In narrow channels, boats underway must stay as far to the right of the middle of the channel as is safely navigable. Motorboats must slow to a wakeless speed if they can not stay at least 150 feet from other boats in the channel.

Motorboats should stay clear of sailboats and manuallypowered boats and should not create a wake that may cause them trouble. Sailboats and manually-powered boats must yield right of way when overtaking motorboats and when a motorboat is adrift or at anchor. On rivers, boats going downstream usually have the right of way over boats going upstream.


If you are involved in a boating accident, you must: Help other people involved in the accident to the extent you are able.

It is illegal to leave the scene of a boating accident prior to rendering aid, exchanging information and notifying local law enforcement.

Notify local law enforcement officers immediately by the quickest means of communication available if anyone dies, disappears, requires treatment beyond simple first aid, or if combined property damage exceeds $2,000. Give your name, address and identification to any injured person or owner of property that is damaged in the accident. Submit a completed and signed boat owner/operator accident report form to Utah State Parks and Recreation within 10 days. Boat accident report forms are available through Utah State Parks and Recreation’s website at www.stateparks. or any boating ranger. Information in accident reports is confidential.

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