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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online does not include the actions of the 2024 session of the General Assembly. We expect them to be updated by November 1st.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 23 : Motor Vehicles

Chapter 029 : Snowmobiles, Vessels, and Water Sports

Subchapter 002 : Vessels

(Cite as: 23 V.S.A. § 3315)
  • § 3315. Water skis and surfboards

    (a) Except as provided in this subsection, an individual shall not operate a vessel on any waters of this State to tow an individual or individuals on water skis, aquaplane, kite skis, wakeboard, kneeboard, or similar device unless the individual being towed is wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device and unless there is in the vessel an individual who is at least 12 years of age, in addition to the operator, in a position to observe the progress of the individual or individuals being towed. Individuals engaged in barefoot waterskiing may elect at their own risk to wear a non-Coast Guard-approved barefoot wetsuit designed specifically for this activity. An observer shall not be required if the vessel is:

    (1) a tow boat approved by the American Water Ski Association and equipped with a wide-angle mirror having a viewing surface of at least 48 square inches;

    (2) being operated by an individual who is at least 18 years of age; and

    (3) being operated within an American Water Ski Association regulation slalom course.

    (b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section do not apply to a performer engaged in a professional exhibition nor to an individual engaged in an activity authorized under section 3316 of this title.

    (c) An individual shall not operate or manipulate any vessel, tow rope, or other device by which the direction or location of water skis, a surfboard, or similar device may be affected or controlled in such a way as to cause the water skis, surfboard, or similar device or any individual thereon to approach within 100 feet of an individual swimming or a canoe, rowboat, or other light craft conveying any individual. This subsection does not prohibit necessary mooring or landing or leaving shore.

    (d) The Commissioner may designate areas less than 200 feet from the shoreline of a body of water, other than a river, to allow for the operation of a motorboat used for the purpose of towing an individual or individuals on water skis, aquaplane, kite skis, surfboard, or similar device. The Commissioner shall adopt rules to establish criteria governing the designation of such areas and conditions that may be placed on the designated areas. The Commissioner may consider safety, potential environmental damage, the impact on adjacent areas and uses, and any other related concerns. (Added 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1985, No. 23; 1985, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.); 1989, No. 65, § 10; 1989, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2005, No. 196 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2019, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 240; 2021, No. 20, § 256.)