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Old     (naptownwake)      Join Date: Jul 2007       03-21-2014, 10:11 AM Reply   
I live in an idle zone of a lake. during the weekends, the lake is basically un-ridable due to heavy traffic.

does anyone know if it is against the law to winch an idle zone as long as the winch is on my property? Specifically in the state of Indiana?

I woudl be really bummed to purchase a winch only to get busted for using it in my back yard!!!
Old     (LYNRDSKYNRD)      Join Date: Sep 2012       03-21-2014, 11:19 AM Reply   
Ask the local authorities.
Old     (michaelvincz)      Join Date: Jun 2003       03-21-2014, 12:46 PM Reply   
I dont see how they can ticket you if there is no watercraft towing you.... Id say give it a shot!!! A buddy of mine and I have a winch we bought last fall and are anxiously waiting to use it this spring!!!
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       03-25-2014, 9:29 AM Reply   
There's no wake, so I don't see why not, but definitely look into it.
I wouldn't ask the local authorities. They are paid to enforce the law, not know the law. A lot of the times they will use their interpretation of it, which may or may not be correct. Look up the actual laws for your area and what they say. If it says your legal and a LEO says otherwise, you laugh them out of court if they site you.
On the flip side, if they say it's ok and are wrong and a LEO says you are wrong, you get stuck with the fine with the only argument "He told me so!"
Look up the actual laws as they sit on the books, not word of mouth from what a patrol officer says. Make sure you not only look up state, but local, and for that body of water.
For instance, there are some public waterways here that you cannot weight your boat, but only in certain sections or sections that lie within certain municipalities. Learn everything about state, city, county, and your lake specifically.
Old     (balr54)      Join Date: May 2004       06-02-2014, 12:03 PM Reply   
That is kind of a gray area. Technically you are making a wake, however if you are on plane, you are most likely above the speed restrictions of the no wake zone. We used to do it all the time up in Noble county, but we also were picky about the times we did it to, and everybody on our lake knew us and that we were usually up to something!
Old     (jfergus7)      Join Date: Jul 2011       06-03-2014, 7:28 AM Reply   
That is a great question. I have never seen anything about it where I go but I am sure knowing the wisconsin cops that I deal with they would surely find a way to get you. I am going to have to ask them next time they are out on the water.
Old     (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013 Location: Vancouver WA       06-03-2014, 8:36 AM Reply   
I seriously doubt it'd fly. They would probably say that when you're being towed, that you essentially become a "watercraft" and are subject to the no wake laws...

IC 14-8-2-129

"Idle speed"

Sec. 129. "Idle speed", for purposes of IC 14-15-3-17, means the slowest possible speed, not exceeding five (5) miles per hour, that maintains steerage so that the wake or wash created by the watercraft is minimal.
As added by P.L.1-1995, SEC.1. Amended by P.L.38-2000, SEC.1.
And if I was a judge, I'd say that while you're on a wakeboard or wakeskate that when you're being towed by the winch, you become a "watercraft" as defined by this very broad definition:

IC 14-8-2-305


Sec. 305. "Watercraft", for purposes of IC 14-15 and IC 14-29-8, means any instrumentality or device in or by means of which a person may be transported upon the public water of Indiana. The term includes a motorboat, sailboat, rowboat, skiff, dinghy, or canoe:
1.of any length or size; and
2.whether or not used to carry passengers for hire.

As added by P.L.1-1995, SEC.1.
I mean, you might argue that you're not creating a "wake" but you won't be able to argue against the 5mph speed.

IC 14-8-2-301

"Wake" or "wash"

Sec. 301. "Wake" or "wash", for purposes of IC 14-15, means a track left by a watercraft causing waves that:
1.disrupt other water sport activities; or
2.may cause injury or damage to individuals, watercraft, or property.

As added by P.L.1-1995, SEC.1.
Bottom line is that you're going to have 99% of the people that couldn't give a sh** about you guys wanting to winch and play. Most people hold no wake zones sacred and could care less about you wanting to have fun and a 'basicaly unrideable lake'.

You're going to read the laws and try to justify your wants. Someone with no stake in the matter is probably going to read the laws and decide that the intention of a no wake zone didn't include someone winching across it.
Old     (brichter14)      Join Date: Jul 2010       06-03-2014, 9:40 AM Reply   
Just claim ignorance of the law if anybody gives u crap about it. Better to ask forgiveness than permission
Old     (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013 Location: Vancouver WA       06-03-2014, 9:50 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by brichter14 View Post
Just claim ignorance of the law if anybody gives u crap about it. Better to ask forgiveness than permission
Sure, just have them buy a cable winch only to get busted after the first day of using it. Then they have a winch that they spent a bunch of money on and they can't use.

Sounds like a great plan.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       06-03-2014, 12:10 PM Reply   
^Or they can do what you see in the videos all the time, set up real quick in a random location, like a small pond, large fountain, etc. Do a few pulls and run when security/police show up. Never hit the same place twice and do it Guerrilla style. This seems to be the general theme for a lot of winching shown in videos anyway. Quite a few I've seen and heard of involve getting citations for it for some random BS they are trying to get stick. Everything from disturbing the peace, to trespassing, to parking tickets for parking the vehicle that brought the winch out of a parking lot/street to get it closer.

Really, the best thing to do would be to find a little cove type area no one really uses and setup the winch on one side and ideally walk to the other side and go from there. I would just look for another location if I were you bro. Better safe than sorry, best case scenario, no one cares or someone comes and tells you to knock it off. Worst case scenario, they cite you, possibly arrest you if you and the cop are a-holes to each other, and possibly impound your winch in that case. Most likely somewhere in between involving someone reporting you and getting a warning, then a citation if you keep it up. Better to find a place where there's no question about it.
Old     (Engineer)      Join Date: Nov 2014       12-04-2014, 7:24 AM Reply   
Hey guys can you please do me a favor and take this survey about wakeboard winches. I need 300 responses and only have 8. Thanks have a nice day!


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