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Old     (lakeski)      Join Date: Dec 2006       05-26-2007, 5:21 AM Reply   
The Coast Guard and Milwaukee Police were out in force last night inspecting boats on Lake Michigan. Also, the CG was doing voluntary inspections on the boat ramp. If you pass the voluntary inspection, you get a CG compliance sticker for your boat which lessens the chance you will be pulled over on the lake.

I'm glad I did the inspection on the ramp because I found that Lake Michigan is considered "coastal waters," so you need flares on your boat. The fine is about $170 for not having them.

In addition, the CG also checked my boat for standard stuff (the inspector indicated that lack of compliance on many of these items carries a fine of about $170):
- battery secured in place by a bracket
- fire extinguisher properly charged and secured
- not enough PFD's (including a throwable cushion)
- running lights working properly
- working horn
- engine blower that works
- bilge pump that works
- flame arrester on engine
- boat registration on my person
- certification mounted to the boat showing # of passengers the boat can carry

A couple items seemed optional, but recommended (i.e. they just asked if I had these items on board, but didn't actually ask me to prove I had them):
- anchor and line
- a bucket or cooler that can be used to bail the boat if needed
- a radio for emergency

Flares were a new one for me, though. If you are on the Great Lakes or other coastal waters, be sure you have them.
Old     (mkperceptions)      Join Date: Jan 2007       05-27-2007, 12:18 AM Reply   
hmmmm I wonder if the delta is considered coastal?
Old     (mjmurphy53711)      Join Date: Mar 2004       05-27-2007, 9:05 AM Reply   
How in the world is Lake Michigan consider coastal water?

Do they add it to that realm just because of the size of it?

It isn't anywhere near a coast!
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       05-27-2007, 12:07 PM Reply   
The Great Lakes and St Lawrence seaway are commercial waterways.
In Canada you are required to have flares if there is a possibility you will be more than 1 mile from shore.
Old     (gti2lo)      Join Date: Nov 2005       05-27-2007, 3:32 PM Reply   
I don't think many understand the sheer size of the great lakes...

Take out a map of North America... Fairly easy to spot.

Lake Superior is well known to "swallow" tanker ships... ie. 600-1000' long!!
Old     (lakeski)      Join Date: Dec 2006       05-27-2007, 8:26 PM Reply   
Here's the type of shipping you'll see on the Great Lakes. This 1000 footer is leaving Duluth Harbor on Lake Superior.
Old     (lakeski)      Join Date: Dec 2006       05-27-2007, 8:39 PM Reply   
Here's a typical summer day on Superior. This is in sheltered water, not on the open lake. This would sink a typical wake boat in moments.Upload
Old     (99sportster)      Join Date: Oct 2005       05-27-2007, 10:06 PM Reply   
Anyone heard of the Edmund Fitzgerald?
Old     (stanton21)      Join Date: May 2007       05-28-2007, 4:00 AM Reply   
Hey bud.

I am on the south end of the lake in indiana and yah you need all that stuff if you break down you better throw the anchor fast or your michigan bound..
Old     (mammoth)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-28-2007, 6:20 AM Reply   
What size boat were you on for the passenger/weight sticker requirement? Federal law (USCG Jurisdiction) does not require that sticker except for boats over a certain length. It's common to see it on boats of all sizes, but not required. I've been on, and seen factory new boats without the sticker/rating.
Old     (mjmurphy53711)      Join Date: Mar 2004       05-28-2007, 7:27 AM Reply   
I have a buddy who actually surfs Lake MI sometimes...never seen it but found it rather interesting.
Old     (mim3)      Join Date: Sep 2006       05-29-2007, 9:15 AM Reply   
Here is an interesting link on Great Lake Wrecks:
Old     (lakeski)      Join Date: Dec 2006       05-29-2007, 6:40 PM Reply   
Here's the form that the CG Aux used when checking my boat. Some of the stuff on the form does not apply to a 22 foot inboard:

and here's a virtual inspection that you can take for your boat:
Old     (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       05-30-2007, 1:33 PM Reply   
The voluntary inspection by the Auxiliary checks for more than what the legal requirements are. For example, there is no legal requirement that you have a working bilge pump. You won't get a ticket for not having a bilge pump, but you won't get the Auxiliary sticker either.

If you are not in a hurry and a member of the Auxiliary offers you the free inspection, go for it! There is no downside and you might just learn something.



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