Keep Safe and Watch Your Wake
photo credit: Western Washington University
Slow to 6 mph:
Within 100 feet of a swimmer or non-motorized boat
Within 300 feet of any public boat launch
Within 250 feet of shorelines, docks, and floats
Slow to 8 mph at night:
30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise
40 mph daytime speed limit
No Wake Zone in South Bay Lake Whatcom
Remember who has the right-of-way
Swimmers, divers, and fallen skiers have the right-of-way over any watercraft.
Non-motorized vessels have the right-of-way over any motor-powered vessel.
Water ski in a counter-clockwise direction
Read the Code:
Safe Boating Tips
Carry safety equipment at all times
Personal flotation devices (PFDs) or "life jackets" that are U.S. Coast Guard approved are required to be aboard for each passenger. Children under the age of 7 must always wear a PFD when aboard any boat, motorized or not. All motorized vessels must carry an approved fire extinguisher and, if over 16' in length, a whistle.
Know who to call if there's an emergency
The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office enforces boating regulations on Lake Whatcom. A deputy Sheriff patrols the lake on weekends during the boating season. If there's an emergency or a problem on the lake, call 9-1-1.
Follow age requirements
You must be at least 10 years old to operate motorized watercraft up to 10 HP without an adult aboard. You must be 16 to operate a motorized watercraft with a motor greater than 10 HP. State law requires all Washington residents born after January 1, 1955 who operate powered watercraft 15 HP or greater, to carry a Washington Boater Education Card.
Washington Boater Education Card
Whatcom County Sheriff's Office: 360-778-6600