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Water Sports Law Passed in Tennessee

The nation’s first industry-supported model law on wakesurfing and wakeboarding has become law in Tennessee.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee was joined by representatives from the boating industry for a special signing ceremony of the industry-backed wakesurfing and wakeboarding legislation. The law became effective July 1. Tennessee is the first state to adopt the industry’s model legislation, and several others are examining and proposing possible legislation directed at these increasingly popular activities.

The law enhances safety requirements for those engaging specifically in wakesurfing and wakeboarding as follows:

1. It requires operators to stay at least 200 feet from shorelines, docks, piers and other structures. A channel must be at least 400 feet in total width to be considered an appropriate area for these activities.

2. Riders engaging in towed water sports must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

3. The law prohibits wakesurfing and wakeboarding between the hours of sunset and sunrise.

4. It prohibits wakesurfing from a boat with an exposed (beyond the boarding platform) propeller.

5. Wakesurfing and wakeboarding on a body of water less than 50 acres in size is prohibited.

“We thank Gov. Lee, and bill sponsors Sen. Ken Yager and Rep. Dennis Powers, for making Tennessee the first state with this important safety legislation, and look forward to working with our industry partners to add more states to the list in the days ahead,” said Ben Murray, NMMA manager of Southeast policy and engagement.”

In addition to NMMA, others from the industry at the signing included representatives from Indmar, HeyDay, MasterCraft and the Water Sports Industry Association.

MIACF to Kick-Off Fall Show Schedule

It may not be autumn, but 22 of central Florida’s top dealers representing more than 80 manufacturers with approximately 400 boats on display will lead off the fall boat show schedule in Orlando. The Marine Industry Association of Central Florida announced that its Orlando Boat Show will run Aug. 12-14, at the Orange County Convention Center.

DealerOutlook

In addition to boats and accessories, entertainment and hands-on features will include a trout fishing pond for kids 12 and younger; a virtual saltwater fishing simulator to experience the thrill of landing a bull dolphin; and a Fishing Zone devoted to all types of angling gear.

The show also will include a series of fishing and boating seminars.

More boat-show announcements are expected soon, as many in the industry believe the fall shows could be key to sales success later this year.

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