Welcome to the 2018 Season

by Bill Faustine

This picture was taken January 1, 2018.  As you can see, we are having a light winter season.  All hopes are for a strong January through March season.  There are a couple of things that will effect our members this upcoming season I would like to mention at this time.  One is the continued inspection process for invasive species that will be conducted by the State.  Every boat must have a current inspection sticker to access our beach property.  For more information on watercraft inspections at Donner Lake please visit www.TruckeeBoatInspections.com

The second issue is an effort by the State of California to reduce the increasing death and injuries rates by boating accidents.  All boat operators will eventually have to take a course in boating and seamanship.  After successfully completing this course, a card will be issued and must be with you whenever you operate your vessel.

California Boater Card Information

Beginning January 1, 2018, operators of motorized vessels will be required to possess a California Boater Card. See below for phase in information.

California Harbors and Navigation Code Section 678.11(b) contains the following phase-in schedule based on operator age:

  • January 1, 2018 Persons 20 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2019 Persons 25 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2020 Persons 35 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2021 Persons 40 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2022 Persons 45 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2023 Persons 50 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2024 Persons 60 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2025 All persons regardless of age

California age restrictions for operating a motorized vessel: According to California Harbors and Navigation Code Section 658.5, NO person under 16 years of age may operate a boat with a motor of more than 15 horsepower, except for a sailboat that does not exceed 30 feet in length or a dinghy used directly between a moored boat and the shore (or between two moored boats). The law allows children 12-15 years of age to operate boats with a motor of more than 15 horsepower or sailboats over 30 feet if supervised on board by an adult at least 18 years of age. Violating these provisions constitutes and infraction.

As you can see, most of us have a couple of years to get this done but I would recommend sooner is better than later.  Some of the coursework is free, some of it is online only, and still some is a one day class by various power squadron groups of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Renewal time is upon us.  Please remember that storage space is on a first come, first served process.  If you have a boat, kayak, or paddle board you wish to store at the beach, do not wait until March to do your paperwork.  Also, please make every effort to update your email address and include any family members you wish to get our information.  Thank you and as always, enjoy this upcoming season.