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Maine Boating Laws

Practice Safe Boating on Maine Waters

Liability Laws

Littering Prohibited (Title 17.2264)

No person may throw, drop, deposit, discard or otherwise dispose of litter in any manner or amount: in or on any public highway, road, street, alley, public right-of-way or other public lands, except in containers, receptacles, or on property that is designated for disposal of garbage and refuse; or in any fresh water lake, river, stream, tidal or coastal water or on ice over the water. When any litter is thrown or discarded from a watercraft both the operator of the watercraft, unless it is a watercraft being used for the carriage of passengers for hire, and the person actually disposing of the litter are in violation of this section. This subsection does not prohibit persons who fish, lobster or otherwise harvest from the water from returning to the water harvested products, bait and similar materials that naturally originate in the water.

Unless otherwise indicated, a person who disposes of litter in violation of this chapter commits a civil violation and is subject to a forfeiture of not more than $200 nor less than $25 for the first violation and a forfeiture of not more than $500 nor less than $100 for a subsequent violation. In addition to the forfeitures imposed this section, the court may order a person adjudicated to remove the litter dumped in violation of section 2264; pay the owner of the property treble the owner's cost of clean-up or removal of the litter; or pay the person sustaining damages arising out of a violation of this subsection treble the actual damages or $200, which ever amount is greater, plus the injured party's court costs and attorney's fees if action results in a civil proceeding.

Discharge of Waste from Watercraft (/Title 38.423)

No person, firm, corporation or other legal entity shall discharge, spill or permit to be discharged sewage, garbage, or other waste material from a watercraft or houseboat, into inland waters of this State, or on the ice thereof, or on the banks thereof in such a manner that the same may fail or be washed into such waters, or in such manner that the drainage therefrom may flow into such waters.

Any watercraft or houseboat, operated upon the inland waters of this State and having a permanently installed sanitary waste disposal system shall have securely affixed to the interior discharge opening of said sanitary waste disposal system a holding tank or suitable container for holding sanitary waste material so as to prevent its discharge or drainage into the inland waters of the State. The holding tank for sanitary water waste must not in any way be connected to any through-hull fitting.

Whoever violates any provision of this section or any regulation adopted under authority of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.

Limited Liability for Recreational or Harvesting Activities Title 14, 159-A,

1. Definitions:

  • A. Premises shall mean improved and unimproved lands, private ways, any buildings or structures on those lands and waters standing on, flowing through or adjacent to those lands.
  • B. Recreational or harvesting activities" means recreational activities conducted outdoors, including hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, hiking, sight-seeing, operation of snow-traveling and all terrain vehicles, skiing, hangliding, boating, sailing, canoeing, rafting or swimming or activities that involve harvesting or gathering forest products. It shall include entry, use of and passage over premises in order to pursue these activities.

2. Limited Duty:

  • An owner, lessee or occupant of premises shall owe no duty of care to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others for recreational or harvesting activities or to give warning of any hazardous condition, use, structure or activity on these premises to persons entering for those purposes.

3. Permissive use:

  • An owner, lessee or occupant who gives permission to another to pursue recreational or harvesting activities on the premise shall not thereby:
  • A. Extend any assurance that the premises are safe for those purposes.
  • B. Make the person to whom permission is granted an invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care is owed; or
  • C. Assume responsibility for or incur liability for any injury to persons or property caused by any act of persons to whom the permission is granted.

4. Limitations on section.

  • This section shall not limit the liability which would otherwise exist:
  • A. For a willful or malicious failure to guard or to warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure or activity;
  • B. For an injury suffered in any case where permission to pursue any recreational or harvesting activities was granted for a consideration other than the consideration, if any, paid to the landowner by the state; or
  • C. For an injury caused, by acts of persons to whom permission to pursue any recreational or harvesting activities was granted, to other persons to whom the person granting permission, or the owner, lessee or occupant of the premises, owed a duty to keep the premises safe or to warn of danger.

5. No duty created:

  • Nothing in this section shall create a duty of care or ground of liability for injury to a person or property.

6. Costs and fees:

  • The court shall award any direct legal costs, including reasonable attorney's fees, to an owner, lessee or Occupant who is found not to be liable for injury to a person or property pursuant to this section.



Other Boating Links

Boating - Maine has some of the most beautiful lakes and rivers in the country to enjoy open water boating. Come experience the waters of Maine.

Registration Information - All motorboats of any size, including airmobiles and personal watercraft, must be registered in Maine to be used on the waters of this State, except the following….

Motor Size Restrictions On Internal Waters - The Commissioner of Inland Fisheries & wildlife may adopt and amend rules governing the horsepower (manufacturer's rated horse-power of the machinery; includes the aggregate of all such propellant machinery) of motors used to propel watercraft on all internal waters of this State.

Navigational Requirements - These requirements cover all navigational requirements for all waters in the State of Maine.

Personal Watercraft Requirements - •Any person under 16 years of age may not operate a personal watercraft which includes jet-skis. •A person between 16 & 18 years of age may operate a personal watecraft if they have successfully completed an approved education course, or if they are accompanied by a person 18 years of age or older. Proof of age and course completion must be possessed while operating a personal watercraft. •Anyone operating or riding on a personal watercraft must wear a Type I, II or III PFD. •The parent or guardian of a minor under 18 years of age is responsible for the minor’s actions while operating a personal watercraft. •Personal watercraft may not be operated during the hours between sunset and sunrise.

Liability Laws - No person may throw, drop, deposit, discard or otherwise dispose of litter in any manner or amount: in or on any public highway, road, street, alley, public right-of-way or other public lands, except in containers, receptacles, or on property that is designated for disposal of garbage and refuse; or in any fresh water lake, river, stream, tidal or coastal water or on ice over the water. When any litter is thrown or discarded from a watercraft both the operator of the watercraft, unless it is a watercraft being used for the carriage of passengers for hire, and the person actually disposing of the litter are in violation of this section. This subsection does not prohibit persons who fish, lobster or otherwise harvest from the water from returning to the water harvested products, bait and similar materials that naturally originate in the water.

 

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