Traditionally, Memorial Day signifies the start of summer across the country. However, here in Lake Havasu, boaters take to the water almost year round. We should be seeing a significant increase in water traffic over the next few months, though. So, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss some Lake Havasu boating tips.
Safety on the Lake
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a summer that goes by without us hearing about someone getting hurt on the lake due to reckless behavior or improper operation. In reality, most of the accidents on the lake are totally preventable.
Here are just a few tips - State law requires that everyone on board any watercraft on the lake have ready access to an appropriately-sized life jacket. Make sure you don't leave your launch site without checking your inventory.
Also make sure you have at least one throwable floatation device within reach of the captain! Having it buried under a seat and having to dig around for it when pulled over will count against you!
Something you might overlook? Your registration numbers! If you have an outdated registration sticker, you will get pulled over.
You must be at least 12 years old to operate any motorized vessel on the water in Arizona. If you're on the California side of the lake, you must be at least 16.
If you're towing somebody, at least two people need to be on board the watercraft: one to steer, the other to signal a rider in the water.
And yes, of course you can get a ticket for a OUI when operating a watercraft. Officers are on the lookout at all times, but especially during busy summer weekends. Anyone caught operating a vehicle while intoxicated will be issued a ticket and have to pay a fine. You may even face jail time. So, play it smart and don't drink while behind the wheel. Always have a plan and leave the dock with a designated operator!
Of course, this post is not a complete list of every boat law and safety tip there is...
For a complete list of Arizona boating laws, please visit: www.golakehavasu.com/activities/boating/boating-safety/arizona-boating-laws
Launch Sites Around the Lake
With a 45 mile long lake, boaters have several locations to launch from. In fact, you'll find 11 motorized and six non-motorized launch sites up and down the lake. Crazy Horse Campgrounds, Havasu Springs Resort, Site 6, Lake Havasu Marina and Windsor State Park rank high with local boaters for their convenience and location. Crazy Horse, the marina and Site 6 are located on the island, right across from the London Bridge while the Havasu Springs Resort is actually located in Parker, approximately 23 miles south of town. While Crazy Horse and Site 6 don't offer a gas dock, Havasu Springs Resort as well as Havasu marina do. Crazy Horse and Havasu Springs charge a fee to use them. However, Site 6 is a public launch facility and does not. Be careful, though. Make a note: The steep Site 6 ramp tends to get very slippery. ;-)
Take Off Point, Bill Williams River, Castle Rock Bay, London Bridge Beach, Mesquite Bay, and Rotary Park allow boaters to launch for free. Take Off Point is a shallow launch site. Small vessels only, please. It's also the only one of these free sites set up for motorized launches.
You'll find a complete list of all available launch sites around Lake Havasu here:
Lake Havasu Launch Ramps and Marinas:www.golakehavasu.com/activities/boating/launch-ramps-marinas/
Be smart, be safe, and we'll all have a great time on the lake this summer.
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