Boating Rules and Regulations on Lake Havasu

Lake havasu boating safety

Boating is one of the many activities Havasu residents and visitors enjoy the most. The lake is a major draw for thousands of people all year long. We're already seeing an uptick in traffic out on the waterways. So, I thought this would be a good opportunity to remind everyone about Lake Havasu boating rules and regulations. 

Lake Havasu boating

Two of the biggest causes of accident and injury while out on the lake are alcohol and operator error. With a big holiday like Memorial Day coming up, you can be sure to see an increase in police patrolling the water. Just like on dry land, you can receive a ticket for a DUI. In addition, you may receive a fine and even spend some time in jail. It's not worth it. If you're the one driving the boat, don't drink. 



Lake havasu boating

Boat drivers must keep an eye on the waterways at all times while the boat is in operation. Look around in all directions to make sure the coast is clear before turning around. Check for raised flags on other vessels. That indicates that a person is in the water. They can be difficult to see. Therefore, continually scan the area in front, on the sides, and behind you (when possible). 

Lake Havasu

When towing water skiers, inflatables or inner tubes behind your boat, you should always have at least two people on board. One person drives while the other watches the person(s) being towed. When someone falls off their skies or inflatables and goes into the water, the second person needs to raise their flag high above them to signal to other watercraft that a person is in the water. And anyone on a towable (including skies) must wear a life jacket. Same goes for anyone onboard a vessel that is 12 years of age or younger. Even if they aren't wearing them, you must provide one appropriately-sized life jacket for each passenger aged 13 years or older.

Lake Havasu City boating

All non-motorized vessels have the right of way on the water. Smaller boats and PWC must give the right of way to larger boats. Any vessel towing another vessel has the right of way as well. Always pass on the right and allow plenty of room to pass.

Lake Havasu boating rules

Steamboat Cove Lake Havasu

Federal law requires that each watercraft carry certain equipment at all times. For most boats, this includes life jackets for all passengers, a throwable personal flotation device, a fire extinguisher, navigation lights, a horn, a visual distress device, a blower, a muffler, and a flame arrestor.

It is highly recommended that you take a course in boating safety to stay abreast of all current rules and regulations on the Lake Havasu waterways.

Arizona Game & Fish offers links to several online classes you can take. Visit to sign up today.

Also, once a month, Apex Arms hosts a physical class at their facility. You can register for one of their classes here:

Heed these Lake Havasu boating rules and regulations to ensure a fun yet safe time out on the waterways.


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