City studies boat length restrictions

Published online: Jul 17, 2009 News Robert DeWitt
Viewed 119 time(s)

City officials are taking another look at the ordinance that restricts the length of boats on Lake Tuscaloosa.

The city has length restrictions for three different categories of boats. 
- Sport boats are restricted to 24 feet long and 8.5 feet wide
- Pontoon boats can be up to 38 feet long and 14 feet wide
- Sailboats are restricted to 26 feet in length and 8.5 feet in width

"I want to know the rationale behind having the lengths we have, and if we increase the lengths what would be the impact?" Councilwoman Cynthia Almond said.

Almond raised the issue after being approached by boat owners.

"Several people have contacted me with boats that slightly exceed the length and they've gotten cited," Almond said. "There are several boats that are 2 or 3 inches too long. So their boats are sitting there and they can't use them."

Jimmy Junkin, Water and Sewer Department director, said the

restrictions are meant to limit the wake boats create. Large wakes cause erosion, damage boat docks and disturb other people using the lake.

The difference in the length restrictions between the boat categories is based on the wake they produce. Many of the boats that exceed 24 feet are built with deeper hulls for saltwater. Deep-hulled boats create more wake. The shallow-drafted pontoon boats don't create as much wake.

Large boats are not the only recreation-related issue on Lake Tuscaloosa, Junkin said. The city has received complaints that people using wakeboards are creating excessive wake. He and other officials are considering establishing a wakeboarding zone on the lake.

City Attorney Bob Ennis also noted that on-board toilets are prohibited on boats. If a boat has an on-board toilet, it must be disabled before it can be used on the lake.

There are no facilities for transferring waste from an on-board toilet to the shore on Lake Tuscaloosa, Junkin said. The restriction is in place to keep people from emptying raw sewage into the lake, which serves as the city's drinking water supply.

You May Also Be Interested In...

March 19, 2015

Carefree Boat Club adds location in Georgia

Carefree Boat Club has just opened a brand new location, adding to its ever-growing lineup.
March 17, 2015

World's fastest pontoon boat gets even faster

When you think of fast boats, a pontoon is probably pretty low on your list, just ahead of houseboats and tugboats. Brad Rowland begs to differ.
March 05, 2015

West Marine begins "Do It Yourselfie!" promotion

Show off your selfie fixing up your boat and West Marine could lend you a hand.
March 04, 2015

Pontoon Brands United

Premier Marine announced today the company will transfer the production of its Weeres and Palm Beach brands to its headquarters in Wyoming, Minn.
March 02, 2015

West Marine's New Product Review Day set for March 20

West Marine has announced the date for this year's iteration of their New Product Review Day.
February 19, 2015

Honda Marine and Coach Pontoons Are Now Partners

The PDB team has exciting news! While we were at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show, Honda Marine announced their new exclusive OEM agreement with Coach Pontoons!
Follow us on Facebook!  Follow us on Instagram!  Follow us on Twitter!  Follow us on YouTube!