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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 20 - 7 - 13 §20-7-13. Motorboat classification; required lights and equipment; rules and regulations; pilot rules.
(a) Motorboats subject to the provisions of this article shall be divided into four classes as follows:

Class A. Less than sixteen feet in length;

Class 1. Sixteen feet or over and less than twenty-six feet in length;

Class 2. Twenty-six feet or over and less than forty feet in length;

Class 3. Forty feet or over.

(b) Classes 1, 2 and 3 motorboats in all weathers from sunset to sunrise shall carry and exhibit the following lights when under way, and during such time no other lights which may be mistaken for those prescribed shall be exhibited.

(1) Every motorboat of Class 1 shall carry the following lights:

First. A bright white light aft to show all around the horizon;

Second. A combined lantern in the fore part of the vessel and lower than the white light aft, showing green to starboard and red to port, so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on their respective sides.

(2) Every motorboat of Classes 2 and 3 shall carry the following lights:

First. A bright white light in the fore part of the vessel as near the stem as practicable, so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of twenty points of the compass, so fixed as to throw the light ten points on each side of the vessel; namely, from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on either side;

Second. A bright white light aft to show all around the horizon and higher than the white light forward;

Third. On the starboard side a green light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of ten points of the compass, so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on the starboard side. On the port side a red light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of ten points of the compass, so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on the port side. The said side lights shall be fitted with inboard screens of sufficient height so set as to prevent these lights from being seen across the bow.

(3) Motorboats of Class 1 when propelled by sail alone shall carry the combined lantern, but not the white light aft, prescribed by this section. Motorboats of Classes 2 and 3 when so propelled, shall carry the colored side lights, suitably screened, but not the white lights, prescribed by this section. Motorboats of all classes, when so propelled, shall carry, ready at hand, a lantern or flashlight showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to avert collision.

(4) Every white light prescribed by this section shall be of such character as to be visible at a distance of at least two miles. Every colored light prescribed by this section shall be of such character as to be visible at a distance of at least one mile. The word "visible" in this subdivision, when applied to lights, shall mean visible on a dark night with clear atmosphere.

(5) When propelled by sail and machinery any motorboat shall carry the lights required by this section for a motorboat propelled by machinery only.

(c) Any vessel may carry and exhibit the lights required by the federal regulations for preventing collisions at sea, one thousand nine hundred forty-eight, federal act of October eleven, one thousand nine hundred fifty-one, as amended, in lieu of the lights required by subsection (b) of this section.

(d) Every motorboat of Class 1, 2 or 3 shall be provided with an efficient whistle or other sound-producing mechanical appliance.

(e) Every motorboat of Class 2 or 3 shall be provided with an efficient bell.

(f) Every motorboat shall carry at least one life preserver, or life belt, or ring buoy, or other device of the sort prescribed by regulations of the commission for each person on board, so placed as to be readily accessible: Provided, That every motorboat carrying passengers for hire shall carry so placed to be readily accessible at least one life preserver of the sort prescribed by the regulations of the director for each person on board.

(g) Every motorboat shall be provided with such number, size and type of fire extinguishers, capable of promptly and effectually extinguishing burning gasoline, as may be prescribed by the regulations of the director, which fire extinguishers shall be at all times kept in condition for immediate and effective use and shall be so placed as to be readily accessible.

(h) The provisions of subsections (d), (e) and (g) of this section shall not apply to motorboats while competing in any race conducted pursuant to section twenty of this article, or, if such boats be designed and intended solely for racing while engaged in such navigation as is incidental to the tuning up of the boats and engines for the race.

(i) Every motorboat shall have the carburetor or carburetors of every engine therein (except outboard motors) using gasoline as fuel, equipped with such efficient flame arrester, backfire trap, or other similar device as may be prescribed by regulations of the director.

(j) Every such motorboat and every such vessel, except open boats using as fuel any liquid of a volatile nature, shall be provided with such means as may be prescribed by the regulations of the director for properly and efficiently ventilating the bilges of the engine and fuel tank compartments so as to remove any explosive or inflammable gases.

(k) The director is hereby authorized to make rules and regulations modifying the equipment requirements contained in this section to the extent necessary to keep these requirements in conformity with the provisions of the federal navigation laws or with the navigation rules promulgated by the United States coast guard.

(l) The director is hereby authorized to establish and maintain, for the operation of vessels on the waters of this state, pilot rules in conformity with the pilot rules contained in the federal navigation laws or the navigation rules promulgated by the United States coast guard.

(m) No person shall operate or give permission for the operation of a vessel which is not equipped as required by this section or modification thereof.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.

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