The LNMC established a Rental Boat Committee in March of 2012 to study the feasibility of developing an Ordinance for Rental Boats as a result of a serious accident and the number of rental boats using Lake Norman. Several meetings were held since then with the owners of Rental Boat Liveries (businesses) to discuss this issue. From these meetings a sub-committee was appointed to help develop a Draft Ordinance.
From these meetings several important issues became apparent. These were as follows:
- Boat Rentals from private residences and rental properties are numerous. Law Enforcement advises that many times, if stopped, these renters say that they have a “friend’s boat”. Identifying these types of “boat rental facilities” would be very difficult.
- The current “Boating Safety Education” Law (Session Law 2009-282 Senate Bill 43) requires only that the renter possess “a rental or lease agreement from a vessel rental or leasing business”.
- This Law also says that “No unit of local government shall enact any ordinance or rules relating to boating safety education, and this law preempts all existing ordinances or rules.
- Several of the Boat Livery owners advised that part of their pre-rental practice was to show a safe boating movie (In some cases a movie published by the Coast Guard) and other specific safety education steps.
Therefore in view of these issues, the LNMC has decided to take another approach since its obvious that any meaningful Rental Boat Ordinance to Permit Rental Boat Liveries (similar to the Charter/Excursion Boat Ordinance which Permits Charter Boats) would not be in accord with the restrictions that the current State Law imposes.
Accordingly, and in order to begin addressing this important Boating Safety Issue, the LNMC along with cooperating Vessel Liveries, will enter into a Cooperative Agreement with a “Best Practices” List to be used and adhered to by the cooperating Boat Liveries and monitored by the LNMC’s Rental Boat Committee on an Annual Basis.
The “Facilities Inspection” Form for “Best Practices” is attached as Exhibit A.
Click here to download a Best Practices Inspection form: