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Florida Maritime Accident Lawyer

Bow-Riding is Illegal, But What is it?

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Editor: Gabrielle D'Alemberte
Profession: Florida Maritime Attorney

February 11, 2006

By Rod Sullivan

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Category: Boating Accidents

Coast Guard regulations prohibit something called "bowriding" but oddly enough, there is no one definition of exactly what bowriding is. At least one marine safety expert says that it consists of riding forward of a motorboat's windshield.

However, at least two other experts and one federal court decision disagree. According to the majority, bowriding consists of riding on the bow with at least one part of the body extending over the side of the boat.

Does that mean that its safe to ride on the bow if your legs aren't hanging over the side? Probably not as safe as riding in the cockpit. A sudden stop, from hitting a submerged object, another boat, or going aground, can catapult a person on the bow.

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