Table of Contents

Download the PDF Version


The terms used in this Handbook are defined in the Maine's Revised Statute as follows.


Any vehicle propelled by mechanical power that is designed to travel upon a cushion of air on or within two feet of the water or land surface of the earth.

Aquatic Plant

A vascular plant species that requires a permanently flooded freshwater habitat.

Bow (Fore)

The forward half of the watercraft.

Inland Waters

All waters within the State of Maine above the rise and fall of the tide and wholly or partially within the territorial limits of the State.

Invasive Aquatic Plant

A species of aquatic plant as described in Title 38, section 410-N.


Any watercraft, including airmobiles, equipped with propulsion machinery of any type, whether or not the machinery is the principal source of propulsion, is permanently or temporarily attached, or is available for propulsion on the watercraft.


When referring to watercraft of any type or description, to use that watercraft in any manner on the waters specified, whether or not the watercraft is underway.


The person who is in control or in charge of a watercraft while it is in use.

Personal watercraft (PWC)

Any motorized watercraft that is 14 feet or less in hull length as manufactured; has as its primary source of propulsion an inboard motor powering a jet pump; and is capable of carrying one or more persons in a sitting, standing, or kneeling position.

  • Personal watercraft includes, but is not limited to, a jet ski, wet bike, surf jet, miniature speedboat, and hovercraft.
  • Personal watercraft also includes motorized watercraft whose operation is controlled by a water skier.
  • Personal watercraft does not include a motorized watercraft that does not have a horsepower rating greater than 15 horsepower and does not generate an unreasonable amount of noise.

Stern (Aft)

The rear half of the watercraft.

Territorial Waters

All waters of the State of Maine within the rise and fall of the tide seaward to the three-nautical-mile line as shown on the most recently published Federal Government nautical chart.


When referring to watercraft, to operate, navigate, or employ.


Any type of vessel, boat, canoe, or craft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water other than a seaplane.

  • This includes motors, electronic and mechanical equipment, and other machinery, whether permanently or temporarily attached, and which are customarily used in the operations of the watercraft.
  • Watercraft does not include a vessel, boat, canoe or craft located and intended to be permanently docked in one location and not used as a means of transportation on water.

Water Safety Zone

The area of water within 200 feet of any shoreline, whether the shoreline of the mainland or of an island.