Table of Contents

Download the PDF Version

It's the Law

In addition to the laws mentioned previously, here are some other Texas regulations that apply when vessel operators are on the water.

Negligent and Reckless Operation

The failure to exercise the care necessary to prevent the endangerment of life, limb, or property of any other person is illegal. Below are examples of negligent and reckless operation.

Boating in restricted areas that have been marked clearly by buoys or in some other manner.

Allowing passengers to ride on the bow, gunwale, transom, seat backs, seats on raised decks, or any other place where there may be a chance of falling overboard.

Operating at speeds that are not reasonable and prudent based on boating traffic, weather conditions, visibility, or other hazards. If no speed limits are posted, you should operate a vessel so that it does not endanger others and so that it can be stopped safely.

Causing damage to a person or property with a vessel’s wake in “No Wake” areas. In these areas, you should operate a vessel slowly so that it does not throw a wake. In addition, you should reduce your speed when passing:

  • Near a swimming area or close to a shoreline
  • Another vessel where people are fishing, water-skiing, diving, or anchored

Encircling people engaged in water activities. Unless you are retrieving a downed water-skier or person engaged in a similar activity, do not operate a boat or PWC in a circular course around:

  • Any person swimming
  • Any other boat or PWC when the operator or any passenger is fishing, water-skiing, or participating in a similar activity