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Old 08-20-2019, 11:50 AM   #1
paintitredinHC
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Default HB137 Wakeboat Regulation

As anticipated, the wakeboat issue has come to a head. The proposed legislation (HB137 - attached) seeks to establish a commission to study the impact of Wakeboats in the state of New Hampshire. The original bill identified an extremely one-sided panel. However, the hard work of Jodi Grimbilas has lead to a more balanced representation which now includes, a member of the USA Water Ski and Wake Sports New Hampshire club who is also a resident of New Hampshire, appointed by that club. And a representative of the Water Sports Industry Association, appointed by that association.

It is my hope that this commission will become educated on the nuances of this issue prior to enacting broad regulations that inhibit the fair and equitable use of our shared public resource. Importantly, we all want to maintain the safety and health of Lake Winnipesaukee. In the most basic sense of our democracy, I encourage those of you in one 'camp' or the other to educate yourself on the issue and help us reach a moderate solution. There are ample resources and scientific research already conducted in other states that might be a good reference point. For example, the state of Oregon established a similar commission and came to the following recommendations.

Note that the folks in Oregon were able to come to a nuanced solution and recommended specific regulations based on the watersport activity. Namely, WakeSurfing (as opposed to WakeBoarding or WaterSkiing) should be conducted 200 feet from shore, other boats, etc. -- given that the wave energy from a WakeSurfing boat is 4 times as strong as a WakeBoarding wake. This may mean that WakeSurfing cannot be performed in small coves or bays.

Also worth noting that the the scientific research referenced in the Oregon commission's recommendations state that the maximum wake/wave height associated with WakeBoarding and WakeSurfing drops 27-56% in the first 100-150ft of its travel from the boat path. This ties into previous research shared on this forum by DPatnaude that states that a wake generated by a wakeboat creates a wave from the stern that is more destructive than a boat traveling at headway speed. However, we now can tie the two studies together to see that given 100-150ft, the wave is halved to the level of a vessel traveling at headway speed. Addressing the pedantic among us, there are other environmental factors that can influence these statistics (i.e. wind, current, water depth, etc.) which likely addresses the discrepancy between what those of you 'see' and what is scientifically proven.

Speaking for myself here, there is a lot that we can do to help create greater awareness and education, which is the foundation of a more considerate community. Again, I encourage those of you with a voice and/or platform to educate yourselves and others before rights are taken away.

For those of you who are interested, there is a Facebook group that has been created to disseminate information and updates on our progress towards a balanced solution. The group is called 'Wake Advocates Re: NH HB137'.

Have fun out there!
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