Boating Glossary of Terminology

AT ANCHOR - Held in place in the water by an anchor, includes "moored" to a buoy or anchored vessel and "dragging anchor."

BOATING ACCIDENT - A collision, accident, or casualty involving a vessel in or upon, or entering into or exiting from, the water, including capsizing, collision with another vessel or object, sinking, personal injury, death or disappearance of any person from on board under circumstances which indicate the possibility of death or injury, or property damage to any vessel or dock.

CABIN MOTORBOAT - Motorboats with a cabin which can be completely closed by means of doors or hatches. Large motorboats with cabins, even though referred to as yachts, are considered to be cabin motorboats.

CAPSIZING - Overturning of a vessel.

COLLISION WITH ANOTHER VESSEL - Any striking together of two or more vessels, regardless of operation at time of the accident, is a collision. (Also includes colliding with the tow of another vessel, regardless of the nature of the tow; e.g., surfboard, ski ropes, skier, tow line, etc.)

COLLISION WITH FIXED OBJECT - The striking of any fixed object above or below the surface of the water.

COLLISION WITH A FLOATING OBJECT- Collision with any waterborne object (except another vessel) above or below the surface that is free to move with the tide, current, or wind.

CRUISING - Proceeding normally, unrestricted, with an absence of drastic rudder or engine changes.

DOCUMENTED VESSEL - A vessel for which a valid certificate of documentation is outstanding pursuant to 46 C.F.R. part 67. Documented vessels are not numbered.

DOCUMENTED YACHT - A vessel of five or more net tons owned by a citizen of the United States and used exclusively for pleasure with a valid marine document issued by the United States Coast Guard. Documented vessels are not numbered.

DRIFTING - Underway, but not proceeding over the bottom with use of engines, oars, or sails; being carried along only by the tide, current, or wind.

FALLEN SKIER - A person who has fallen off their waterskis.

FALL OVERBOARD - A person who unintentionally exits the vessel.

FAULT OF OPERATOR - Speeding, overloading, improper loading, not properly seating occupants of boat, no proper look-out, carelessness, failure to heed weather warnings, operating in a congested area, not observing the Rules of the Road, unsafe fueling practices, lack of experience, ignorance of aids to navigation, lack of caution in an unfamiliar area of operation, improper installation or maintenance of hull, machinery or equipment, poor judgment, recklessness, overpowering the boat, panic, proceeding in an unseaworthy craft, operating a motorboat near persons in the water, starting the engine with clutch engaged or throttle advanced, or irresponsible boat handling (such as quick, sharp turns).

FIBERGLASS (PLASTIC) HULL - Hulls of fiber-reinforced plastic. The laminate consists of two basic components, the reinforcing material (glass filaments) and the plastic or resin in which it is embedded.

FIRE/EXPLOSION (FUEL) - Accidental combustion of vessel fuel, liquids (including their vapors) or other substances such as wood or coal.

FIRE/EXPLOSION (OTHER) - Accidental burning or explosion of any material on board except vessel fuels or their vapors.

FLORIDA INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY - The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from the Georgia state line north of Fernandina to Miami, the Port of Canaveral lock and canal to the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway; the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Miami to Key West; the Okeechobee Waterway, Stuart to Fort Myers; the St. Johns River, Jacksonville to Sanford; the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Anclote to Fort Myers; the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Carrabelle to Tampa Bay; Carrabelle to Anclote open bay section (using Gulf of Mexico); the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Carrabelle to the Alabama state line west of Pensacola; and the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint Rivers in Florida.

FLOODING - Filling with water, regardless of method on ingress, but retaining sufficient buoyancy to remain on the surface.

FUELING - Any stage of the fueling operation, primarily concerned with introduction of explosive or combustible vapors or liquids on board.

GROUNDING - Running aground of a vessel, striking or pounding on rocks, reefs, or shoals; "stranding."

IMPROPER LOADING - Loading, including weight shifting of the vessel causing instability, limited maneuverability, or dangerously reduced freeboard.

INBOARD/OUTBOARD - Also referred to as inboard/outdrive. Regarded as inboard because the power unit is located inside the boat and has a stern mounted propulsion unit.

MANEUVERING - Changing of course, speed, or similar boat handling action during which a high degree of alertness is required or the boat is imperiled because of the operation (docking).

MOTORBOAT - (1) Any vessel which is propelled or powered by machinery and which is used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water. (2) Any vessel equipped with propulsion machinery, not more than 65 feet in length.

MOTOR VESSEL - Any vessel equipped with propulsion machinery (other than steam) more than sixty-five feet in length.

NAVIGATION RULES - The International Navigation Rules Act of 1977 for vessels on waters outside of established navigation lines of demarcation as specified in 33 C.F.R., Part 80 or the Inland Navigation Rules Act of 1980 for vessels on all waters not outside of such lines of demarcation.

NONRESIDENT - A citizen of the United States who has not established residence in this state and has not continuously resided in this state for 1 year and in one county for the 6 months immediately preceding the initiation of a vessel titling or registration action.

NO PROPER LOOK-OUT - No proper watch, the failure of the operator to perceive danger because no one was serving as look-out, or the person so serving failed in that regard.

NUMBERED VESSEL - An undocumented vessel numbered by a state with a numbering system approved by the United States Coast Guard under Chapter 123, Title 46, U.S.C.

OPEN MOTORBOAT - Craft of open construction specifically built for operating with a motor, including boats canopied or fitted with temporary partial shelters.

OPERATE - To be in charge of or in command of or in actual physical control of a vessel upon the waters of this state, or to exercise control over or to have responsibility for a vessel's navigation or safety while the vessel is underway upon the waters of this state, or to control or steer a vessel being towed by another vessel upon the waters of this state.

OWNER - A person, other than a lien holder, having the property in or title to a vessel. The term includes a person entitled to the use or possession of a vessel subject to an interest in another person, reserved or created by agreement and securing payment of performance of an obligation, but the term excludes a lessee under a lease not intended as security.

OUTBOARD - An engine not permanently affixed to the structure of the craft, regardless of the method or location used to mount the engine; e.g., motor wells, Akicker pits,@ motor pockets, etc.

OVERLOADING - Excessive loading of the vessel causing instability, limited maneuverability, dangerously reduced freeboard, etc.

PERSONAL WATERCRAFT - A vessel less than 16 feet in length which uses an inboard motor powering a water jet pump as its primary source of motive power and which is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on the vessel, rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel.

RECKLESS OPERATION - A person is guilty of reckless operation of a vessel who operates any vessel, or manipulates any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property at a speed or in a manner as to endanger, or likely to endanger, life or limb, or damage the property of, or injure any person.

REGISTRATION - A state operating license on a vessel which is issued with an identifying number, an annual certificate of registration, and a decal designating the year for which a registration fee was paid.

REPORTABLE BOATING ACCIDENT - A boating accident that results in personal injury requiring medical treatment beyond immediate first aid, death, disappearance of any person from on board under circumstances which indicate the possibility of death or injury, or damage to any vessel or other property in an apparent aggregate amount of at least $500.

RESIDENT - A citizen of the United States who has established residency in this state and has continuously resided in this state for 1 year and in one county for the 6 months immediately preceding the initiation of a vessel titling or registration action.

RULES OF THE ROAD -The Inland and International Navigation Rules for the prevention of collision at sea.

SAILBOAT OR AUXILIARY SAILBOAT - (1) Any vessel whose sole source of propulsion is the natural element (i.e., wind). (2) Craft intended to be propelled primarily by sail, regardless of size or type.

SINKING - Losing enough buoyancy to settle below the surface of the water.

SPEEDING - Operating at a speed, possibly below the posted speed limit, above that which a reasonable and prudent person would operate under the circumstances.

STEEL HULL - Hulls of sheet steel or steel alloy, not those of steel ribs and wood, canvas, or plastic hull coverings.

STRUCK BY BOAT OR PROPELLER - Striking of a victim who is outside of the boat, but not necessarily a swimmer.

SWAMPING - Filling with water, particularly over the side, but retaining sufficient buoyancy to remain on the surface.

TOWING - Engaged in towing any vessel, fishing gear, or object other than a person.

WOOD HULL - Hulls of plywood, molded plywood, wood planking, or any other wood fiber in its natural consistency, including those of wooden construction that have been "sheathed" with fiberglass or sheet metal.

VESSEL - Is synonymous with boat as referenced in s.1(b), Article VII of the State Constitution and includes every description of watercraft, barge, and air boat, other than a seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as means of transportation on water.

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FWC Facts:
Divers must make reasonable efforts to stay within 300 feet of a divers-down flag on open waters and within 100 feet of a flag within rivers, inlets or navigation channels.

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