Spring and summer is the time of year to enjoy our pontoons, ski boats, wake boats, fishing boats, sail boats, etc. A few basics: follow a counterclockwise course around the lake; keep at least 100 feet from the shoreline or any anchored object (no wake if within these limits); keep at least 200 feet from a vessel displaying a "diver down" flag (red background with white diagonal stripe); you must give way to any vessel not under command, sail boats, boats involved in fishing, or any boat which is hampered in its maneuverability; a vessel overtaking another vessel or a vessel to the port side of another vessel must give way. It is always your responsibility to avoid a collision even if you have the right of way. Although there are no specific distances for vessels under way, you should avoid coming close enough to a vessel where your wake will significantly disturb that vessel. Your vessel must be registered with clearly visible registration numbers on both sides of the boat with a current validation decal displayed and the registration available on board the vessel (except for row boats and non-powered canoes under 16 feet). You need an appropriate personal flotation device (PFD) for each passenger and every child under 6 must be wearing an approved floatation device. In addition, you need a throwable flotation device. You must also have a fire extinguisher appropriate for your vessel. Finally, you must have navigation lights appropriate to your boat and use them between sunset and sunrise. Even non-powered vessels require an all around white light. See the Michigan Boating Handbook for further information.
Every person being towed must have a type I, II, or III PFD. The vessel towing must have a spotter in addition to the vessel operator at all time. Hours of legal operation are between one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset if using a boat or between sunset and 8am if using a PWC. If towing anyone, you must stay at least 100 feet from shore, any moored or anchored vessel, any dock or raft, any marked swimming area or person in the water.