BoatMichigan.org Brings Information and Resources to Boaters

Did you see the recent announcement from the U.S. Coast Guard regarding the new regulation requiring recreational vessels less than 26’ feet in length to use an engine cut-off switch (ECOS) and association ECOS link (ECOSL) starting April 1, 2021, as a result of a law passed by Congress? I’m guessing many people have not.

One of the key questions from the FAQ’s: What boats need to have an Engine Cut-Off Switch installed? The answer: Boats less than 26 feet in length that generate more than 115lbs of static thrust (~ 2-3hp) and were built beginning in January 2020. If the boats’ primary helm is inside an enclosed cabin it is not required to have an Engine Cut-Off Switch.

Did you know that Macomb Community College recently graduated its first class of marine technicians and each of them were hired even before graduation? This 5-week course is a great option for people who love to work with their hands and around boats. The Great Lakes Boating Building School in Cedarville also has a one-year marine tech program underway. We do believe there are still many who do not know that there are amazing full-time, well-paying careers in the boating industry and hundreds of job openings.

Did you know lake levels are down on the Great Lakes by as much as a foot compared to last year and if we have an average spring and early summer they will decrease even further? An informal survey of inland lakes in Oakland County leads us to believe water levels are down for inland lakes as well.

We have more information on these subjects above, and many more available, on a resources page here on www.boatmichigan.org. This website will help boaters find pertinent information all in one location including: MDNR Laws and Regulations on the Water, DNR Fishing Reports, where to find Ethanol-Free Recreation Fuel, Weather, Wind and Water Level Reports, How Sales Tax on the Difference Helps you Buy a Boat, Careers in Boating, How to Correctly Re-name your Boat, Boat-friendly Restaurants, How to Choose the Correct Children’s Lifejacket, and much more.

Some of the information is enjoyment based, but most of it is important information to help you protect your family and your boat. The boating laws section provides a good refresher for current boaters and is especially important for new boaters in your family. If you fuel your boat at the gas station, be sure your friends and family understand that Ethanol in fuel is damaging to your marine engine. If your kids are ready to take a boating safety class, there is a link to find courses on this site as well. Maybe you want to take a class, as most insurance companies will give you a discount on your boat insurance if you have taken a boating safety class.

The weekly fishing report is intended to give you an idea of fishing conditions around the state. The updates come from a combination of creel clerks and other DNR staff reflecting fishing conditions over the last seven days. Weather and wind reporting is important to those who fish, sail, and those who are just generally interested.

Also important to boaters, there is information on this site related to boat shows, and we are happy to report – Boat Shows are back! Next up will be The Great Lakes Boating Festival scheduled for May 21 – 23 at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, followed by the Bay Harbor Boat Show, June 18 – 20, and The Progressive Metro Boat Show, September 16 – 19 at the Lake St. Clair Metro Park in Harrison Township. Hope to see you there! And… if there is information you would like to see on BoatMichigan.org, please let us know at boatmichigan@mbia.org.


Nicki Polan
MBIA Executive Director