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Switchable Exhaust... Illegal in Minnesota?

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Old 02-01-2007, 10:45 AM
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Default Switchable Exhaust... Illegal in Minnesota?

This is a direct quote from the 2007 Minnesota Boating Guide, a summary of laws and rules

"It is unlawfull to have an altered muffler, muffler cutout, muffler bypass, or any other device designed or installed so that it can be used to continually or intermittently bypass any muffler or muffler system, or to reduce or eliminate the effectiveness of a muffler or muffler system"

A sheriff told me that if they find a boat that has exhaust that can be switched by the operator, they issue a fix-it ticket and you have 30 days to remove it and come back for a decible test. 84 dBA in MN. They let me go with just a fine because my exhaust switches automatically, but they said it's still 'technically' illegal.

Has anyone else faced this restriction in your state? What did you do?
 
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:55 AM
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Default Re: Switchable Exhaust... Illegal in Minnesota?

Most states that have noise restrictions on the books include the switchable clause. And yes "technically" it is illegal. However if your boat will pass the restrictions in the open position they shouldn't have a problem with it.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: Switchable Exhaust... Illegal in Minnesota?

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Originally Posted by salesmanship View Post
Most states that have noise restrictions on the books include the switchable clause. And yes "technically" it is illegal. However if your boat will pass the restrictions in the open position they shouldn't have a problem with it.
Yes I would agree that if I'm below 84 dBA even with it switched off, it shouldn't be a problem. However, the risk is that even if they suspect I'm over and want to test, part of their procedure is to board your boat and inspect the exhaust. This is the part that scares me.
 
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: Switchable Exhaust... Illegal in Minnesota?

They're illegal in NY too. Dumb.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Switchable Exhaust... Illegal in Minnesota?

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Originally Posted by Pismo10 View Post
They're illegal in NY too. Dumb.
Yes, it is dumb. I think switchable is better for everyone. When I'm coming in at night and near someone's house, I'd switch it on to be respectful. And when I'm out in the middle during the day I'd switch it off and let it rip!
 
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Switchable Exhaust... Illegal in Minnesota?

It is illegal to switch from muffled to underwater? I can understand all open to all closed underwater, but why would they complicate things if your exhaust dba choices are all within the law? Oh yeah, its the govt.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: Switchable Exhaust... Illegal in Minnesota?

It comes from the old laws for on road vehicles that state its illegal to have exhaust cut-outs on your automobile's exhaust system to bypass emission controls and mufflers.

So, technically, they are illegal, but I've never seen anyone get a ticket for such. The same law is on the books here in VA, as well as a mandatory baffled exhaust. Well, internal flappers and wet exhaust are legal to fit the baffled exhaust requirement here in VA. It all depends on the law enforcement official that you might piss off.

For a neat trick/safe bet; place a hidden toggle switch on your boat that overrides your dash switch. This way you can toggle your dash switch all day long in front of the officer with no effect on your Captain's Call/Silent Choice. They can't ticket you if it does not switch.
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Switchable Exhaust... Illegal in Minnesota?

Anything that may potentially quiet a boat should be legal.
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Switchable Exhaust... Illegal in Minnesota?

Been on the books in AL since 1963,and yes,came from the old days when you could unscrew caps from your exhaust. Rarely,if ever,enforced. Unless you make an officer mad over something else,you are probrably OK.In 1987 an officer jumped me about the new Merc Silent Choice on a new Glastron,told me I better remove it,but nothing else was ever said,and the boat is still on the lake.
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:23 PM
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Default Re: Switchable Exhaust... Illegal in Minnesota?

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Originally Posted by Pismo10 View Post
Anything that may potentially quiet a boat should be legal.
Now that would make sense!!! But the lawmakers are thinking the other way around. They are thinking that it would make a quiet boat louder.
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