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When do the Water Cops get it right?

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Old 08-01-2007, 11:15 AM
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Default When do the Water Cops get it right?

I spent a long weekend at Smith Mountain Lake in SW VA this past weekend. ( www.smlpba.com )

On Sunday afternoon, I was just chilling out, drifting for about 10-15 minutes, way out of the main channel, off to the side of the main bridge on the lake, somewhat inside of a cove.

As I am beginning to leave, and idle back to the main part of the lake, two Water Cops (VA Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries) pull up beside of me. They ask to see my documentation paperwork. I politely ask them if we can move back into the cove before we do this, and they pull away and oblige. They give me time to pull out my big fenders, and get my paperwork before they come along side.

They go over the paperwork, PFDs, fire extinguishers; etc. As I am pulling my extinguishers out, they start looking over my dash, and notice my muffler switch. I don't have mufflers or Captain's Call on my boat, but there is a switch that is not wired to anything. The demand that I start the motors and flip the switch. Wha-laa, nothing happens. (Switchable exhaust cutouts are illegal in VA. It comes from the automobile law that does not allow exhaust cutouts. Fricking stupid in the first place.) They then proceed to ask me about my exhaust, if its stock; has baffles etc. They eventually pull away, and compliment me on my boat and nice fenders.

Virginia State Law:
"Muffling Device

The exhaust of an internal combustion engine on any motorboat shall be effectively muffled. The muffling device shall exhaust at or below the water line or it shall be equipped with mechanical baffles. The use of cutouts is prohibited."
http://www.dgif.state.va.us/boating/...uffling_Device

Here is what gets me. After they pull away, I began putting my things back together so I can head out; here come 2 fricking PWC that buzz me at speed about 25-30 feet off my transom. Then comes a 3rd, that is not with the first two. At this point I am on the bow of my boat trying to wave the Water Cops back over with a giant WTF look. They are not even paying any attention, and eventually pulled away in another direction. The Water Cops definitely saw the PWC heading in my direction. They went right by them, although I am not sure at what distance.

Virginia State Law:
"All PWC must come to no wake speed when within 50-feet or less of piers, docks, boathouses, boat ramps, people in the water and any other type of vessel, except another PWC."
http://www.dgif.state.va.us/boating/pwc/

I was OK with them "pulling me over" and doing a document check. I was a little PO'd that they started searching for a reason to ticket me. However, when they were totally complacent at the 3 BLATENT safety violations that occured moments afterwards, I was LIVID.

OK, end of my P & M post, but I still want to know:
"When do they get it right?"

Last edited by Sydwayz; 08-01-2007 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:24 AM
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I HATE IDIOTS ON JET SKIs........most of the people on jet skis have no clue what he rules and laws are fukn idiots (most of them)
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:54 AM
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My experience with marine police is they don't have a clue!!!
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:11 PM
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In Michigan switchable exhaust is also illegal. I was stopped a few weeks ago and after I had all the documentation, pdfs, etc they wrote me a ticket for not having "block" registration letters.

As he was leaving he asked if I had switchable exhaust. I figured he was looking to give me another ticket. I told him I didn't. He looks right at me and says "Well you might want to think about getting it so you don't disturb people with homes on the lake"!!! WTF?
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:14 PM
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Sucks that they ignored the PWC's....they're the ones they should be hassling.

Anyway, I keep hearing about these stupid switchable exhaust laws. What's the deal?.....you can run straight-thru exhaust, but you're not allowed to have it switchable to quiet it down when desired. Who comes up with this sht?!
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:20 PM
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Nick, remember back in the day when we used to install "cast iron cutouts" under our cars to open the exhaust wide open and not go through the CC and the Mufflers?

Same principle was applied to the boating laws. Does it make sense? Of course not. I think the ideal was such that if your boat came factory with through the hub exhaust/underwater exit; it would be illegal to install a "cutout" aka Captain's Call that would now be through transom or over transom exhaust.

As long as you have internal rubber flappers, VA counts such as "baffle" and you are good to go. I have had them actually go down and push a stick up the exhaust tip looking for an obstruction. Hence, the internal flappers do the trick. We had a friend who got an "excessive noise ticket" in his his Eliminator with twin Teague 720s on SML last year. He had no internal flappers or "baffles", and no external flappers either.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:24 PM
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Brian,

I guess you haven't been to Fairview in awhile. They finally started enforcing the distance thing on the PWC's. Thank god!!! The cops will idle around between all the anchored boats and wait for some idiot on a PWC blasting in close proximity. Ticket book comes out.... as a matter of fact, they have hauled a few away for BWI.

I've only been hassled once for the exhaust thing. As you know, the river is MD waters, no problem. My buddy (Dave w the 38 Sonic) lives in Aquia Creek which is VA waters though. They like to sit at the end of the no wake zone and jump on you idling in. They snatched me one day and asked if I had mufflers, I said "Yep, sure do". Opened the hatch and showed them the CMI tailpipe's (not mufflers). I told them they were about $900 a piece. One of them said "Holy cow, that's a lot for mufflers."
They checked my other stuff and said have a nice day.
Dave has switcable and uses it often. He lives all the way back in Aquia Harbor which is about 2.5 miles of no wake and waterfront homes. He's just thinking about his neighbors when he comes home late. He has been hasseled many times as well.
Stupit azz law.

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Old 08-01-2007, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CigDaze View Post
Sucks that they ignored the PWC's....they're the ones they should be hassling.

Anyway, I keep hearing about these stupid switchable exhaust laws. What's the deal?.....you can run straight-thru exhaust, but you're not allowed to have it switchable to quiet it down when desired. Who comes up with this sht?!
Yeah I don't get it. I have been told their "logic" behind it is if you have switchables then when open you could be over the limit and they wouldn't know it. It makes no sense at all. If you're legal when open who cares. None of them know how to give a proper db test anyway!
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydwayz View Post
Nick, remember back in the day when we used to install "cast iron cutouts" under our cars to open the exhaust wide open and not go through the CC and the Mufflers?

Same principle was applied to the boating laws. Does it make sense? Of course not. I think the ideal was such that if your boat came factory with through the hub exhaust/underwater exit; it would be illegal to install a "cutout" aka Captain's Call that would now be through transom or over transom exhaust.

As long as you have internal rubber flappers, VA counts such as "baffle" and you are good to go. I have had them actually go down and push a stick up the exhaust tip looking for an obstruction. Hence, the internal flappers do the trick. We had a friend who got an "excessive noise ticket" in his his Eliminator with twin Teague 720s on SML last year. He had no internal flappers or "baffles", and no external flappers either.
Ya, I know all about the auto cutouts.
I can understand that no problem.

But this thing with boats is just ridiculous. I mean here's a system designed to quiet down an ordinarily loud[er] exhaust when coming into dock, etc. Time to get that law straightened out.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:31 PM
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Sydwayze,

Do you have a VA registration # on your boat?

Dd
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