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Massachusetts Boating News -
Life Jacket Legislation

April 6, 2011
State Joint Committee takes no action on life jacket legislation

The Massachusetts Legislature's Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security held a hearing on HB 646. It was reported that no one spoke in favor of the bill, including its sponsor. Several members of the legislature spoke against the proposal, noting they had heard from a number of constituents on the subject.

April 4, 2011
Legislature considering bill to require everyone wear life jackets on boats under 20'

Currently in Massachusetts, life jackets must be onboard all boats, and worn by kids under 12, and worn by all who are water skiing, on personal watercraft, or in canoe/kayaks in the winter. Our understanding of this legislation, House Bill 646, is that it will require everyone on boats less than 20' to wear life jackets year-round.

BoatU.S. is a strong supporter of safe boating practices. Many BoatU.S. members have expressed significant concern, however, about government mandating when and where adults must wear life jackets.

To see a copy of the bill go here

For specific questions about boating issues or BoatUS Government Affairs, please e-mail the department at
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