Press Room

NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
5323 Port Royal Rd., Springfield, VA 22151
BoatUS Press Room at

Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864,

MA Alert: Massachusetts to Take Up Mandatory Life Jacket Bill Tomorrow, April 5

 BOSTON, Mass. April 4, 2011 – Boat Owners of The United States (BoatUS) says the Massachusetts State Legislature is considering a bill tomorrow, Tuesday, April 5 that would require everyone, including adults, to wear life jackets on boats under 20-feet while in operation year-round. The bill’s text currently reads:

“SECTION 1. Section 5A of Chapter 90B of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended, by inserting at the end thereof, the following sentence:

Any person on a vessel, under twenty feet in length, that requires a life saving device is required to wear said device at all times during the operation of said vessel.”

Currently in Massachusetts, life jackets must be onboard all boats, be worn by kids under 12 and be worn by all who are waterskiing, on personal watercraft, or in canoe/kayaks in the winter.

“BoatUS is a strong supporter of safe boating practices, but our half-a-million members have expressed significant concern about government mandating when and where adults must wear life jackets,” said BoatUS Vice President of Government Affairs Margaret Podlich.

Given the immediacy of this issue, BoatUS is urging Bay State boaters, sailors and anglers to contact their state representative today to let them know how they feel about House Bill 646, which is sponsored by Representative Viriato D. deMacedo of Plymouth. The bill will be heard tomorrow by the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security at 1 p.m.

For more information on the bill’s language: Massachusetts House Bill 646

Massachusetts boaters can contact their representative by going to


About BoatUS:

BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with government representation, programs and money-saving services.  For membership information visit or call 800-395-2628.