2019 Georgia Code
Title 52 - Waters of the State, Ports, and Watercraft
Chapter 7 - Registration, Operation, and Sale of Watercraft
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 52-7-18. Rules of the road for boat traffic
(a) All vessels operating on the coastal waters of this state shall conform to the "Steering and Sailing Rules" established by Section II, Rules 11 through 18, of the International Navigation Rules Act of 1977, as amended.
(b) All vessels operating on the inland waters of this state shall conform to the "Steering and Sailing Rules" established by Subpart II, Rules 11 through 18, of the Inland Navigation Rules Act of 1980, as amended.
(c) It shall be the duty of each operator to keep his vessel to the starboard or right side of the center of any channel, stream, or other narrow body of water; provided, however, this provision shall not give to the operator of a sailing vessel the right to hamper, in a narrow channel, the safe passage of another vessel which can navigate only inside that channel.
(d) Powered vessels approaching nonpowered vessels shall reduce their speed so that their wake shall not endanger the life or property of those occupying the nonpowered vessel.
(e) Whenever a vessel approaches a bend, point, or other blind area, it shall be the duty of the operator to:
(1) Move as far to the right or starboard as possible;
(2) Reduce speed to allow for an unexpected stop if necessary; and
(3) Sound a blast of eight to ten seconds' duration on a sounding device if such a device is carried.
(f) No person shall operate any vessel or tow a person or persons on water skis, an aquaplane, a surfboard, or any similar device on the waters of this state at a speed greater than idle speed within 100 feet of any vessel which is moored, anchored, or adrift outside normal traffic channels, or any wharf, dock, pier, piling, bridge structure or abutment, person in the water, or shoreline adjacent to a full-time or part-time residence, public park, public beach, public swimming area, marina, restaurant, or other public use area. This subsection shall not be interpreted to prohibit any person from initiating or terminating water skiing from any wharf, dock, or pier owned by such person or used by such person with the permission of the owner of said wharf, dock, or pier nor shall it be interpreted to prohibit the immediate return of a tow vessel to a downed water skier.
(g) No vessel shall run around or within 100 feet of another vessel at a speed greater than idle speed unless such vessel is overtaking or meeting such other vessel in compliance with the rules of the road for vessel traffic.
(h) No vessel shall be operated in such a manner as to ride or jump the wake of another vessel within 100 feet of such other vessel unless the vessel is overtaking or meeting such other vessel in compliance with the rules of the road for vessel traffic and, having passed or overtaken such other vessel, the operator of the passing or overtaking vessel shall not change or reverse course for the purpose of riding or jumping the wake of such other vessel within 100 feet of such other vessel.
(i) Subsections (f), (g), and (h) of this Code section shall not apply to ocean-going ships or to tugboats or other powered vessels which are assisting ocean-going ships during transit or during docking or undocking maneuvers.
Ga. L. 1976, p. 1632, § 8; Ga. L. 1977, p. 1182, § 10; Ga. L. 1980, p. 738, §§ 9, 10; Ga. L. 1987, p. 567, § 9; Ga. L. 1998, p. 679, § 6.