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Heads up to Colorado Boaters

Post By: ColoradoRay      Posted: 5/19/2023 9:39:40 PM     Points: 30846    
Had my day fishing on Boyd cut short this afternoon. Rangers were out checking licenses and boats and I got a 102.50 ticket for having a fire extinguisher that was more than 12 years old from the manufacture date and was considered expired. Also informed I needed to trailer my boat and leave since I had an "unsafe vessel." I try my best to follow the laws and regulations but never dawned on me that fire extinguishers expire.
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: May. 20, 12:21:35 AM     Points: 10957
Now there's one I never thought of . . . .I will be right on this first thing in the morning . . . .we have had the boat more than 12 yrsThank you Ray . . .I would have never thought to check.
 Reply by: Goosehunter82      Posted: May. 20, 5:47:21 AM     Points: 72090
Thanks for the heads up. Certainly seems like something they could have used their discretion on and giving a guy a warning.
 Reply by: reddave      Posted: May. 20, 6:49:23 AM     Points: 8284
Kayak fishing is sounding better and better...
 Reply by: Kenny Rukspin      Posted: May. 20, 7:28:55 AM     Points: 8056
That's a good reminder to check ALL of your fire extinguishers. I have one in the house that needs to be replaced. Thanks Ray!
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: May. 20, 8:38:57 AM     Points: 36921
Wow, thatís pretty steep! A warning sounds more like the correct action
 Reply by: Barnacles      Posted: May. 20, 8:58:21 AM     Points: 3274
Well that's a good reminder. I don't even know how to check mine & it's probably been sitting in there for 20 years.

I always planned to abandon ship if fire breaks out on my boat.
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: May. 20, 11:01:48 AM     Points: 5930
Thanks for the reminder! I agree with Ajax, a warning would have been nice, since you did have a fire extinguisher, and since they were kicking you off the water. Getting your fishing day cut short was punishment enough IMO. But thanks for supporting our state parks!
 Reply by: richw88      Posted: May. 20, 11:15:38 AM     Points: 61
I carry one (guess I need to look at the date on it), but I thought fire extinguishers weren't required for fishing-size boats unless the motors were "enclosed". Bigger, like over 20-ft boats need one, but not 16-ft outboards. Did that change?
 Reply by: Barnacles      Posted: May. 20, 12:18:28 PM     Points: 3274
Got me snooping through the regs.

This is for my "Class 1"
One Type B-I Coast Guard-approved fire extinguisher must be carried when no fixed fire extinguishing system is installed in machinery spaces.
Extinguishers are not required for outboard motorboats less than 26 feet in length and of open construction.

Refers you to page 37 for definition of open construction, but I sure can't find it. The only other mention of construction that I see is on page 39, that implies open construction pertains to inboard motors.

I'll help with your defense for a 6 pack if you decide to fight this.
Regulations are definitely confusing on this one.
 Reply by: ColoradoRay      Posted: May. 20, 12:44:25 PM     Points: 30846
Thanks for that offer Barnacles. When I go to the CPW office to pay my ticket I will request to see a copy of the regulations. However if my memory serves me correctly, my Lund has the gas tank, batteries, and wiring in an enclosed compartment and that necessitates a fire extinguisher even though it is an outboard and 15 feet in length.
 Reply by: Barnacles      Posted: May. 20, 1:07:23 PM     Points: 3274
Good luck. If you're going today, all I can tell you is keep asking questions.
Where is the definition of "open construction"? To me, outboard = open construction.

Half of these junk laws are just flowed down from USCG & are totally N/A on a place like Boyd in a small boat, unless you're out there cooking on a yacht.
 Reply by: ColoradoRay      Posted: May. 20, 1:19:55 PM     Points: 30846
In response to some of the other comments posted up it sounds like most people are unaware or don't think about fire extinguisher expirations. I spent a couple of hours researching this when I got home yesterday. It looks like this mostly applies to the small single use types of extinguishers that are installed in boats. I also discussed at length with him why I was getting a ticket and not a warning. When I brought the topic up his response was " Ohhhhhhh - this is a Major safety violation and he was forced to write me a citation."

There were two things he was very interested in inspecting - my fire extinguisher and a throwable flotation device (which I did have one). It sounds to me like this these could be the two most common infractions by boaters. It also became very apparent to me during the course of my interaction with him that this was more about money and not educating the public about under the radar safety rules.

I have 20 days to pay my fine but I am going to buy a new fire extinguisher today. Home Depot has marine approved BC types for 20 bucks. A lot cheaper than a ticket. And hopefully sharing my experience might save some of you FxR members some future grief.
 Reply by: wingman13      Posted: May. 20, 2:39:43 PM     Points: 161
Never thought about checking for an expiration date. I have only checked the "meter" to make sure it was still in the green, and not red.

Agree, that ticket is pretty steep!
 Reply by: Kenny Rukspin      Posted: May. 20, 4:10:40 PM     Points: 8056
I agree, that's a pretty steep fine. You should have the option to appear in county court. The judge may lower the fine if you can show you have remedied the problem. There's also the possibility that the county DA may cut you a plea bargain, since they don't want to clog up the docket with cases. I would at least call and see what your rights are.

 Reply by: walleyeshark      Posted: May. 20, 5:56:53 PM     Points: 199
Wow! Is this a typical Fish Explorer thread! It's hard for me to imagine that people are so flawed as to check whats in their boat! Their personnal self must be very misguided from day one. Sorry for those that are unaware of self well being. It's another reason to fish at night. We are self prepared to take care of ourselves. I feel really sorry for noater who are not prepared & wish they would just stay off the lake! Good luck & fish on for the one only🐟🐟🐟
 Reply by: walleyeshark      Posted: May. 20, 6:05:48 PM     Points: 199
Wow! Is this a typical Fish Explorer thread! It's hard for me to imagine that people are so flawed as to check whats in their boat! Their personnal self must be very misguided from day one. Sorry for those that are unaware of self well being. It's another reason to fish at night. We are self prepared to take care of ourselves. I feel really sorry for unprepaired folks when their wellbeing might depend on it. Think about the impact it has on others. Safety means different things to others, It would appear. Fish On!
 Reply by: Trailerman      Posted: May. 20, 6:41:10 PM     Points: 238
Mr Shark. I fail to see your point with my simple mind. Do you care to elaborate on how a couple year expired fire extinguisher put others safety in danger? ColoradoRay I think you just lost the CPW ranger lottery this day. Most days they are super nice, and try to avoid writing tickets for things so trivial. Usually they have their hands full with other BS. By the letter of the law I guess they gotcha and your 100 bucks, but Iíd be mad too.
 Reply by: richw88      Posted: May. 20, 9:27:53 PM     Points: 61
Beware the sleep deprived poster.
 Reply by: walleyeshark      Posted: May. 20, 10:16:53 PM     Points: 199
Trivial? That's funny stuff. Guess I'm too old school or have seen too many mishaps on the water over the course of 60 yrs.....
 Reply by: esoxrocks      Posted: May. 21, 9:21:26 AM     Points: 2514
I just want to know where WS gets his weed...or maybe shrooms...that is some world class, epic level babble.
 Reply by: Barnacles      Posted: May. 21, 11:13:53 AM     Points: 3274
Well now I have to defend 'shark. I get his points. None of us should be taking shortcuts on safety. 42 people died on Colorado waters just last year. A boat on fire is not a pleasant scene. Useful thread though. Got me double-checking my stuff.
 Reply by: esoxrocks      Posted: May. 21, 11:34:05 AM     Points: 2514
Oh, thatís what he was saying? Couldnít tell.
 Reply by: ColoradoRay      Posted: May. 21, 12:10:28 PM     Points: 30846
Well I got my new one. Only 19.95 at the home depot. And it is approved for marine use.
 Reply by: wingman13      Posted: May. 21, 3:08:41 PM     Points: 161
Nice ColoradoRay.

But after checking my extinguisher, I can't find an expiration date anywhere. Is there one on your new one???
 Reply by: ColoradoRay      Posted: May. 21, 3:19:50 PM     Points: 30846
No exp date but has a note that the extinguisher is no longer good after 12 years from date of manufacture. You should find that date stamped in the bottom or on the UL tag. You may have to google search the brand if the manufacture date is a code with letters and numbers.
 Reply by: lfausset      Posted: May. 22, 9:18:23 AM     Points: 3
What would be the "reasonable suspicion" that allowed them to board or inspect your boat.

Peace Officers
Every peace officer in the State of Colorado is empowered to
enforce Colorado boating laws. These officers have the authority to
stop and board any vessel where they have reasonable suspicion to
believe that a violation of law exists. (CRS 33-13-112(1))
Peace officers are also authorized to order the operator of an unsafe
vessel to shore or to the nearest boat ramp if an unsafe condition
is found that cannot be corrected on the spot and if the officer
determines that continued operation would be dangerous.
 Reply by: edawg      Posted: May. 22, 11:20:41 AM     Points: 246
Thanks for the heads up ColoradRay - Also, the Colorado retail industry thanks you for the boost in fire extinguisher sales. I brought a new one home yesterday as well. And I saw 2 others purchased while I was in the store. The power of Fish Explorer...
 Reply by: spicyhombre      Posted: May. 22, 1:02:32 PM     Points: 6376
Good reminder to review regs. I got a ticket from an over zealous ranger last year. My son who was 12 at the time took of his vest to remove hoodie and then didn't put it on right away (3 minutes) while we were spot-locked in less than 5 feet of water. They came at us like we were gun runners and gave us a $165 ticket. They also told me I was getting a ticket since my inflatable PDF doesn't count as a PDF unless it is being worn at all times. I then showed him I have extra traditional vests on board. I still am not sure if he is correct or not. I will be printing the regs to have on board and will highlight some sections so I can argue points as needed as they often have their own interpretations of the rules.

[log in for link]
 Reply by: walleyeshark      Posted: May. 22, 2:20:33 PM     Points: 199
Hey Trailerman. I"m just thinking of past experiences with game wardens, DOW personnel and the like. The law is the law. My buds and I haved towed a few boats in to the docks before because of their failure to inspect their watercraft completely. We have brought aboard paddle boarders and others stranded on lakes. You won't get on the lake when you do a tournament without all safety equipment on board and operational. It's the same for everyone. People are going to the lakes regardless if they are ready. It's a captains responsibility to help others in need when they are in distress. Wouldn't it be great if 100% of people on the water are operating safely? Or to get real, I guess, 90% would be a huge improvement. Just Saying...Fish On!
 Reply by: Trailerman      Posted: May. 22, 3:59:29 PM     Points: 238
Shark, I do see your point. I see dumb crap out there all the time. This one just seems like it could have been handled with a little more lenient approach. Iím sure the fire extinguisher would have worked if it needed to be used. Also a bummer he got chased off the lake while being otherwise completely safe. Iíve seen seen people get off with warnings for far more egregious infractions.
 Reply by: walleyeshark      Posted: May. 22, 7:20:17 PM     Points: 199
There is no "otherwise safe". You are or you are not! Good call by the ranger & lesson learned I'm sure. If it would have happened to me then fine. Wheather the fire ext. could/would have worked has no bearing in the matter. I wish we had more patrol on the lakes. What we see at night on the lake is mind boggling.
 Reply by: walleyeshark      Posted: May. 22, 7:28:12 PM     Points: 199
I will add that Chatty was a complete joke over the weekend. We pre-fished thur & friday for our buds. At least they persevered amongest the fools on the water & won the cwt tourney. Joke they had to fish that place twice. I think the young kids up north are better boatsmen...
 Reply by: Trailerman      Posted: May. 22, 7:55:51 PM     Points: 238
Well then, dually noted there bud. 10-4. Safety first is the bottom line.
 Reply by: fishingmanlee      Posted: May. 22, 8:06:51 PM     Points: 226
If the rangers are making a point to enforce non moving violations, why arenít the inspections happening prior to launch at the ramps? Iím going to check my fire extinguisher tomorrow. Yes, the brothers know how to catch walleye for sure. No drama from those guys!
 Reply by: richw88      Posted: May. 22, 8:35:38 PM     Points: 61
I went to the regs when I saw your post. They state that an inflatable must be worn to be considered "readily accessible" (which is the requirement for PFD's) but that statement is under the regs for "Sailboats and Manually Propelled Vessels", not motorboats. If they try to apply that provision to all inflatable PFD's, they need to read the regs themselves.
And, just BTW, the CPW Boating regs are 50 pages long now. That's getting a little overly-complex IMO. If you need a law degree to operate a pontoon boat, we've dropped off the bubble here.
 Reply by: spicyhombre      Posted: May. 23, 2:07:51 PM     Points: 6376
Thanks for finding where they mention inflatable pfd "readily accessible". I couldn't find it last night and knew it had to be somewhere and I couldn't find it anywhere that related to my boat type/size. They were so rude when they gave me the ticket and I was frustrated that they bothered me when there were drunk idiots and wake boaters buzzing within 50 feet of us when spot locked and fishing. Morons never seem to get bothered.
 Reply by: NoNick      Posted: May. 23, 4:34:03 PM     Points: 83
"I will be printing the regs to have on board and will highlight some sections so I can argue points as needed as they often have their own interpretations of the rules."

For $165, I'd sure be looking into fighting it in court it if you have some extra time to do it. One would think there is something like "traffic court" for boat violations, right? Print off the regs, take them in with you, and talk to a judge who will more than likely let you plead down to something lesser.
 Reply by: esoxrocks      Posted: May. 26, 7:15:03 AM     Points: 2514
Seriously, if you get In-Fisherman magazine...this month (June 2023) there is a good article on boat fires and how to choose fire extinguishers. Itís in the ďMarine SceneĒ section.
 Reply by: Dakota Dude      Posted: May. 26, 3:22:55 PM     Points: 2555
I had a loose connection on one of my trolling motor batteries back in 2016. The wires got hot and the sheathing started burning. Once the compartment started to catch fire a bit we smelled it and opened the door to the compartment. I immediately tried to put it out with rags (it wasn't a big fire) and my wife grabbed the fire extinguisher, which was 16 years old. It no longer had a charge. I was able to get it out without any real damage being done. It would have been nice to have my fire extinguisher though! Lesson learned.

When I replaced the wiring I also installed the 60amp Minn Kota breaker. No more fires!
 Reply by: nparker      Posted: May. 27, 3:18:45 PM     Points: 1387
I looked at the boating regulations online. They seem to say that a fire extinguisher is required for all motor boats. On page 37 I am not sure what they mean by

If fixed fire
extinguishing system
in machinery space

Then you don't need a fire extinguisher?
 Reply by: walleyeshark      Posted: May. 27, 5:16:34 PM     Points: 199
How ironic that T. Wickstrom was talking about boater safety (as he often does) on his podcast today. He was very adament about having an operable fire extinguisher on board. Like most of us that spend 150 plus days on the water it's good to be as prepared as we can...Fish On!
 Reply by: Bizkits Dad      Posted: May. 27, 9:56:14 PM     Points: 457
There was an article in the Denver Post Friday about how rangers are cracking down on boating reg violations. This is in response to last year being really bad for drownings.
 Reply by: fishingmanlee      Posted: May. 30, 10:04:20 AM     Points: 226
This thread saved my ass this weekend. Got checked on Granby Saturday. Licenses, throwable floatation, non expired extinguisher, and life vests.

After reading this thread last week I checked my extinguisher and it was manufactured in 2012 so I bought a new one. Also, I have plenty of life vest on board however we first pointed out our inflatable PDF but were told they do not count unless they are actively being worn. I did not have a throwable and the Officers graciously lent me one of theirs that we had to turn into the inspector at the end of our day. Whatever your persuasion or political belief in personal liberties are the state means business right now. Make sure your stuff is on board and up to date because you most likely will get inspected at some point. I still stand firm, however, in my position of doing these checks at the boat ramp prior to launch.

Who else witnessed one out of every two boaters at the ramps this weekend having MAJOR difficulties?
 Reply by: Barnacles      Posted: May. 30, 11:36:12 AM     Points: 3274
Thanks fishingmanlee. To say they "mean business" right now is an accurate statement. I try to avoid the lakes on holiday weekends, but yesterday was my chance on Pueblo. It was an absolute "welcome to the jungle" day. CPW had a water safety table set up at the top of the ramp. I didn't get checked, but spent half the day clutching my safety equipment. I swear a wake boat was trying to bash me on the rocks.

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