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Boat Trailer Parking

See Parking on the Amenities page.

Boater Safety & Education

Last updated August 5, 2021
 
 
 
Here are some Tennessee boating regulations that might not be the same in all states:   
 
#1 The Move Over law similar to the law on land will become effective on Tennessee waters.  The law requires boaters to slow down to a no wake speed when they are within 100 feet of a law enforcement boat with flashing lights.
 
#2 There is No longer an exemption from boating education for renters or those vacationing. Tennessee residents and Out of State residents born after January 1, 1989 are required to pass a boater education exam administered by an approved representative of the TWRA or a National Association of State Boating Law Administrator approved boating safety course in order to operate any motorized vessel over 8.5 horse power. Testing locations and information can be found on the TWRA website.  Courses are also offered by the USCG Auxiliary and America’s Boating Club.
 
#3 Alcoholic beverages are permitted on Norris Lake however the boat operator often referred to as the “Skipper” must be sober. Considering the effect of the sun, stress of a busy lake, wind, motor noise, level of hydration, and distractions from passengers, it is taught that each alcoholic beverage has double the effect than normal. Many laws now read:  the boat operator may not operate or permit others to operate while Boating under the influence. The same applies to reckless operation, adherence to no wake zones, etc.  Everyone should be careful who they allow to use their boat. 
 
#4 Reckless operation of a boat or a Personal Watercraft (“PWC”) will attract the attention of law enforcement and other boaters due to the risk of personal injury and property damage. Make sure you review the Handbook of Tennessee Boating Laws and Responsibilities because there are specific rules relating to Personal Watercraft.  Some of these are: the age of the PWC operator; restrictions on when a PWC can be operated - daytime only; and restrictions on wake jumping (wake jumping is not legal within 100 feet of another vessel).
 
#5 The age requirement for wearing life jackets is 12 and younger. Regardless of age, the life jacket must fit the activity and wearer. Each person aboard must have at least one USCG approved life jacket readily available to them. Boats 16’ in length and over must also have at least one USCG approved throwable device. It is common for children to outgrow their life jacket each year. Test fit them before heading to the lake. Short term loaner life jackets may be available from the SB Mariner’s Club or other boaters.
 
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is a great resource.  Their link is:  TN.gov/TWRA
 
Other helpful links for information about boating:
 

Boat & Water Craft Registration

Boat & water craft registration are handled by the Union County Clerk's Office.

Life Jackets

Life jackets revised 10/19/2022 See link below for TN laws pertaining to life jackets page ~30.
 
 
Very few people die from drowning in boating related accidents while wearing a life jacket. In TN, children 12 and under are required to wear a life jacket while a vessel is underway. Adults can perish just as children can and might be more difficult to save should they fall overboard. Adults should consider being a good example for their children and other boaters. Many find wearing a personal floatation device (life jacket) uncomfortable. Life jackets are no longer limited to the bulky orange vest. Several designs are available that increase comfort and allow for movement during activities such as paddling, fishing, or soaking up some sunshine. Type III Inflatable Legal for those 16 years and older and suitable for good swimmers are PFDs that can be worn as a stole or waistband. Both designs have models that automatically inflate when they are wet or manually inflated with a pull cord. The auto inflate capability costs a little more but would help if a person was unconscious in the water. Most of these types also provide a D-ring which is a convenient place to secure the engine cut-off lanyard. These comfortable styles can be found at Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, West Marine or your favorite store that fits your comfort and budget. There are many that fall into a price point that make great Holiday or Birthday gifts. Refer to the link above to the TN Boating Handbook ~page 30 for more PFD styles and laws that match the activity to the required type of PFD.
 
More information: Matthew Murphy fishhard2000@gmail.com
America’s Boating Club https://americasboatingclub.org/
 
 
 

Norris Lake

Norris Lake, Tennessee
Norris Lake is a reservoir that is located in Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger and Union Counties in Tennessee. The lake was created by the Norris Dam at the Cove Creek Site on the Clinch River in 1936 by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for flood control, water storage, and hydroelectric power. Norris Dam and its reservoir were the first major project taken on by the TVA. The lake, the dam, and the town of Norris, Tennessee are named for George W Norris, who was a U.S. Senator from Nebraska and who wrote the legislation that created the TVA.
 
Coordinates 36.13°N 84.05°W
Primary inflows: Clinch River
Primary outflows: Clinch River, Powell River
Max. length: 206 mi (332 km)
Max. width: 1.2 mi (1.9 km)
Surface area: 53.875 sq mi (137 km2)
Average depth: 75 ft (23 m)
Max. depth: 210 ft (64 m)
Shore length: 809 mi (1,302 km)
Surface elevation: 1,020 ft (310 m)
 
 

Towing

Boat US - use this link to become a member, coordinate towing, pay your membership, and many other things  https://www.boatus.com/
 
Tow Boat US - this article has information specific to Norris Lake

Vessel Safety Checks

Did you know that every year you should have a safety inspection of your boat performed?  This ensures you have the correct safety equipment on your vessel to meet legal requirements. 
 
Boating safety organizations such as the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadron members perform this work as volunteers and non-law enforcement. It is absolutely free. The process is educational in nature.  Those who pass inspection receive a decal.  Those who don't pass the inspection simply receive a list of what is needed to be compliant.  Depending upon the vessel, the inspection takes approximately 30 minutes. I would be happy to meet you at the Sunset Bay Marina or come to your dock by appointment.  Please contact me if interested and feel free to share with other boaters. 
 
Matthew G Murphy
United States Power Squadron
614-886-6732
Email:  fishhard2000@gmail.com
 
More info about the VSC process www.safetyseal.net or  www.USPS.org.
 
Last updated 3/4/2021.