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Kali's Law - starts September 1 #13253026 08/19/19 08:16 PM
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Capt Craig Offline OP
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Capt. Craig Copeland
USCG Merchant Marine #2877028



Dear friends and boaters

On September 1, 2019 a new boating law will significantly change boating operations here in Texas.

H,B, 337 (Kali’s Law) An act relating to the use of emergency engine cutoff switches on motorboats.

This law is very specific as to when it applies and very specific as to what is required.


========================

SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS:


SECTION 1. Amends Subchapter D, Chapter 31, Parks and Wildlife Code, by adding Section 31.1071,
as follows:

Sec. 31.1071. OPERATION OF MOTORBOAT WITH EMERGENCY ENGINE CUTOFF
SWITCH. (a) Defines "engine cutoff switch" for purposes of this section.

(b) Prohibits a motorboat operator from operating a motorboat less than 26 feet in
length and equipped by the manufacturer with an engine cutoff switch while the
engine is running and the motorboat is underway without first verifying that the
switch is operational and fully functional and:

(1) if using a lanyard attachment, properly attaching the lanyard, as
appropriate for the specific motorboat, to the operator's body or to the
clothing or personal flotation device being worn by the operator; or

(2) if using a wireless attachment, properly attaching to each individual
on the motorboat an operational man-overboard transmitter.

https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/analysis/pdf/HB00337E.pdf

========================


LANYARD USE

When the engine is running and the motorboat is underway, the operator of the motorboat must be attached to the cutoff switch at ALL TIMES by a lanyard attached physically to that person.

WIRELESS ATTACHMENT

When the engine is running and the motorboat is underway, the operator of the motorboat, AND EVERY PERSON ON THE BOAT REGARDLESS OF AGE, must also be wearing a wireless attachment. A wireless attachment activates a device mounted at the console which will trigger the cutoff switch killing the motor and causing the boat to come to a stop. The wireless attachment is activated by it becoming wet by submersion or excessive wetness, or when the wireless attachment exceeds a certain distance from the helm receiver.

INTERPRETATION OF THE LAW

The law is not based on speed of the motorboat while underway. If the motorboat’s engine is on and the motorboat is underway, regardless of the speed, the operator of the boat must be connected to the cutoff switch. In some situations, this may cause complications for fishing guides and charter Captains during activities such as downrigging where a boat idles in gear while long lines are submerged under the motorboat towing fishing lures. A typical lanyard often stretches to a distance of about 30 inches, but movement of 8 feet or more from the helm may be required to adjust the downrigger equipment while the boat is moving at 1 mph to 3 mph. If the engine is turned on and the boat is moved any distance, the operator of the boat must be connected to the cutoff switch.

LANYARD LENGTH

There is no wording in the law regarding the length allowed for a lanyard. In theory, the operator of the motorboat may wear a lanyard of the length of his/her choosing so long as it is connected to the cutoff and the operator. Fishing guides and charter Captains may find it necessary to create a custom length to meet the needs of the operator.

UNDERSTANDING DEFINITIONS

The wording of this law is a tiny bit unclear. The phrase “while the engine is running” denotes the engine is ON, but does not denote whether or not the transmission is in gear or the propeller is turning. If the engine is running regardless of whether the transmission is in neutral, forward or reverse, the engine is considered ON.

The phrase “the motorboat is underway” is not defined within the law itself. In marine terms, UNDERWAY is defined as “a vessel not at anchor or aground or made fast to the shore.” Any motorboat not meeting these three criteria is said to be underway and the operator required to be attached to the cutoff switch if the motor is also ON.

Situations requiring the operator be attached to the cutoff switch:
• Motor is on, transmission is in neutral, motorboat is drifting not being propelled by the motor.
• Motor is on, transmission is in forward, motorboat is moving by being propelled by the motor.
• Motor is on, transmission is in reverse, motorboat is moving by being propelled by the motor.

Situations not requiring the operator to be attached to the cutoff switch:
• Motor is on, motorboat is at anchor
• Motor is on, motorboat is tied to the shore
• Motor is on, motorboat is tied to a stump (at anchor)
• Motor is on, motorboat is aground
• Motor is off, motorboat is drifting by wave or by wind
• Electronic trolling motor is being used, motorboat is stationary or underway

I believe the law would have been better worded with the phrase “the motor running, transmission in gear, and the motorboat being underway making way.” This marine phrase translates into the motorboat’s engine is actively used to propel the motorboat by the turning of the propeller.

Regardless, those in Texas who enforce these laws will absolutely be enforcing this law. All persons operating motorboats must comply with this law beginning September 1, 2019. As the law is directed to save persons from injury caused by a turning propeller, hopefully it will save a life.


Capt. Craig Copeland
Licensed by the US Coast Guard

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Re: Kali's Law - starts September 1 [Re: Capt Craig] #13253051 08/19/19 08:46 PM
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It is my understanding that HB 337 bill has seen a few but very important recent changes including the addition of "headway speed" as a requirement and who on the boat has to wear a wireless MOB. It really changes things. At least in the "enrolled" version from this link:

https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/billtext/html/HB00337F.HTM


Sec. 31.1071. OPERATION OF MOTORBOAT WITH EMERGENCY ENGINE
CUTOFF SWITCH. (a) In this section, "engine cutoff switch" means
an emergency switch installed on a motorboat that:
(1) is designed to shut off the engine if:
(A) the motorboat operator using a lanyard
attachment activates the switch by falling overboard or otherwise
moving beyond the length of the lanyard; or
(B) the motorboat operator or a passenger using a
wireless attachment activates the switch by falling overboard and
submerging a man-overboard transmitter; and
(2) attaches:
(A) physically to the motorboat operator through
the use of a lanyard worn by the operator; or
(B) wirelessly through the use of a
water-activated man-overboard transmitter worn by the motorboat
operator or any similarly equipped passenger on the motorboat.
(b) A motorboat operator may not operate a motorboat less
than 26 feet in length and equipped by the manufacturer with an
engine cutoff switch while the motorboat is under way and moving at
greater than headway speed without first verifying that the switch
is operational and fully functional and properly attaching the
lanyard or wireless attachment, as appropriate for the specific
motorboat, to the operator's body or to the clothing or personal
flotation device being worn by the operator.
SECTION 2. Section 31.127, Parks and Wildlife Code, is
amended by adding Subsection
(g) to read as follows:
(g) A person who operates a motorboat in violation of
Section 31.1071 commits an offense punishable by a fine of not more
than $200.
SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.


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Re: Kali's Law - starts September 1 [Re: Capt Craig] #13253080 08/19/19 09:13 PM
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Just make it easy on yourself, if the big motor is running, wear the lanyard hooked up to the kill switch. The KISS system.



Re: Kali's Law - starts September 1 [Re: Capt Craig] #13253122 08/19/19 09:50 PM
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Re: Kali's Law - starts September 1 [Re: Capt Craig] #13253154 08/19/19 10:15 PM
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I got a wireless mob+ system from Fell marine and installed it. Under the old version everyone had to wear a transmitter. 50 bucks a pop for 8 people! New version says only operator has to wear it. I really like the system so far. cost me about 200 bucks.


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Re: Kali's Law - starts September 1 [Re: Capt Craig] #13253617 08/20/19 12:03 PM
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I think cutoff switches are great, this law is not. Another government intrusion to make someone feel good. It will be close to impossible to enforce. The law of commonsense is all we need. Can't regulate stupid. Just my 2 cents, as a retired law enforcement officer, I will follow the laws of common sense, this law....

Re: Kali's Law - starts September 1 [Re: Capt Craig] #13253637 08/20/19 12:32 PM
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Sounds like if i want to run down-riggers and and be able to briefly move around boat that i will need to install the wireless MOB. Are these easy to install?

Re: Kali's Law - starts September 1 [Re: jackwagon] #13253823 08/20/19 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jackwagon
Sounds like if i want to run down-riggers and and be able to briefly move around boat that i will need to install the wireless MOB. Are these easy to install?


I think you could argue that if you downrig at the lowest possible throttle setting, this would be headway speed (minimum controllable speed) for your boat and you would not need the kill switch attached.

I don`t want to argue that point on the water so I went wireless. They are not difficult to install. There is one that just clips onto your existing kill switch the Autotether. I went with the Fell MOB+ and it is working well. 4 wires total. Power ground and 2 to the existing kill switch (series or parallel depending on your setup). Hardest part is drilling a brand new 2 inch hole in the helm. The fob has a button on it where you can kill the big motor whenever you want from anywhere on the boat, might come in handy while downrigging or trolling and you hit a snag.


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Re: Kali's Law - starts September 1 [Re: Capt Craig] #13253891 08/20/19 03:25 PM
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The law is worded such that the operator can use a Lanyard OR a wireless device. It does not, that I have seen, statte they must use both OR that every person on the boat needs to have a wireless device attached to them.

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Re: Kali's Law - starts September 1 [Re: Capt Craig] #13254595 08/21/19 12:28 AM
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Im glad they added the change for us that like to troll and run down riggers.

Re: Kali's Law - starts September 1 [Re: Capt Craig] #13254777 08/21/19 03:21 AM
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Tommar Online Content
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Ok so who is Kali and what’s the story behind this new law?

If it would have truly helped whoever this Kali is then I’m for it. If it’s just some new feel good law that would not have done anything then I’m not.


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Re: Kali's Law - starts September 1 [Re: Tommar] #13254837 08/21/19 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Tommar
Ok so who is Kali and what’s the story behind this new law?

If it would have truly helped whoever this Kali is then I’m for it. If it’s just some new feel good law that would not have done anything then I’m not.



She was a teenage passenger that fell overboard and was struck by the propeller on a boat that lost control and spun out. Kill switch wouldn't have saved her.

Re: Kali's Law - starts September 1 [Re: Boomerbrewer] #13254871 08/21/19 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Boomerbrewer
Originally Posted by jackwagon
Sounds like if i want to run down-riggers and and be able to briefly move around boat that i will need to install the wireless MOB. Are these easy to install?


I think you could argue that if you downrig at the lowest possible throttle setting, this would be headway speed (minimum controllable speed) for your boat and you would not need the kill switch attached.

I don`t want to argue that point on the water so I went wireless. They are not difficult to install. There is one that just clips onto your existing kill switch the Autotether. I went with the Fell MOB+ and it is working well. 4 wires total. Power ground and 2 to the existing kill switch (series or parallel depending on your setup). Hardest part is drilling a brand new 2 inch hole in the helm. The fob has a button on it where you can kill the big motor whenever you want from anywhere on the boat, might come in handy while downrigging or trolling and you hit a snag.



Thanks Boomer. I believe you are correct. The latest change does not require the kill switch for idle speed (downrigging) if i understand it correctly. It states:

"...cutoff switch while the motorboat is under way and moving at
greater than headway speed..."

On the TPWD website the only reference to "headway speed" is "...(Headway speed-Slow, idle speed, or speed only fast enough to maintain steerage) without creating a swell or wake..". TPWD uses the "No Wake Zone" as an example of headway speed.

I will most likely call a Game Warden to verify but believe you are correct.



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Re: Kali's Law - starts September 1 [Re: Capt Craig] #13254978 08/21/19 01:05 PM
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to be clear, my boat was not manufactured with one. I'm still good?


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Re: Kali's Law - starts September 1 [Re: Capt Craig] #13255027 08/21/19 01:47 PM
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So everyone has to wear a wireless device if used, but everyone doesn't have to wear a lanyard connected to the kill switch. That makes a lot of sense. It took some real geniuses to come up with this.

This is another example of a feel good law that imposes restrictions on the masses for what happened to the few(one). I could understand this from a Liberal controlled Legislature, but not in Texas. Maybe we need to research who voted for this monstrosity and decide if maybe they have been stuffing money in their pockets too long and need to be removed in favor of a new generation of crooks..
I'm betting there will be a lot of crying and whining here but at the end of the day, every one of these political sellouts will still be sitting in their big leather chairs at the Capitol, taking money from the highest bidder.

Last edited by Bob Landry; 08/21/19 02:00 PM.

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