Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 15. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
8/3/2020

Chapter 370. Watercraft: in General

4VAC15-370-10. [Repealed]

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-04-1 § 1, eff. July 1, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 1997; Errata, 13:21 VA.R. 2711 July 7, 1997; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 2003.

4VAC15-370-20. Lifesaving devices for passengers of boats other than motorboats regularly offered for rent.

On and after October 1, 1968, each life preserver required by § 29.1-736 of the Code of Virginia to be provided by person regularly offering boats other than motorboats for rent shall be of a type manufactured in accordance with specifications established by the Commandant, United States Coast Guard, shall be in good and serviceable condition, and shall bear legible original manufacturer's marking or label showing United States Coast Guard approval number for such device.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-701 and 29.1-802 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-04-1 § 2, eff. July 1, 1986.

4VAC15-370-30. [Repealed]

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-04-1 § 3, eff. July 1, 1982; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 3, eff. January 1, 2003.

4VAC15-370-40. Vessels prohibited within certain areas below John H. Kerr Dam and Leesville Dam.

It shall be unlawful to operate or anchor any vessel within 600 feet below the John H. Kerr Dam or within 600 feet below the Leesville Dam.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-103, 29.1-501, 29.1-502, 29.1-701 and 29.1-735 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-04-1 § 4, eff. January 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 9, eff. January 1, 2013.

4VAC15-370-50. Regulatory markers and aids to navigation.

A. Under the provisions of Chapter 7 of Title 29.1 of the Code of Virginia a system of regulatory markers and a lateral buoyage marking system of aids to navigation are hereby adopted on all public waters of the Commonwealth not marked by an agency of the United States. Regulatory markers will be white with international orange bands. A vertical open-faced diamond shape with a white center shall denote danger. A vertical open-faced diamond shape with an inside cross shall denote a prohibition of all vessels. A circular shape with a white center shall denote a control or restriction. A rectangular shape shall denote information other than a danger, control or restriction. No regulatory marker, aid to navigation or other waterway marker affecting the safety, health or well-being of a boat operator, excepting those placed by an agency of the United States or a political subdivision of this Commonwealth as authorized in § 29.1-744 D of the Code of Virginia, shall be placed in, on or near the water unless authorized by the department.

B. When buoys are used as regulatory markers, they shall be white with horizontal bands of international orange, having a minimum width of two inches, placed completely around the buoy circumference. One band shall be at the top of the buoy, with a second band placed just above the waterline so that both bands are clearly visible to approaching watercraft. The area of the buoy body visible between the two bands shall be white and not less than 12 inches in height. No buoy shall be less than 24 inches in overall height from the waterline.

C. Where a regulatory marker consists of a sign displayed from a marine structure, post or piling, the sign shall be white, with an international orange border having a minimum width of three inches. The geometric shape associated with the meaning of the marker shall be centered on the signboard.

D. The size of the display area shall be as required by circumstances, except that no display area shall be smaller than one foot in height. The outside width of the diamond, the inner diameter of the circle, and the average of the inside and outside widths of a square shall be two-thirds of the display area. The side of the diamond shall slope at a 35° angle from the vertical on the plane surface. Approximate adjustments for curvature may be made when applied to a cylindrical surface.

E. Explanatory words may be added outside the diamond with a center cross, the open diamond and the no wake circle on fixed markers only, and shall be added to the inside of the circle, square and rectangle. The letters of such words shall be black, in block characters of good proportion, spaced in a manner that will provide maximum legibility, and of a size that will provide the necessary degree of visibility. Applicable words include, but are not limited to:

1. Open faced diamond: rock, snag, cable, dam, dredge, shoal, reef, wreck.

2. Diamond with cross: dam, swim area, rapids, no boats.

3. Circle: no skiing, no wake, no anchoring, no fishing, no scuba, no boats, ski only, fishing only, for wording inside the circle; and entering no wake zone, leaving no wake zone, for wording outside the circle.

4. Square or rectangle: information other than a danger, control or restriction, which may contribute to health, safety, or well-being of boaters, such as place names, arrows indicating availability of gas, oil, groceries, marine repairs, limits of controlled areas, or approaching controlled area.

F. Waterway markers shall be made of materials that will retain the characteristics essential to their basic significance, such as color, shape, legibility and position, despite weather or other exposures.

G. Regulatory markers shall be placed where they are reasonably visible from boats approaching the marker and the visibility of the marker shall be maintained.

H. Written approval of the department must be obtained before relocation of any marker.

I. The person responsible for the marker shall immediately notify the department when any approved marker is removed or destroyed. Such marker shall be replaced without unnecessary delay.

J. After notification to the person responsible for the marker, the department may cancel for reasonable cause any marker authorization. Such marker shall be removed by the person responsible for the marker without unnecessary delay. Should the marker not be removed within a reasonable amount of time, the department may remove the marker or have it removed at the expense of the person responsible for the marker.

K. The political subdivision or agency making application shall certify that the markers to be installed conform to the above provisions.

L. It shall be unlawful to enter, use, or occupy public waters for a purpose contrary to the use indicated on markers authorized by the department, or placed by an agency of the Unites States or a political subdivision of this Commonwealth.

M. It shall be unlawful to moor or attach a vessel to a marker other than an approved mooring buoy, or move, remove, displace, tamper with, damage or destroy a marker authorized by the department, placed by an agency of the United States or placed by a political subdivision of this Commonwealth.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-103, 29.1-501, 29.1-502, and 29.1-701 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-04-1 § 5, eff. August 26, 1993; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 2003; Volume 27, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2011.

4VAC15-370-51. Regulatory markers and aids to navigation maintenance.

The person responsible for a regulatory marker or aid to navigation shall maintain such marker or aid to ensure visibility, readability and proper placement of the marker or aid to navigation. The department may remove, have removed or require removal of any marker not maintained or repaired. All costs of removal shall be borne by the person responsible for the marker.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-501, 29.1-502, 29.1-701, 29.1-735, and 29.1-744 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 2003.

4VAC15-370-60. Throughway channel in waters of Virginia Beach.

A. A throughway channel is established in the waters of the City of Virginia Beach from Bird Neck Point through Linkhorn Bay, the Narrows and Broad Bay to the mouth of Old Long Creek. The channel shall be clearly designated by appropriate channel markers approved by the department.

B. The throughway channel established by this section shall be used expressly for traversing the waters in which it is located. Such activities as fishing, crabbing, anchoring, water skiing, wind surfing and maneuvering of personal watercraft are prohibited. All cross traffic shall give way to vessels in transit in the channel.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-501, 29.1-502, 29.1-701 and 29.1-744 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-04-1 § 6, eff. January 5, 1990.

4VAC15-370-70. Watercraft and motor identification numbers.

A. If a watercraft contains a permanent hull identification number placed on it by the manufacturer, the manufacturer's number must be used as the hull identification number. If there is no manufacturer's hull identification number on a watercraft manufactured after November 1, 1972, if the number has been removed or obliterated, or if the watercraft is homemade, the department, upon proper application, may assign a permanent identification number, which must be used as the hull identification number. This assigned number must be affixed permanently to or imprinted upon the watercraft at the place and manner designated by the department.

B. If a motor for a watercraft contains a permanent serial number placed on it by the manufacturer, the manufacturer's number must be used as the motor serial number. If there is no manufacturer's serial number, if the number has been removed or obliterated, or if the motor is homemade, the department, upon proper application, may assign a permanent identification number, which must be used as the motor serial number. This assigned number must be affixed permanently to or imprinted upon the motor at the place and manner designated by the department.

C. It shall be unlawful to destroy, remove, alter, cover, conceal, deface or otherwise obscure the hull identification number, the motor serial number or an identification number issued by the department, any part of it or the plate bearing it, with intent to render it or other property unidentifiable unless authorized in writing by the department and the U.S. Coast Guard.

D. It shall be unlawful to possess a watercraft manufactured on or after November 1, 1972, or a watercraft motor that has the hull identification number, the motor serial number or an identification number issued by the department destroyed, removed, altered, covered, concealed, defaced, or otherwise obscured. Any such watercraft or watercraft motor shall be subject to seizure by any law-enforcement officer and held as evidence.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-501, 29.1-502, 29.1-701, 29.1-735, and 29.1-744 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 2003.

4VAC15-370-80. Penalties.

Except as otherwise provided by statute, any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor for each such violation as provided by § 29.1-746 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-501, 29.1-502, 29.1-701, 29.1-735, and 29.1-744 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 2003.



Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.