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North Dakota would need to license larger boats under a proposed law



Bismarck, North Dakota – A resolution to abolish a state statute that forbade big boats, including cabin cruisers, from having a North Dakota registration has been approved by the State House.

The concept was presented to the legislature by someone who lives near the Missouri River, according to Rep. Anna Novak (R-Hazen). She informed the House that someone had noticed an increase in the quantity of those enormous boats using the river, which create hazardously large wakes.

“A friend of the man who testified in committee was on a pontoon with his wife,” Novak said. “A cabin cruiser went by, and caused such a large wake, it threw his wife into the table, and she ended up breaking two ribs.”

According to Novak, he also related the tale of another neighbor whose grandchild was launched off a pontoon deck by a cabin cruiser’s sizable wake.

The main problem, according to Novak, is that the huge boats lack identification numbers because they are not required to register with the state.

“They’re difficult, and sometimes impossible, to track down after an incident takes place,” Novak said.

According to Novak, the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee was unable to identify any justification for not registering cabin cruisers with the state Game and Fish Department, which registers all types of watercraft, including pontoons and jet skis.

SB 2382, the bill, was approved by a unanimous vote and is now on its way to Governor Doug Burgum.