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Boat Lift Legislation and Permitting

Boat lift and boat dock regulations, permitting procedures and laws are as many and diverse as the myriad of cities, counties, states and countries whose citizens have bought JetDock. What is permissible in one river might be restricted in another. What requires registration in one lake may be irrelevant in another. Along coastal areas, overlapping city, county, state and federal jurisdictions can lead to even further confusion. In all cases, JetDock Systems, Inc. requires each and every customer to examine their local requirements before we ship or deliver their Jet Dock system. Here are a few general rules to consider.

Common sense applies: do not allow your Jet Dock boat lift to encroach your neighbor's property or extend too far into the waterway as to impede navigation. If using the JetDock floats to build a floating dock or walkway where none other existed before, check to make sure you are allowed to have a dock in that location, and what the dimensional restrictions might be.

For inland lakes and rivers, generally speaking, tying up your Jet Dock boat lift to an existing legal dock structure is permissible without significant restriction. For large navigable lakes and coastal salt waters, further restrictions can apply, however the greatest leeway is given to applications in which you are tying-up the JetDock boat lift system to your existing legal docking structure. This makes sense -- the existing boat slip or mooring area already anticipates having the hull of a watercraft placed there. All you are doing is removing the boat, connecting a JetDock environmentally friendly drive-on docking system in place, and bringing the boat back, this time safely dry-docked. On the other hand, if you are creating a new dock or boat slip where there was none before, you are most likely to experience regulation and restriction.

When leasing a slip in a Marina or waterside Condo property, it will sometimes be necessary to obtain an approval from the organization before using a boat lift in their slip. Most marinas in most cities, states and countries have no prohibition on the use of a boat lift in their slips. However, in the interest of aesthetics and protection to the infrastructure, some DO impose conditions or restrictions on what type of lift can be used or how it may be attached.

The JetDock System is widely approved as the ideal boat lifting device for use in marina slips. Unlike constructed boat lifts, the JetDock is simply tied into place. Your JetDock will require no pilings or metal brackets, causes no alteration to the existing dock, and does not rest the weight of the lift or boat on the marina structure. It is also not prone to causing damage to the marina infrastructure at times of no-water conditions, floods or storms. Finally, the low-profile design of your JetDock will not obstruct your fellow boaters activities or block their view.

Click here for a PDF to see an example of an approval letter from a Marina community association. An approval for a boat lift when contained within a legal, permitted marina or condo slip tends to rest with the marina or condominium boards. Little, if any, city or state permitting applies to boat lifts being used inside of an existing slip. See Legislation and Permits.

In the US, some of the most environmentally-sensitive waters reside in coastal Florida. In 2002 and again in 2006, the boat lift industry and the regulatory and environmental permitting agencies worked together to create sweeping rules and regulation for floating boat lift products. The Florida legislature passed 403.813 (2) Fla Stat. defining "floating vessel platorms" and allowing their use statewide within pre-determined parameters. The law specifically exempts drive-on docking systems from permitting -- even in environmentally sensitive waters -- so long as they are within parameters dictated, and used in connection with an existing docking structure or legal mooring area that already anticipates the presence of a watercraft. The law specifically excludes from the exemption a floating dock or walkway structure that creates a new slip -- these activities still require thorough permitting procedures. Thus, the new law accommodates the citizen's and environment's benefit to having boats stored in a dry-docked manner, while continuing to follow the general rule that new docks in coastal waters require full permitting processes. The laws of the State of Florida stand as a template for intelligent management of boat docking and the environment.

No matter where you are, your JetDock boat lift or boat dock system can bring years of use and enjoyment -- the Lifetime Warranty guarantees it. Take the time up front to determine the legal parameters at your water site for boating and docking activities, and then count on us to provide any and all information needed about our products to make for a compliant use at your location. Due to its benign, non-obtrusive and portable nature, your JetDock should be the most likely docking system to be approved!

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