Boating at Night and Boat Lights on the Illinois Fox River and the Chain O’Lakes (The Chain)

Boating at Night and Boat Lights on the Illinois Fox River and the Chain O’Lakes (The Chain)

Boaters on the Chain O’Lakes in McHenry and Lake Counties should be familiar with the rules for operating a boat at night on the Chain.  Nighttime rules are established by the Fox Waterway Agency through a Code of Rules and Regulations as authorized by Illinois Law.  This is simply known as the Fox Waterway Agency Code of Rules and Regulations.

Chapter 7 of the Code of Rules and Regulations defines and establishes the rules for operating a boat at night on the Chain.  The Code also mentions lighting on boats.  As to boat lighting, the Code states: “The Agency adopts and incorporates here as the regulations of the Agency all nighttime lighting regulations, and all subsequent revisions, amendments and the like, promulgated by the United States Coast Guard.  This means that the regulations set forth by the United States Coast Guard apply to your boat on the Chain.  The Coast Guard rules state that “All vessels are required to display navigation lights between sunset and sunrise and during times of restricted visibility”.  The rules then go on to describe navigation lights.

The Fox Waterway Agency Code of Rules and Regulations also set forth a speed limit for operating at night.  The Code states, “It shall be unlawful for any person to conduct night operations of any boat at a speed greater than is reasonable and proper given lighting and weather conditions but in no event shall such speed exceed 25 miles per hour.”

If you have questions regarding Illinois Laws, contact the Law Office of Andrew Szocka.

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