Ohio Governor Signs Act to Decrease Boarding – Quimby's Cruising Guide

Ohio Governor Signs Act to Decrease Boarding

Cleveland.com reports that Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich has signed the Boater Freedom Act, designed to rein in local and state officers from boarding local pleasure and charter boats unless there is a reasonable suspicion that laws are being broken.

Sponsor Rep. Rex Damschroder, a Republican from Fremont, said boaters in Northwest Ohio have been complaining about constant safety inspection by local and state agencies, including the Ohio Division of Watercraft. Some boaters, said Damschroder, have been checked multiple times during the same day and cited one instance of a local boater being brought to shore while face down and in handcuffs, even though a breathalyzer test showed no evidence of alcohol use.

The regulation will not stop U.S. Coast Guard or Homeland Security officials from arbitrarily stopping and boarding boats.

“Out next goal ought to be sitting down with the Coast Guard and telling them they don’t have to treat (boaters) like thugs,” said Damschroder. “We want them to do what’s right. If they see someone violating the law, go after them. But don’t harass boaters.”

The legislation was needed because local and state law enforecment officials “have become so repressive around Lake Erie, and especially the Western Basin,” said Ken Alvery, head of the Lake Erie Marina Trades Assocaition. “It hurts tourism, fishing and boating in general.”

Explore More from Quimby’s

Quimby’s 2024 Photo Contest Winners

We would like to send a big thank you to all that participated in the Quimby’s Cruising Guide 2024 Photo Contest. 2023 was a great year to cruise our Inland Rivers and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The ever-increasing interest in transient boating has sparked an even greater wanderlust for the American heartland. Cheers to a great year […] Read More

My Fun Five Picks for Your Cruiser Dad this Father’s Day!

#1 the BOTE Inflatable Hangout Chair Classic $349  If you’ve ever sat on an Adirondack chair and thought: ‘Dang, this would be cool in the water’, then the patent pending Hangout Chair is for you. Perfect for hot days when the sun is glaring and you need to keep cool while you float, the Hangout […] Read More


YANMAR Marine International (YMI) proudly announces its selection by Linssen Yachts to power its new Linssen 45 SL AC 75 Edition, set to debut in May this year, ahead of being the engine of choice across its entire range. The collaboration marks a significant milestone for both esteemed companies, each boasting a rich heritage in […] Read More