Union Lake Shores Association, Inc
Union Lake Shores Association, Inc

Boating Laws



Here is a highlight of safety issues for boaters that enjoy Union Lake. Much of it is common sense. As new boaters become part of our lake community we need to spread the word.  Feel free to copy and post at our local access sites or in your neighborhood mail boxes


  • The general traffic flow direction on the lake should be COUNTER CLOCKWISE.
  • Michigan law states that watercraft must stay at least 100 feet from:
    • A shoreline (If operating in water less than (3) three feet deep)shore
    • Any moored or anchored vessel
    • A dock or Raft
    • Any "Permitted" designated swim area, or any person(s) in the water.
  • Motorboats must give way to non-motorized vessels such as sailboats, rowboats, sailboards and kayaks. In general, larger boats are to give way to smaller boats.
  • When passing another watercraft, always pass on its port (left) side.
  • The ski course is best used by ski boats and skiers, not pontoons and jet skis.
  • Keeping a safe distance from boats pulling skiers or tubers is just common sense. Fishermen also should be respected with a wide clearance.
  • Maximum boating speed on an inland lake is 55 miles per hour. 
  • WATCH YOUR WAKE! It can capsize a small boat, cause injury to people on an anchored boat and cause damage along the shoreline-- the driver and owner of the boat can be liable for damages caused by their wake 

  • PWC’s must be off the lake at sunset. This is because they have no lights. It is a safety issue
  • A two person PWC MAY NOT pull a tuber. State of Michigan Law requires the capacity of the PWC to include a seat for the drive, the spotter and the person being towed in case a rescue is required. (Example: Only a 3 person PWC may pull a single tuber) 

MARKERS/BUOYS AND ANCHORING it is illegal to mark waters to impede or interfere with the traffic of watercraft. You can be held liable for damages caused by markers that impede lake traffic

State of Michigan Law
SL 13. Interference with Navigation

It is unlawful to:
• Anchor a vessel in the traveled portion of a river or channel that will prevent or interfere with any other passing vessel. 

• Obstruct a boat ramp, pier, wharf or access to any facility.

• Obstruct or mark the waters of Michigan in a way that may endanger the operation of watercraft or conflict with the marking system prescribed by the State of Michigan. 

• Operate or otherwise position a vessel, other object or any person in a way that would obstruct or impede the normal flow of traffic on the lakes of this state.

SL 18. Divers-down Flag
Federal navigation rules require vessels restricted in the ability to maneuver to display appropriate day shapes or lights. To meet this requirement, recreational vessels engaged in diving activities may exhibit a rigid replica of the international code flag "A" or a “Divers- Down” flag not less than one meter in height, or at night, display navigation lights 360 degrees red on top, white in middle and red on the bottom.
Scuba divers or snorkelers must display a “divers-down” flag to mark their diving area. Divers must stay within 100 feet of the vertical position of their divers down-flag.
Vessels must remain at least 200 feet away from the flag.

Have an issue? Contact the Oakland County Sherrif
Marine Division: 


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