You are here: California / Harbors and Navigation Code - HNC / ARTICLE 1. Operation and Equipment [650. - 674.] / Section 651.

Section 651. (Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 398, Sec. 1.)
Cite as: Cal. Harb. & Nav. Code §651.

As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:

(a)“Alcohol” means any form or derivative of ethyl alcohol (ethanol).

(b)“Alcohol concentration” means either grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

(c)“Associated equipment” means any of the following, excluding radio equipment:

(1)Any system, part, or component of a boat as originally manufactured or any similar part or component manufactured or sold for replacement, repair, or improvement of the system, part, or component.

(2)Any accessory or equipment for, or appurtenance to, a boat.

(3)Any marine safety article, accessory, or equipment intended for use by a person on board a boat.

(d)“Boat” means any vessel that is any of the following:

(1)Manufactured or used primarily for noncommercial use.

(2)Leased, rented, or chartered to another for the latter’s noncommercial use.

(3)Engaged in the carrying of six or fewer passengers, including those for-hire vessels carrying more than three passengers while using inland waters of the state that are not declared navigable by the United States Coast Guard.

(4)Commercial vessels required to be numbered pursuant to Section 9850 of the Vehicle Code.

(e)“Chemical test” means a test that analyzes an individual’s breath, blood, or urine, for evidence of drug or alcohol use.

(f)“Controlled substance” means controlled substance as defined in Section 11007 of the Health and Safety Code.

(g)“Department” means the Department of Boating and Waterways.

(h)“Director” means the Director of Boating and Waterways.

(i)“Drug” means any substance or combination of substances other than alcohol that could so affect the nervous system, brain, or muscles of a person as to impair to an appreciable degree his or her ability to operate a vessel in the manner that an ordinarily prudent person, in full possession of his or her faculties, using reasonable care, would operate a similar vessel under like conditions.

(j)“Intoxicant” means any form of alcohol, drug, or combination thereof.

(k)“Legal owner” is a person holding the legal title to a vessel under a conditional sale contract, the mortgagee of a vessel, or the renter or lessor of a vessel to the state, or to any county, city, district, or political subdivision of the state, under a lease, lease-sale, or rental-purchase agreement that grants possession of the vessel to the lessee for a period of 30 consecutive days or more.

(l)“Manufacturer” means any person engaged in any of the following:

(1)The manufacture, construction, or assembly of boats or associated equipment.

(2)The manufacture or construction of components for boats and associated equipment to be sold for subsequent assembly.

(3)The importation into this state for sale of boats, associated equipment, or components thereof.

(m)“Marine employer” means the owner, managing operator, charterer, agent, master, or person in charge of a vessel other than a recreational vessel.

(n)“Motorboat” means any vessel propelled by machinery, whether or not the machinery is the principal source of propulsion, but shall not include a vessel that has a valid marine document issued by the United States Coast Guard or any federal agency successor thereto.

(o)“Operator” means the person on board who is steering the vessel while underway.

(p)“Owner” is a person having all the incidents of ownership, including the legal title, of a vessel whether or not that person lends, rents, or pledges the vessel; the person entitled to the possession of a vessel as the purchaser under a conditional sale contract; or the mortgagor of a vessel. “Owner” does not include a person holding legal title to a vessel under a conditional sale contract, the mortgagee of a vessel, or the renter or lessor of a vessel to the state or to any county, city, district, or political subdivision of the state under a lease, lease-sale, or rental-purchase agreement that grants possession of the vessel to the lessee for a period of 30 consecutive days or more.

(q)“Passenger” means every person carried on board a vessel other than any of the following:

(1)The owner or his or her representative.

(2)The operator.

(3)Bona fide members of the crew engaged in the business of the vessel who have contributed no consideration for their carriage and who are paid for their services.

(4)Any guest on board a vessel that is being used exclusively for pleasure purposes who has not contributed any consideration, directly or indirectly, for his or her carriage.

(r)“Person” means an individual, partnership, firm, corporation, limited liability company, association, or other entity, but does not include the United States, the state, or a municipality or subdivision thereof.

(s)“Personal watercraft” means a vessel 13 feet in length or less, propelled by machinery, that is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on the vessel, rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel.

(t)“Recreational vessel” means a vessel that is being used only for pleasure.

(u)“Registered owner” is the person registered by the Department of Motor Vehicles as the owner of the vessel.

(v)“Special-use area” means all or a portion of a waterway that is set aside for specified uses or activities to the exclusion of other incompatible uses or activities.

(w)“State” means a state of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the District of Columbia.

(x)“State of principal use” means the state on which waters a vessel is used or intended to be used most during a calendar year.

(y)“Undocumented vessel” means any vessel that is not required to have, and does not have, a valid marine document issued by the United States Coast Guard or any federal agency successor thereto.

(z)“Use” means operate, navigate, or employ.

(aa)“Vessel” includes every description of watercraft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, except either of the following:

(1)A seaplane on the water.

(2)A watercraft specifically designed to operate on a permanently fixed course, the movement of which is restricted to a fixed track or arm to which the watercraft is attached or by which the watercraft is controlled.

(bb)“Water skis, an aquaplane, or a similar device” includes all forms of water skiing, barefoot skiing, skiing on skim boards, knee boards, or other contrivances, parasailing, ski kiting, or any activity where a person is towed behind or alongside a boat.

(cc)“Waters of this state” means any waters within the territorial limits of this state.





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