Non-Motorized Listening Sessions

Hello Non-Motorized Boaters!

The first listening session to non-motorized boaters in Portland on June 3rd was filled with great dialog and excelleng boater feedback.  Just what agency staff was hoping for.  Twenty-five people attended as well as Marine Board NMPDXMtgmember, Jen Tonneson.  Three Non-Motorized External Advisory Committee Members were there to talk with folks: Travis Williams, Laura Jackson and Sam Drevo.  We also had Chief  Deputy Gates and Lt. Travis Gullberg from MCSO River Patrol who came to listen in on the discussions.

If you didn’t have a chance to fill out the paper meeting evaluations, no worries!  You can still submit your thoughts through an online survey (link below)…and please share this link with other people you know who couldn’t attend the meeting, but still want to comment!

Non-Motorized Boater Listening Session Survey

Also on this page are documents of the work the external advisory committee did over the last year and a half, and the Strategic Plan that started this process in motion.

Let’s keep the dialog going!  Remember, this is the very beginning of the process, and you’re helping shape what may or may not happen in Oregon for boating access, safety, and education for non-motorized boaters.

Keep it clean, productive, and constructive.  Your voice matters…






The Marine Board -A Different Kind of State Agency

…because of how we’re funded.  The Marine Board does not operate with any general fund dollars.Marine Board expenditures and revenues for the 2013-2015 biennium.

The Marine Board is funded entirely by user fees, federal grants and fuel
tax dollars.  The Marine Board does not receive state or federal general fund dollars.
Also, the agency has not raised titling and registration fees since 2003. 

Boat Registration Facts

All motorboats and sailboats greater than 12 feet that are in use (in the water) must be currently registered.  Registration is issued on a two-year calendar basis, with all decals expiring Dec. 31 of the year indicated.  There is no retroactive payment for years the boat was not registered and no late fee for registration.

Registration is $3 per foot based on center length of vessel, bow to stern, rounded up to the nearest foot. There is also a $5 surcharge for the aquatic invasive species fee. For example, the registration fee for a 17’6″ boat is:     18’x $3 = $54 + $5 AIS = $59

Registration Fees                                            Floating Home and Boathouses

Oregon Title –transfer, new boats or out-of-state $30 Initial or replacement Certificate of Title and Identifying Plate $20
Lost Title replacement without change of ownership $15 Late Title Transfer Penalty $25
Lost Title replacement with change of ownership $30 Replacement Identification Plate $20
Duplicate Certificate of Number (registration card) or dealer $10    
Late Title transfer fee (OR boat titles only) $25    

Agency Sections

Director’s Office  -Administration:

  • Develop / modify Oregon  Administrative Rules to boating related to safety, enforcement, access and recreational environment.
  • Marine Board operating budget and fiscal administration.
  • Reporting to the Marine Board and the Governor’s Office.
  • Provide information via social media, agency website, print publications, partnerships, and public awareness campaigns.
  • Works with local governments to produce safety and information signage at launch sites and videos for the agency’s YouTube channel (

Registration Section:              

  •  Issue biennial certificates of number and titles for approximately 177,000 boats.
  • Register 955 outfitters and guides.
  • License 261 licensed ocean charter boats.
  • Register 2,500 floating homes, houseboats and boat houses.
  • Train and work with approximately 80 bonded agents where boaters can register their boats and receive temporary permits. 

Boating Safety Section:

Law Enforcement Program:

  • Contracts with Oregon State Police and 32 counties for services such as; on-water patrol, marine enforcement, investigations, placement of waterway markers, boating safety education, etc.
  • Provide marine related training for deputies, troopers and their managers.
  • Provide boats and associated equipment in support of county service providers.
  • Service providers conduct safety inspections, enforce boating under the influence law, assist boaters, instruct safety programs in schools, and investigate accidents. 

Education/Information Program:

  • Provides low cost, high quality classroom and Internet education programs for boaters.
  • Certifies volunteer instructors and provide approved course materials.
  • Provides the boating public with free publications (brochures, posters, counter cards).
  • Provides materials and training for school education programs.
  • Participate in statewide boat shows to promote boating opportunities, promote agency programs including: mandatory education, clean boater, clean marina, and aquatic invasive species.  

Environmental Program:

  • Aquatic invasive species prevention permit program
  • Certifies marinas with the “Clean Marina Designation for facilities who adopt best management practices
  • Offers voluntary enrollment into the Clean Boater program –with tips, tools and supplies for boaters so they can become stewards of the environment and examples for all boaters to follow.

Facilities Section:

  • Provide grants for boat ramps, boarding floats, transient tie-ups, parking, restrooms, pump-outs and dump stations and maintenance.
  • Provide grant assistance to cities, counties, park districts and ports.
  • Provide engineering assistance and design services for boating facilities.
  • Provide standard designs and specifications.
  • Provide permits for approved flotation (foam encapsulation) for docks and other floating structures.

What’s Going on with OSMB’s Strategic Plan?

A strategic plan can be defined as a thorough and careful process to make decisions and determine actions that shape and guide an organization. Since we are the state’s recreational boating agency, the ultimate goal is to serve Oregon’s boaters in the best way possible. The decisions and actions are based on a broad understanding of our customers and constituencies. We must couple this understanding with an objective view of our strengths and weaknesses. Through this process of public input, mediated discussions and Board decisions, a strategic plan will help us best understand where the agency is now, where it wants to be, and how it will get there.
Why a strategic plan now?
·         It is important for any agency, business or organization to review its mission and priorities on a regular basis. We’re over-due. Boating has changed dramatically in the last 15 years. While boat registrations have generally declined, certain types of motorized boat use have increased significantly. We face environmental issues today that weren’t understood 15 years ago. Interest in paddling and rowing sports has increased substantially. The best way to weave these changing needs together and develop a plan to manage them is through a process that provides direct contact with the broader boating public and the partners who provide services to them.
How will my comments be used?
·         When we have a meeting to discuss a proposed rule, we often only hear from the local interest groups. This process will give a more global perspective on what boaters want from the Oregon State Marine Board. Your comments will be reviewed, categorized and carefully considered. Your viewpoint may represent a larger group of people we haven’t considered, or you may raise issues, concerns, solutions or suggestions we haven’t heard before.
Is this a back-door way to raise fees?
·         No. This is a front-door way to determine what Oregon’s broad array of boaters expect from the Marine Board. We will, as all organizations with a budget must do, weigh these expectations against existing resources as we develop the priority goals for the coming years.
Why is the Board inviting non-motorized boaters to participate when they don’t pay registration fees?
·         Nonmotorized boaters are, first and foremost, boaters. The Marine Board has statutory authority to enact rules that can govern non-motorized boating. Historically, non-motorized boating has occurred most frequently on rural waterways with little need for oversight or management. However, the number of non-motorized boats has increased significantly and users now seek assistance from law enforcement and often seek regulation benefiting their operation. They cannot and should not be ignored, and deserve an equal opportunity to participate in the discussion.
Will this really result in any significant change? 
·         We’ll let the process determine the need for, and scope of, change. However, change is occurring whether we want it to or not. Boaters increasingly want “greener” boating facilities such as wash stations to prevent invasive species infestations. Some want areas free of wakes where they can fish or paddle in peace. Others want areas where they can wakeboard without restriction. Others dislike certain agency directions and push for change statutorily. This is a proactive effort to understand the landscape and implement change that best serves boaters.