boating rules

                                                 Rules and Regulations Governing the Use of Slack Reservoir


The following rules and regulations govern the use of Slack Reservoir.  These rules and regulations were adopted by the Slack Reservoir Association Board of Trustees in May 2001, and updated in October 2012; they are in effect for the purposes of maintaining a high standard of safety, protecting the environmental quality of the reservoir, and for respecting the rights of property owners and residents abutting Slack Reservoir.  These rules and regulations supercede all previous versions.


PROPERTY OWNER:             Any person(s) owning property that abuts Slack Reservoir

RESIDENT:                             Any person(s) residing on property that abuts Slack Reservoir

WATERS:                                All waters contained in the Slack Reservoir Impoundment

RESERVOIR:                          All land and water owned by the Slack Reservoir Association

VESSEL:                                  Every description of watercraft

MOTORBOAT:                       Any vessel with a motor, powered by gasoline or any other fuel.

WATER SKIING:                    Towing a person(s) behind a vessel on a device specifically designed for that purpose.  This includes, but is not limited to, water skis, knee boards, and tubes.



Property owners and residents are responsible for the proper use of the reservoir including the actions and safety of their guests

Any person(s) using the reservoir for any purpose; or any person(s) owning, maintaining, or using a boat, vessel or other vehicle on the reservoir; or maintaining a dock, float or other structure on the reservoir; expressly and affirmatively waives any claim which they may have against the Slacks Reservoir Association arising out of such use. 

Any person(s), organization, or entity using the reservoir shall be deemed to have accepted these rules and regulations and to have assented to them as being binding upon such person(s), organization or entity.

Trespassing on the property (including but not limited to docks, swim platforms and boats) of property owners or residents of the reservoir is prohibited.

No person(s) shall discharge or permit the discharge of any sewage, wastewater, gray water, fertilizer, soap, nitrates, or any other EPA listed hazardous or controlled substance into the reservoir.  No property owner shall permit or allow the same to be done from their property.

All activities on the reservoir from 10:00pm to 8:00am shall maintain a reduced noise level to minimize disruption to residents abutting the reservoir.

Any item, structure, float or other object that is determined to impact the insurability of the reservoir is not allowed on the reservoir.

Any recreational use of the reservoir, which is not identified or addressed in these rules and regulations, is subject to the discretion and approval of the Slacks Reservoir Association Board of Directors.  



Racing of any motorized vessel or motorized vehicle on the reservoir is strictly prohibited.



Any person(s) scuba diving, skin diving, or snorkeling in an area where motorboats are operated shall:

Place a diver’s warning flag on a buoy at the place of his / her submergence (OR)

Fly a diver’s warning flag upon a boat from which he / she has entered the water, while maintaining a distance equal to or less than 50 feet from the point of entry.

Distance swimming of the reservoir shall be undertaken ONLY if properly controlled with a boat escort under the supervision of an adult.

Swimming devices, floats, inner tubes and other devices intended for the use in a swimming pool are to be used only in and around swimming areas such as beaches and docks and NEVER in the open areas or the center of the reservoir.



These rules and regulations are in addition to local ordinances and the State of Rhode Island Boating Safety Regulations.

Use of any vessel or vehicle on the reservoir is restricted to active members of the Slacks Reservoir Association and their guest(s).  Any motorized vessel or vehicle, or a vessel of a size that requires a trailer for launching and recovery used on the reservoir shall be owned by the property owner or resident.

All vessels shall be limited in length.  Pontoon Boats:  Maximum length allowed 25 feet.  All other hulls, powered by motor or sail:  Maximum length allowed 20 feet.

Any person(s) maintaining or using a vessel or other vehicle on the reservoir must maintain liability insurance coverage on that vessel or vehicle.

All vessels used on the reservoir shall have a current “Slacks Reservoir Boat Sticker” permanently affixed to the vessel.

All vessels shall carry a sufficient number of US Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices (PFD) to accommodate the number of persons occupying the vessel.  RI State Law requires children 12 years old and younger to wear a PFD at all times.

All motorboats and motorized vehicles used on the reservoir shall have approved, original equipment (or equivalent), mufflers and exhaust systems.  Exhaust systems of all motorboats shall terminate below the waterline.

All vessels and vehicles used on the reservoir shall be safe for their intended use per the manufacturer’s design. All vessels and vehicles shall be operated in a reasonable and prudent manner and kept under control at all times. Docks and swim platforms shall be inspected for safety by the owner and kept in the immediate area of the owner’s property.

No person shall operate any vessel, vehicle, or any water skis, surfboard, or similar device in a reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person(s).

No person shall operate a motorboat or motorized vehicle at a speed in excess of thirty five (35) miles per hour and shall slow to a speed not exceeding ten (10) miles per hour when passing other non-motorized vessels.

Motorboat and motorized vehicle speed is limited to no more than ten (10) miles per hour when operating within seventy five (75) feet of the shore, docks, swim platforms, swimmers or divers.

Water skiing closer than seventy five (75) feet from the shore, docks, swim platforms, swimmers or divers is prohibited, except when starting and finishing.

Any vessel engaged in water skiing shall have a “spotter” in accordance with state regulations.

Any vessel engaged in waterskiing shall maintain a counter-clockwise course of travel.

Water skiing is allowed only from 8:00AM to one half hour before sunset.

No motorboat or motorized vehicle shall exceed the speed of ten (10) miles per hour from one half hour before sunset to 8:00AM.

Every motorboat which is underway from sunset to sunrise shall display a bright white light aft and a combined lantern in the fore part of the vessel showing green to starboard and red to port.  All other vessels shall have ready at hand a lighted white lantern to be displayed in sufficient time to prevent a collision (per RI State regulations).

Operators of all vessels and vehicles on the reservoir shall obey lawful orders given to them by any State, Local Official or member of the Slacks Reservoir Association Board of Directors in the enforcement of and by the provisions of these rules and regulations.  Operators of all vessels and vehicles shall immediately comply with said orders.

Aircraft and all other types of flying devices, which are capable of carrying personnel, are prohibited from use on the reservoir whether towed or self propelled.



Any person(s) who violates any of the provisions of these Rules and Regulations will be subject to penalties as prescribed by local ordinances and State law, as well as penalties imposed by the Slack Reservoir Association, up to and including loss of use of the reservoir.