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Are There Boating Restrictions in Apple Valley Lake OH?

Perhaps you’re thinking about buying a home in Apple Valley and are curious about the boating possibilities here. Maybe you’re wondering, “Are there boating restrictions in Apple Valley Lake OH?”

To provide safe enjoyment and boating experience, boating rules and regulations are implemented in Apple Valley Lake. Boating is restricted only to property owners and their registered guests. Ohio state boating laws and regulations also implement age restrictions when operating a personal watercraft (PWC). In terms of speed and horsepower, Apple Valley Lake is a 95% speed zone with no horsepower limit on inboard motorboats. However, there are “no wake” areas in certain parts of the lake and “no wake” hours for the whole lake at certain times of the day. Size restrictions for boats and PWCs are also implemented, as well as guidelines for anchoring, docking, parking, and storage.

Watercraft Operation Requirements and Permits

For easy identification, all watercrafts used in Apple Valley Lake are required to have Apple Valley Property Owners Association (AVPOA) permit decals as well as State registration numbers and the current State registration tag affixed to the hull as prescribed by the association. For safety, PWCs must also comply with the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) and Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) for Boats and Watercraft.

A member of the AVPOA must be aboard the watercraft at all times. He must also have with him a current property owners’ card and a boating safety education certificate. The watercraft must also be titled in the name of a property owner in good standing.

AVPOA provides these kinds of boat permit decals: 




Annual Pass for Powered Boats

One-year validity pass for powered boats


Annual Pass for Non-powered Boats

One-year validity pass for non-powered boats



A seven-day validity pass for powered boats that can be applied not more than 2x per year.

This is only for a property owner or the immediate family of that property owner who does not have a registered boat.

No personal watercraft (PWC) will be issued a temporary pass.


New Boat

Issued for a maximum of 30 days while awaiting State registration. Once they get their title or registration, the Apple Valley decal will be free.


Special Event

Special pass issued to a watercraft participating in a special event recognized by the Association. It is given on a case to case basis.

Call AVPOA office at 740-397-3311 to get more details.


These may be obtained at the Apple Valley administration office or the marina. It is also important to note that there can only be a maximum total number of four watercraft permits per lot. In addition, out of these four watercrafts, only two may be power craft. For non-powered craft, the “Type of propulsion” is designated on Ohio Watercraft Registration as either “Sail” or “Hand-Powered”.

Age Restrictions

Children below 12 years old are restricted from operating PWCs. Children ages 12 to 15 may operate a PWC if they have an education certificate and are supervised by an adult on board. Meanwhile, young adults ages 16 and older may operate if they have an education certificate.

Speed and Horsepower Restrictions

Apple Valley Lake has no horsepower limit for boats with inboard motors and a 300-horsepower limit for boats with outboard motors. As specifically stated in the AVPOA Lake Rules:

“The maximum horsepower on all boats with outboard motors is limited to a single-engine, with the primary engine not to exceed 300 horsepower and a secondary engine not to exceed 25 horsepower for trolling motors.”

In addition, all watercraft are required to travel in a counterclockwise pattern around the lake, except when it is at idle speed.

Also, there are “no wake” areas in certain parts of the lake. A “no wake” area is a part of the lake where a watercraft is required to be at idle speed. A watercraft’s idle speed is the slowest possible speed needed to maintain steerage or maneuverability. No wake areas are designated to provide safety and prevent damage to lakefront properties. They also ensure that everyone will be able to simultaneously enjoy the lake as best as they can regardless of their activities. This is one of the reasons why Apple Valley Lake is popular among water sports enthusiasts, swimmers, and anglers.

Listed below are the designated “no wake’’ zones in Apple Valley Lake:

  1. Within eighty feet (80’) of any shoreline.
  2. Within fifty feet (50’) of any designated swimming areas.
  3. Within fifty feet (50’) from a watercraft engaged in fishing.
  4. Within fifty feet (50’) of any downed skier or an individual engaging in a towed activity.

Aside from “no wake” areas, there are also “no wake” hours for the whole lake. These are hours after sunset until before sunrise the next day.  

Click here to learn the 7 Best Boating Lakes in Ohio.

Size Restrictions

The maximum length for a mechanically powered craft is twenty-one feet six inches (21’6”) as stated on current state registration, except for the case of pontoon boats. The maximum length for pontoon boats is twenty-eight feet (28’) as stated on current state registration, inclusive of pontoon tubes. On the other hand, the maximum length for a non-mechanically powered craft is twenty-eight feet (28’) as stated on current state registration. Finally, the maximum beam for all watercraft is eight feet six inches (8’6”) at the widest point. 

Houseboats, regardless of size and type, are not permitted.

Lake Use Restrictions 

For safety, all watercraft operators are required to abide by regulatory buoys or signs. However, during periods of abnormally high water or other reasons, the use of the lake may be restricted. Lake condition signal flags are posted at five common area locations around the lake to provide correct and timely information. All watercraft operators are requested to observe the condition flags or call the Association administration office for clarification prior to operating watercraft on the lake.

The flag colors and their corresponding meanings are listed below:

  • Green – Full boating, no restriction
  • Yellow – Idle speed only 
  • Red – Lake closed, no boating

As a further safety precaution, parasailing is not allowed in Apple Valley Lake. However, the Association’s Ski Club maintains a portable slalom course that may be positioned on the lake a few days of the year. Only ski-type boats with slalom water-skiers are permitted to use the course. Others should stay clear of the course when it is not in use and, as a matter of courtesy, maintain no-wake speed in the area around the course when it is in use.

Anchoring and Docking Restrictions 

Beaching of watercraft on common property is only permitted in posted areas. Watercraft must not be left anchored, tied, or docked at launch areas any longer than necessary to park tow vehicles. Also, overnight docking, anchoring, beaching, or mooring at common areas are prohibited. In addition, overnight sleeping on any watercraft on the lake is not allowed.

For ease of navigation, swim platforms and inflatable recreation devices are not permitted to extend beyond the length of the dock into the lake after sunset or obstruct the ability to navigate the waters of Apple Valley Lake. Examples of inflatable recreation devices include trampolines, towables, party islands, floats, mats, lily pads, and water toys.

Designated swim areas created by members must be temporary and removed no later than sundown or when no longer in use. 

Parking and Storage Restrictions

Storage is available at the Marina with different fee options. Campers with boat and boat-trailers can park their watercraft in designated parking areas. However, it must be noted that boats and boat trailers must be taken at the end of the season (October 31 of each year).

Boat/Trailer Storage Fees


Seasonal (April 1 - October 31)






All amounts are updated as of February 1, 2020, and are based on the Apple Valley POA website.

Finally, no watercraft or watercraft trailer storage is permitted at a launch site for more than twenty-four hours.

If you want to know when is the right time to buy a boat, you should read this blog.

Reading about boating rules and restrictions might be a bit overwhelming for some. However, it’s just like driving a vehicle. The more you are familiar with the rules, the safer and more confident you’ll be, which in turn will make the experience smooth and more enjoyable.

Call or text us, Joe and Sherrie Toth of RE/MAX Consultant Group | Apple Valley Lake at 740-390-0735, so we can assist you in finding your dream vacation home where you can enjoy fun-filled years of boating adventure in Apple Valley Lake.

In case you can not view this video here, please click the link below to view Are There Boating Restrictions In Apple Valley Lake OH on my YouTube channel:

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