As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:
(1) VESSEL. Every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane, capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water, but such term shall not include vessels 12 feet in length or less when used solely on farm ponds of less than 50 acres in size.
(2) WATERS OF THIS STATE. Any waters within the territorial limits of this state and the marginal sea adjacent to this state and the high seas when navigated as a part of a journey or ride to and from the shore of this state; provided, however, that "waters of this state" shall not be interpreted to mean any private pond which is not used for boat rentals or the charging of fees for fishing therein.
(3) OWNER. A person, other than a lienholder, having the property in or title to a vessel. The term includes a person entitled to the use or possession of a vessel subject to an interest in another person, reserved or created by agreement and securing payment or performance of an obligation, but the term excludes a lessee under a lease not intended as security.
(4) PERSON. An individual, partnership, firm, corporation, association or other entity.
(5) OPERATE. To navigate or otherwise use a vessel.
(6) COMMISSIONER. The commissioner of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
(7) STATE DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES or DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES. That department created by the laws of this state having supervision over game, fish, forestry, parks, seafoods and such lands of the state and such supervision over public waters of this state as now are constituted by law or any subsequent amendment thereto.
(8) CERTIFICATE. Registration by a vessel owner with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, including the issuance of an identifying number awarded each vessel and the issuance of a pocket-size certificate of registration.
(9) LENGTH. Such term means measured from end to end over the deck excluding sheer.
(Acts 1959, No. 576, p. 1442, §3; Acts 1961, No. 878, p. 1377, §1; Acts 1969, No. 1058, p. 1978, §1.)