2015 New York Safe Boating - 32
BEST BOATING PRACTICES
These dams are very difficult to see from upstream, making
knowledge of the river all the more important before
operating on it. Check your chart and pay attention to any
buoys or markers that may be in the water. You should never
approach one of these dams and must be especially careful
to stay well clear of the "boil line." This is the area that
marks the separation of water flowing back into the dam
and downstream. It looks, literally, like the water is boiling in
this spot. Stay away!
go slowly and keep your navigation lights on. Learn how to
recognize the navigation lights of other boats. Make sure you
can differentiate between a masthead light, a stern light, and
lights on shore. If you can correctly recognize other boats'
navigation lights, they will tell you the direction the other
boats are traveling. That will help you avoid accidents in the
The water isn't marked like a road, and your boat has no
headlights to illuminate the water in front of you. It's hard to
see a floating log or debris in the dark. So be on the lookout
for hazards in the water and pay attention to the lights on
the waterway's navigation markers-these mark the path of
the good, navigable water.
Conventional larger dams-and any other type of water
impoundment- also can be extremely dangerous.
Dangerous currents, large vertical drops, and steep spillways
are just a few of the many potential hazards that can be
found at these sites. You will often find overhead power
lines at power generation dams-these overhead lines can
pose hazards as well. Usually a dam is marked with warnings
or exclusionary buoys. Stay well outside these markers.
The New York State Canal system is comprised of four main
canals, the Erie, Champlain, Cayuga-Seneca, and Oswego.
These canals connect hundreds of miles of lakes and rivers
stretching across New York's heartland, gliding past lush
farmland, famous historic battlefields, scenic port towns and
thriving wildlife preserves. There are 57 locks along these
canals and almost 300 miles of lakes and rivers accessible
from the canals.
NEVER LET YOUR BOAT DRIFT INTO THE
HAZARDOUS AREAS IN AND AROUND DAMS!
It's more challenging to operate a boat after dark than during
the day, and safety must be your first concern. So be sure to
Navigation locks raise and lower boats from one water level
to another, allowing boats to travel up and down stream.