2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook - (Page 51)
Laws Relating to the Operation of a Boat
Just as there are laws you must follow when operating a motor vehicle, there are also laws to follow when operating a boat. Every boater must make safety the first priority, demonstrate courtesy toward other waterway users, and show common sense in the operation of his or her boat. To prevent an unpleasant encounter with marine law enforcement, make sure you know and obey the laws relating to the operation of boats.
Reckless operation of a boat can be a misdemeanor. Operators are required to operate a boat in a careful and prudent manner in such a way as not to interfere with the free and proper use of the navigable waters or endanger any boat or person. Reckless operation may be the result of operator ignorance, inattention, indifference or carelessness. Some examples of reckless operation include:
operating at a high speed in a congested boating following another boat too closely, operating too closely to swimmers or divers, towing skiers in an unsafe or crowded area, operating near dams, cutting through a regatta or marine parade, overloading a boat, and allowing passengers to ride on the bow, gunwale, or
transom while making way. area or in restricted visibility,
New York State Law requires that all boats not exceed a speed of 5 miles per hour when within 100 feet or the shore, a dock, pier, raft, float or an anchored or moored boat. Exception to this is when the boat is enabling a skier
Bow riding means that passengers are seated on the boat’s bow, gunwale, transom, or any area not intended to accommodate passengers while the boat is underway. Bow riding is extremely dangerous. If the boat hits a large wake or wave, or makes a sudden, sharp turn, the person riding the bow may be thrown overboard. Captains must insist that their passengers take a seat, and stay in that seat, while the boat is underway.
to take off and land. On some specific bodies of water the 5 mph limit has been extended to 200 feet, and on several lakes there are daytime and nighttime speed limits. Local ordinances may further regulate the speed of boats operated within specific areas. Check with authorities regarding local regulations. All boats must proceed at a safe speed for the conditions of weather, traffic, proximity to shore, operator experience, and boat handling characteristics. When no speed limit is posted, operate your boat safely so as not to endanger others. You must be able to stop your boat safely within the clear space ahead. Always be aware of your wake. Remember that you may be responsible for any damage your boat’s wake causes. Reduce speed when passing marinas, docks or other boats, to minimize any disruption.
Why is riding on the bow or gunwale dangerous?
A person who is bow riding is in danger of falling overboard and being injured by the boat or the boat prop even if the boat is moving at slow speed. A boat in a no wake zone moves about six miles per hour which means it will proceed about nine feet in a second. At low speed, your powerboat’s bow will ride high, obstructing your view. It will take at least two seconds for the helmsman to react if a person falls into the water from the bow—assuming that the helmsman sees the accident and can react immediately. In that time, the boat will move forward 18 feet and it will take another second or two for a propeller to actually stop turning. So in the best case scenario, the person falling overboard will be in danger of being injured by the moving prop for at least five 51
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook
2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook
Boats and Motors
Registration of Boats
Fueling and Ventilation
Safe Loading and Powering
Preparation for Getting Underway
The Marine Environment
Rules of the Road
Boating Related Activities
Accidents and Emergencies
Frequently Asked Questions
Chapter Review Questions Answers
2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook