New Educational Requirements effective May 1st, 2014
All individuals born on or after 5/1/96 are now required to
successfully complete an approved course in boater education in order to
operate a motorboat. Approved courses include those offered by
Life Jacket Law for Children Under 12
Any youth under the age of 12 on boats 65 feet or less in length must wear a securely fastened U.S. Coast Guard approved personal floatation device of appropriate size. It does not apply if the youth is in a full enclosed cabin.
NYS Nav. Law Section 40.1(d).
Cold Weather Boaters – PDF Laws
Anyone underway in a boat less than 21 feet in length anytime between November 1 and May 1 must wear a securely fastened life jacket. This includes canoes, kayaks, rowboats and motorboats Commercial vessels are exempt.
NYS Nav. Law Section 40.1(e).
Hours of operation: between sunrise and sunset, and only when conditions are not classified as restricted visibility. The installation of an after market light kit will not allow you to legally operate a PWC at night.
Wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved jacket.
Carry a sound signaling device - capable of a two second blast, audible 1/2 mile
Engine Cutoff - if so equipped must be functional and attached to the rider.
YOU MAY NOT...
Operate a PWC under the age of 14
Operate in excess of 5 m.p.h. within 100 feet of shore, a dock, float or anchored boat.
Operate within 500 feet of a marked swim area
Operate between sunset and sunrise
Operate in a reckless manner, including:
Weaving through traffic
Carrying more passengers than is recommend by the manufacturer
New York requires that anyone operating a personal watercraft complete an approved course in boating safety or otherwise be accompanied, on board, by someone 18 years of age or older who is the holder of an approved boating safety certificate. Certificates are required to be carried at all times when operating the personal watercraft.
On the navigable waters of NYS, any vessel towing a water skier, parasail, or other similar device, must have on board, in addition to the operator, an observer who is specifically charged with watching out for the person towed. The observer must be at least 10 years of age.
Waterskiing, and similar towed activities, are limited to the hours between sunrise and sunset, provided that visibility is not reduced.
Effective 2002, anyone towed by a vessel must wear a securely fastened US Coast Guard approved personal flotation device. This includes those on water skis, inner tubes, parasails, inflatable devices, to name a few. The preferred life jacket for these activities is the type III special purpose device as it is impact rated, form fitting, and generally affords better visibility for the skier. Never use a fully inflatable life jacket.
Remember the skier is considered a passenger and is to be counted against the maximum passengers allowed. Exceeding that number can be written as reckless operation.
Revised 04 December 2013