Boating Safety

Links of Interest:
NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation - Boating
2015 NYS Boater's Guide
Safe Boating Classes(Classroom and Online)

Town of Fort Ann Local Law:

  • Watercraft have a speed limit of 35 miles per hour.
  • Direction traveled on the lake is counterclockwise.

 *NYS Law for Power Boat Education Requirements*

  • Operators born on or after May 1996 must have an approved boating safety certificate and be at least 10 years of age.
  • Operators who are younger than 18 years of age who do not have the certificate must be accompanied by a person who is at least 18 years of age that has the certificate or a person not required by law to hold a certificate.
  • If born before May 1996, this person is exempted from having to have the certificate in a power boat.


*NYS Law for Personal Watercraft Education Requirements*

  • The operator must be a minimum of 14 years of age and have an approved boater safety certificate , or be accompanied on board by someone 18 years of age or older who is a certificate holder.


Other NYS Boating Laws: 

  • All power boats including electric motors and personal watercraft are to be registered with NYS Dept. of Motor Vehicles (also needed for insurance coverage).
  • All watercraft must have a horn or a whistle and required navigation lights.
  • Life jackets must be on board for each occupant of any watercraft regardless of age, and children under 12 are required to wear the jacket. A jacket also must be worn by people being towed and all people on a personal watercraft.
  • A watercraft towing a skier, tube, or any devise must have a spotter at least 10 years of age on board in addition to the driver.
  • Law prohibits speeds in excess of 5 mph within 100 feet of the shore, a float, a dock, or an anchored boat. This includes when a watercraft is engaged in a towing activity.
  • Any activity requiring use of power boats at high speed are limited to the hours between sunrise and sunset.
  • Watercraft should not be operated in a reckless or negligent manner or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Non-motorized boats have the right of way at all times, but all boaters should always be aware of other watercraft and avoid any unsafe conditions.
  • Any boat engaged in fishing has the right of way.
  • Scuba divers will have a diver flag indicating their presence.  Under no circumstance is a vessel to approach within 100 feet of this flag.
  • All watercraft must use the required lights between sunset and sunrise.
  • Dumping of any waste, litter, fuel into any lake is unlawful.

Other Best Practices:

  • Boats and trailers used in other lakes should be thoroughly cleaned before launching into another lake to avoid transference of harmful plants and marine life. Clean, Drain, Dry
  • Never release plants, fish (ie. bait pail), or animals into the lake unless they came from the lake.
  • Fishermen should inspect their fish line to prevent transference of any animals such as the spiny water flea.
  • Persons swimming more than 100 feet from shore should be accompanied by a watercraft.
  • Watercraft should be conscious of potential damage that can be caused by their wakes to shorelines and other boaters.
*For more complete information please review the NYS Boater's Safety Guide, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation

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