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Boating Safety

Links of Interest:
NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – Boating
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*

Brianna’s Law
If you were born on or after May 1, 1996 you will need a boating safety certificate.
Under a new law known as Brianna’s Law, all motor boat operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1993 will need a boating safety certificate beginning in 2020.
Those born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 will need a boating safety certificate beginning in 2022.
Those born on or after Jan. 1, 1983 will need a boating safety certificate beginning in 2023.
Those born on or after Jan. 1, 1978 will need a boating safety certificate beginning in 2024.
All motor boat operators regardless of age will need a boating safety certificate beginning in 2025.
Approved courses include those offered by NYS Parks, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the U.S. Power Squadrons or U.S.Powerboating. Certain allowances to this law have been made for visitors to New York, persons renting a boat from a livery and persons purchasing a new boat for the first time. Please refer to Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

*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
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