2018 New York Laws
NAV - Navigation
Article 4 - Vessels
Part 1 - Vessels, General
49 - Operator.

Universal Citation: NY Nav L § 49 (2018)

§ 49. Operator. 1. No person born on or after May first, nineteen hundred ninety-six shall operate a mechanically propelled vessel on the navigable waters of the state or any tidewaters bordering on or lying within the boundaries of Nassau and Suffolk counties, unless:

a. the operator is at least ten years old and is the holder of a boating safety certificate issued to him or her by the commissioner, the United States Power Squadrons, the United States coast guard auxiliary or the United States sailing association for a powerboating course or courses which are approved by the commissioner; or

b. the operator is younger than eighteen years of age, and is accompanied on the mechanically propelled vessel by at least one person who is at least eighteen years of age and is

(i) the holder of a boating safety certificate issued to him or her by the commissioner, the United States Power Squadrons, the United States coast guard auxiliary or the United States sailing association for a powerboating course or courses which are approved by the commissioner, or

(ii) not required by this subdivision to hold a boating safety certificate in order to operate a mechanically propelled vessel; or

c. the operator is eighteen years of age or older, is a person required by this subdivision to hold a boating safety certificate in order to operate a mechanically propelled vessel, and is accompanied on the mechanically propelled vessel by at least one person who is at least eighteen years of age and the holder of a boating safety certificate; or

d. the operator is the owner of a recently purchased vessel and may operate such vessel without the otherwise required boating safety certificate for a period of time not to exceed one hundred twenty days from the date of purchase.

e. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to persons who are: born before April thirtieth, nineteen hundred ninety-six; certified by the commissioner as boating safety instructors; members of the United States Power Squadrons; members of the United States coast guard auxiliary; holders of public vessel licenses pursuant to section sixty-four of this article; police officers, peace officers, fire personnel, rescue personnel or lifeguards, when any such person is acting pursuant to assigned duties; or licensed to operate vessels by the United States coast guard or the Canadian coast guard. The commissioner, by rule or regulation, may provide for the exemption of additional persons not listed in this paragraph from the requirements of this section.

f. The provisions of this subdivision shall supersede all local laws or ordinances relating to requirements for boating safety certificates to operate a mechanically propelled vessel.

1-a. a. No person shall operate a personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft upon the navigable waters of the state or any tidewaters bordering on or lying within the boundaries of Nassau and Suffolk counties unless the operator is fourteen years of age or older and the holder of, or is accompanied by a person over eighteen years of age who is the holder of a boating safety certificate issued by the commissioner, the United States power squadrons, the United States coast guard auxiliary, the United States sailing association for a powerboating course or courses which are approved by the commissioner, or other state or government, as a result of completing a course approved by the commissioner.

b. No person who is the owner of a personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft shall knowingly authorize or permit the operation thereof on the navigable waters of the state or any tidewaters bordering on or lying within the boundaries of Nassau or Suffolk counties unless the operator is fourteen years of age or older and the holder of, or is accompanied by a person over eighteen years of age who is the holder of a boating safety certificate issued by the commissioner, the United States power squadrons, United States coast guard auxiliary, the United States sailing association for a powerboating course or courses which are approved by the commissioner, or other state or government, as a result of completing a course approved by the commissioner.

c. For the purposes of this subdivision "accompanied" shall mean upon the vessel.

d. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to persons: certified by the commissioner as boating safety instructors; members of the United States power squadrons; members of the United States coast guard auxiliary; holders of public vessel licenses pursuant to section sixty-four of this article; police officers acting pursuant to assigned duties; peace officers acting pursuant to assigned duties; lifeguards acting pursuant to assigned duties; fire and rescue personnel acting pursuant to assigned duties; and persons licensed to operate vessels by the United States coast guard or the Canadian coast guard. The commissioner by rule and regulation may provide for the exemption of additional persons not listed in this paragraph from the requirements of this section.

2. The failure of a person specified in subdivision one or one-a of this section, to exhibit a boating safety certificate upon demand to any magistrate, peace officer, acting pursuant to his or her special duties, police officer, inspector of the state office of parks, recreation and historic preservation, traveling navigation inspector or other officer having authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter, shall be presumptive evidence that such person is not the holder of such certificate.

3. No person who is the owner of a mechanically propelled vessel shall knowingly authorize or permit the operation thereof on the navigable waters of the state or any tidewaters bordering on or lying within the boundaries of Nassau and Suffolk counties, unless:

a. the operator is born on or before April thirtieth, nineteen hundred ninety-six; or,

b. the operator is born on or after May first, nineteen hundred ninety-six, is at least ten years of age and is the holder of a boating safety certificate issued to him or her by the commissioner, the United States Power Squadrons, the United States coast guard auxiliary, or the United States sailing association for a powerboating course or courses which are approved by the commissioner, or

c. the operator is younger than eighteen years of age, and is accompanied on the mechanically propelled vessel by at least one person eighteen years of age or older and is:

(i) the holder of a boating safety certificate issued to him or her by the commissioner, the United States Power Squadrons, the United States coast guard auxiliary, or the United States sailing association for a powerboating course or courses which are approved by the commissioner, or

(ii) not required by subdivision one of this section to hold a boating safety certificate in order to operate a mechanically propelled vessel; or

d. the operator is eighteen years of age or older, is a person required by subdivision one of this section to hold a boating safety certificate in order to operate a mechanically propelled vessel, and is accompanied by a person who is at least eighteen years of age and is the holder of a boating safety certificate.

e. The provisions of this subdivision shall supersede all local laws or ordinances relating to requirements for boating safety certificates to operate a mechanically propelled vessel.

4. Whenever any police officer or peace officer authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter having reasonable cause to believe that a person is operating a vessel in violation of section forty-nine-a of this article, or any other provision of this article for which a suspension may be imposed, such officer may demand of such person his or her name, address and an explanation of his or her conduct.

5. The provisions of subdivisions one, one-a and two of this section shall not apply while the operator is actually preparing for or competing in a regatta or boat race authorized under section thirty-four of this chapter or for which a marine event permit has been issued by the United States coast guard.

6. No person operating a vessel upon the navigable waters of the state or on the tidewaters bordering on and lying within the boundaries of Nassau or Suffolk county shall fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any police officer or peace officer acting pursuant to his or her special duties. Failure or refusal to comply with such lawful order or direction shall be a violation punishable as provided for in subdivision seven of this section.

7. A violation of subdivision one, one-a, two or six of this section shall constitute a violation punishable as set forth in section seventy-three-c of this article.


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