2021 New York Laws
NAV - Navigation
Article 4 - Vessels
Part 3 - Pleasure Vessels
73-A - Regulations of Personal Watercraft and Specialty Prop-Craft.

Universal Citation: NY Nav L § 73-A (2021)
§  73-a.  Regulations of personal watercraft and specialty prop-craft.
1.  Personal watercraft and specialty prop-craft.  a.  No  person  shall
operate  a  personal  watercraft  or  a specialty prop-craft unless each
person riding on such vessel  is  wearing  a  securely  fastened  United
States Coast Guard approved personal flotation device.
  b.  No  person  shall  operate  a  personal  watercraft or a specialty
prop-craft unless such vessel is  equipped  and  fitted  with  a  United
States Coast Guard approved device for arresting carburetor backfire.
  c.  No  person  shall  operate  a  personal  watercraft or a specialty
prop-craft unless such vessel is equipped with:

(i) at least two ventilators fitted with cowls or their equivalent for the purpose of properly and efficiently ventilating the bilges of every engine and fuel tank compartment in order to remove any inflammable or explosive gases provided, however, if the vessel is so constructed as to have the greater portion of the bilges under the engine and fuel tanks open and exposed to the natural atmosphere at all times such vessel need not be required to be fitted with such ventilators; and

(ii) an efficient sound producing mechanical appliance, except sirens, capable of producing a blast of two seconds or more in duration and of such strength as to be heard plainly for a distance of at least one-half mile in still weather; and

(iii) a fluorescent-orange distress flag which shall be a minimum of one foot square or other appropriate United States Coast Guard approved visual distress signal. d. Any person operating a personal watercraft or a specialty prop-craft equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard type engine cut-off switch shall attach such lanyard to his or her person, clothing, or personal flotation device as is appropriate for the specific vessel. e. No person shall operate a personal watercraft or a specialty prop-craft at any time from sunset to sunrise. f. No person shall operate a personal watercraft or a specialty prop-craft within five hundred feet of any designated bathing area, except in bodies of water where the opposing shoreline is less than five hundred feet from such designated area and in accordance with speed regulations and restrictions as provided by local law or ordinance but in no event at a speed in excess of ten miles per hour, provided, however, that nothing contained in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit the launching of such vessel from designated launching areas or sites. g. Every personal watercraft and specialty prop-craft shall at all times be operated in a reasonable and prudent manner. Maneuvers which unreasonably or unnecessarily endanger life, limb, or property, including, but not limited to, (i) weaving through congested vessel traffic, or (ii) jumping the wake of another vessel unreasonably or unnecessarily close to such other vessel or when visibility around such other vessel is obstructed, or (iii) swerving at the last possible moment to avoid collision shall constitute reckless operation of a vessel, as provided in section forty-five of this article. h. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any performer engaged in a professional exhibition or any person preparing to participate or participating in a regatta, race, marine parade, tournament, or exhibition authorized under section thirty-four of this chapter. i. The provisions of this section shall apply to the operation of a personal watercraft and a specialty prop-craft on any waterway or body of water located within New York state and not privately owned and any part of any body of water adjacent to New York state over which the state has territorial jurisdiction, including all tidewaters bordering on and lying within the boundaries of Nassau and Suffolk counties. j. The provisions of section forty of this chapter shall not apply to personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft. 2. Liveries. Notwithstanding the provisions of section forty-nine or seventy-one-d of this chapter, no livery shall lease, hire, or rent a personal watercraft or a specialty prop-craft to any person unless:

(a) such person is sixteen years of age or older.

(b) the operator of such livery, or his designated agent, prior to permitting the use by such person of such personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft, explains and demonstrates to such person by video or actual in water demonstration the operating procedure of such personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft and the use of such vessel's safety equipment;

(c) such person, after receiving the explanation and demonstration required pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivision, demonstrates to such livery operator or to such designated agent the ability to operate such vessel and use the applicable safety equipment;

(d) such person has presented genuine proof of identification and age; and except as provided in paragraph (f) of this subdivision, has demonstrated compliance with section forty-nine of this article, to such livery operator or the livery operator's designated agent prior to the time of leasing, hiring or renting such vessel;

(e) such livery operator or his designated agent, at the time of such leasing, hiring or renting, records the name, address and age of the user of the leased, hired or rented vessel, and the model, year, name of manufacturer, and state registration or federal documentation numbers of the leased, hired or rented vessel. Such records shall be maintained for a period of not less than one year; and * (f) notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (d) of this subdivision and subdivision one-a of section forty-nine of this article, a person over eighteen years of age may operate such personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft without the certificate required pursuant to section forty-nine of this article when such operation is restricted by the operator of such livery, or the livery operator's designated agent, to a specified area, no part of which shall be more than twenty-five hundred feet from the livery location, or, if removed from the livery location, not more than five hundred feet from the livery operator or agent assigned by the livery operator to supervise such operation and such personal watercraft or specialty propcraft and/or the personal flotation device of the operator is clearly marked in such a manner as to be distinguishable by the operator of such livery or the livery operator's designated agent within the permitted areas of operation. * NB Repealed January 1, 2023 3. Penalties for violation. (a) Every person convicted of a violation of this section, other than a conviction for a violation of subdivision two of this section, shall for a first conviction thereof be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than two hundred dollars; for a conviction of a second violation, both of which were committed within a period of twenty-four months, such person shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than four hundred dollars; upon a conviction of a third or subsequent violation, all of which were committed within a period of twenty-four months, such person shall be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars and the revocation of the registration of the personal watercraft.

(b) Every person convicted of a violation of subdivision two of this section shall for a first conviction thereof be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than two hundred dollars; for a conviction of a second violation, both of which were committed within a period of twenty-four months, such person shall be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred dollars nor more than four hundred dollars; upon a conviction of a third or subsequent violation, all of which were committed within a period of twenty-four months, such person shall be punished by a fine of not less than four hundred dollars nor more than eight hundred dollars.

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