[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Stafford 6-14-1994 by Ord. No. 94-58. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Power Vessels
Article II Personal Watercraft
The Township of Stafford defines and declares that the purpose of this chapter is to protect the people and property of this Township and to preserve the safety and welfare of the Township and its citizens by regulating and promoting safe use of power vessels and personal watercrafts.
This chapter has been adopted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 12:7-1 et seq.
The short title of this article shall be the "Power Vessels Ordinance," and this article shall be hereinafter cited and referred to for the purpose of amendment or otherwise by said title.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- NO-WAKE SPEED
- The speed at which a power vessel moves through the water while maintaining minimum headway and producing the minimum wake possible.
- To navigate or otherwise use a vessel.
- Every person having the charge, control, operation or direction of any power vessel.
- POWER VESSEL
- A vessel temporarily or permanently equipped with a motor, and shall not be deemed to include a vessel propelled wholly by sails or muscular power.
- SLOW SPEED
- The speed at which a power vessel moves through the water and is able to maintain minimum headway in relation to the vessel or structure being passed.
- A boat or watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water.
- Any vessel with a rider being towed by means of a tow rope, tow line or trailing boom, except that another vessel being towed shall not be considered to be waterskiing.
No person shall operate a power vessel unless properly registered pursuant to N.J.S.A. 12:7-34.4.
No person shall operate a power vessel which does not meet all applicable equipment requirements as set forth in the Boat Regulations of N.J.A.C. 7:6-1.22.
No person shall operate or allow any person to operate any power vessel unless such power vessel meets the lifesaving device requirements as set forth in the Boating Regulations of N.J.A.C. 7.6-1.23.
No person shall operate a power vessel or allow a power vessel to be operated in a manner where the speed of the power vessel may cause danger of injury to life or limb or damage to property. The speed of every power vessel shall be regulated so as to avoid the risk of damage or injury, by any means, from the power vessel's wake.
All vessels shall reduce their speed to a slow speed when passing:
Any marina, pier, dock or wharf at any distance of 200 feet or less.
Work barges or work floats while actually engaged in construction.
Through bridge spans.
Through lagoons, canals and confined areas of less than 200 feet in width.
Vessels not under command.
Emergency vessels displaying sequential flashing or rotating blue lights.
All power vessels, when moving through an area that has been marked as a "slow speed/no wake" area either by buoys or by signs with those words shall move only at a no-wake speed. No vessel shall be operated on plane or at other than minimum headway speed while in a "slow speed/no wake" area.
No power vessel or motor shall be operated in a reckless or careless manner. Reckless or careless operation shall include operating a power vessel or motor in a manner which unnecessarily interferes with the free and proper use of any waters, or unnecessarily endangers other craft therein, or the life or limb of any person upon any craft or in the water.
No person shall anchor or cause to be anchored or tie or caused to be tied any power vessel to or within a radius of 50 feet of any light, beacon, buoy or any other aid to navigation except in any emergency.
No person shall operate any vessel in a manner which shall unreasonably interfere with other vessels or with free and proper navigation of the waterways.
Anchoring in heavily traveled channels or main thoroughfares shall constitute such interference if unreasonable in the prevailing circumstances.
No person shall tie up or anchor vessels or other craft in navigable channels in such a manner as to prevent or obstruct the passage of other vessels or craft; or carelessly sink or permit or cause to be sunk, or except in an emergency voluntarily sink or permit or cause to be sunk, a vessel or other craft in a navigable channel.
No person shall fail to stop or lay to when ordered to do so by any law enforcement officer.
The operator of a power vessel shall not allow any person to ride in any position that would unduly endanger life or limb:
All operators of power vessels towing ski or aquaplane riders while underway must at all times keep at least 100 feet from any shore, wharf, pier, bridge structure, abutment or persons in the water. In passing another boat, the operator thereof must keep at least 100 feet distant from any other craft.
All power vessels towing ski or aquaplane riders must have a crew of at least two persons.
The operator of such power vessel shall operate the boat in such a manner to ensure its safe operation, and its second crew member shall tend the ski or aquaplane rider.
Tow lines shall not be less than 35 feet nor more than 75 feet in length.
Waterskiing, aquaplaning or towing of skiers or aquaplanes will be permitted only during the hours between sunrise and sunset.
The ski boat shall contain at least one throwable flotation device.
All skiers shall wear a United States Coast Guard Approved Type I, II, III or Type VI Hybrid Personal Flotation Device.
The short title of this article shall be the "Personal Watercraft Ordinance," and this article shall be hereinafter cited and referred to for the purpose of amendment or otherwise by said title.
This Article has been adopted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 12:7-62 et seq. so as to regulate the use of personal watercrafts on the waterways of the Township; "Jet skis," "waverunners," "wet bikes," "wet jets" and "surf jets" are trade names for a general group of vessels known as "personal watercraft."
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- IDLE SPEED
- The speed at which the personal watercraft moves through the water while maintaining minimum headway in relation to the vessel or structure being passed and producing the minimum wake possible.
- PERSONAL WATERCRAFT
- A power vessel defined as a Class A vessel by the United States Coast Guard and which:
- Where the water meets the land, including but not limited to any bulkhead, dock, wharf or pier.
A person shall not operate a personal watercraft:
On the waters of this state between sunset and sunrise or during any time of restricted visibility as determined by an agent or officer of the Marine Law Enforcement Bureau.
In such a manner as to make the vessel completely leave the water or otherwise become airborne, while crossing within 100 feet of the wake of another vessel.
A person operating a personal watercraft shall at all times:
Wear the safety switch lanyard while the personal watercraft is underway, provided that the personal watercraft is equipped with such a lanyard cutoff device; and
Proceed at a safe speed that shall allow the person operating the personal watercraft to take proper and effective action to avoid collision and to stop the personal watercraft within a safe distance, as may be appropriate under prevailing circumstances and conditions.
A person operating a personal watercraft or any passenger on a personal watercraft shall at all times when the personal watercraft is underway wear the United States Coast Guard Approved Type I, II, III or Type V Hybrid Personal Flotation Device.
The operator of a personal watercraft designed to accommodate three or more persons shall be permitted to tow a water-skier, provided that the personal watercraft has the capacity to allow one of the persons to face the stern of the personal watercraft for the purpose of attending to a ski rider; and that the person attending to the ski rider shall be present during the towing of the ski rider.
Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days or by community service of not more than 90 days or any combination of fine, imprisonment and community service, as determined in the discretion of the Municipal Court Judge. The continuation of such violation for each successive day shall constitute a separate offense, and the person or persons allowing or permitting the continuation of the violation may be punished as provided above for each separate offense.