Town of Southold, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 10-4-1960]
A. 
This article shall be known as the "Boat Ordinance of the Town of Southold."
B. 
The following rules and regulations shall apply to all waters within the Town of Southold and to all waters bounding the Town of Southold to a distance of 1,500 feet from the shore; provided, however, that they shall not apply to waters within or bounding an incorporated Village of the Town to a distance of 1,500 feet from the shore or to waters to a distance of 1,500 feet of Fishers Island.
[Amended 7-22-1997 by L.L. No. 19-1997]
For the purpose of this article, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
BOATS
Every vessel propelled in any manner.
[Amended 5-19-1987 by L.L. No. 5-1987]
BOWRIDING
The practice of riding on the bow of a vessel when such vessel is not equipped by the manufacturer with facilities for riding on the bow while said vessel is underway.
[Added 8-28-1990 by L.L. No. 17-1990]
CHANNEL SYSTEM
The bed of a natural waterway with well-defined banks presenting the evidence of the flow of tidal waters and commonly or usually traversed by watercraft; and, in addition, refers to man-made or stabilized waterways designed for the navigation of watercraft. For the purpose of this article, boat basins and bathing areas are included in the "channel system."
[Added 8-28-1990 by L.L. No. 17-1990]
PERMANENT MOORING
Any of a number of different mechanical or cable-like systems the intended purpose of which is to permit the securing of a boat to a fixed location. Said system typically consists of an anchoring device (mushroom or other) which is placed on the bottom of the harbor and is connected to a floating device (i.e., ball) by cables and/or lines.
[Added 5-10-1983 by L.L. No. 5-1983; amended 6-2-1992 by L.L. No. 12-1992]
PERSONAL WATERCRAFT
A vessel which uses an inboard motor powering a water jet pump as its primary source of motive power and which is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing or kneeling on or being towed behind the vessel rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel.
[Added 4-6-1993 by L.L. No. 4-1993]
SPECIALTY PROP-CRAFT
A vessel which is powered by an outboard motor or a propeller-driven motor and which is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing or kneeling on or being towed behind the vessel rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel.
[Added 4-6-1993 by L.L. No. 4-1993]
TEMPORARY ANCHORING
The securing of a boat in a harbor on a temporary basis by means of an anchor carried aboard the boat.
[Added 5-10-1983 by L.L. No. 5-1983]
[Amended 8-10-1971]
The dumping of oil, refuse, garbage, sewage or waste is prohibited.
[Added 8-28-1990 by L.L. No. 17-1990]
A. 
All boat engines must be shut off when loading or unloading at any Town boat ramp.
B. 
No person shall park or leave any unattended vehicle on any ramp.
A. 
Any boat which becomes a menace to navigation or unseaworthy or sinks, grounds or otherwise becomes disabled or incapable of navigation shall be removed or restored to navigable condition by the registered owner upon notice from the Southold Town Board or its designated agent, which notice shall be either by personal service or by certified mail addressed to the registered owner's last known address as given by him or as stated in his certificate of registration.
[Amended 8-26-1976 by L.L. No. 3-1976]
B. 
If such boat is not removed or restored to navigable condition by the owner within one week after the mailing of said notice, the Southold Town Board or its designated agent may direct the removal or destruction of the boat, and the cost of said removal, including storage charges, shall attach to and shall become a lien upon said boat, and said boat may be sold, upon direction of the court, at public auction to defray said expenses, any surplus being returned to the owner of record. The Town shall not be liable for any damage done to said boat during its removal, storage and sale.
[Amended 8-28-1990 by L.L. No. 17-1990]
No boat propelled other than by hand shall cruise or be operated within 100 feet of any lifelines or bathing float or, if there are no lifelines or bathing float, then within 100 feet of any public or semipublic beach regularly used for bathing or swimming, nor shall such boat cruise or be operated in excess of five miles per hour within 50 feet of any person bathing or swimming or an anchored or moored boat.
A. 
No person shall operate a vessel for towing a person on water skis, a surfboard or similar device unless there is in such boat or vessel a person, other than the operator, of at least 10 years of age, in a position to observe the progress of the person being towed.
[Amended 3-7-1961]
B. 
No person shall ride on water skis, a surfboard or similar device, or use or operate a boat to tow a person thereon, between the period of one hour after sunset and one hour after sunrise.
[Amended 3-7-1961]
C. 
Permitted areas.
(1) 
No person shall ride on water skis, surfboard or similar device or use or operate a boat to tow a person thereon within 150 feet of any public or semipublic bathing beach or public dock or within 50 feet of any swimmer or bather or moving or anchored boat, nor shall any such persons engaged in such activities come within 300 feet of the shoreline unless they approach or depart perpendicularly to or from the shoreline solely for the purpose of commencing or ending the ride.
[Amended 8-28-1990 by L.L. No. 17-1990][1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C(2), regarding Hay Harbor, added 5-20-1992 by L.L. No. 10-1992, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 7-22-1997 by L.L. No. 19-1997.
D. 
No person shall be towed on water skis, surfboard, inflatable parasail or similar device, unless such person is wearing a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device of Type I, II or III.
[Added 8-28-1990 by L.L. No. 17-1990]
E. 
No person shall be towed on water skis, surfboard, inflatable parasail or similar device or use or operate a boat to tow a person thereon between the period of sunset to sunrise or during periods of limited visibility.
[Added 8-28-1990 by L.L. No. 17-1990]
A. 
The Town Board of the Town of Southold may, by resolution, limit the speed of boats in any waters to which this article applies and shall cause notice of such speed limit to be posted at appropriate places in the areas affected. Any person who shall operate a boat in such areas at a greater speed than the speed specified in such notice shall be deemed to have violated this article.
B. 
Every person operating a boat shall at all times operate the same in a careful and prudent manner and at such a rate of speed as not to unreasonably interfere with the free and proper use of the waters or unreasonably endanger any person or property.
C. 
Except where lower maximum speed limits have been posted, no boat shall be operated in excess of 45 miles per hour in the waters of the Town of Southold.
[Added 6-29-1988 by L.L. No. 17-1988]
D. 
No boat shall be operated in such a manner as to throw up a wake which could be dangerous to life or limb of a person, boat or other property.
[Added 8-28-1990 by L.L. No. 17-1990]
E. 
All commercial jet ski or commercial windsurfing operators shall provide a patrol boat (other than a jet ski or windsurfer) which must be operational and manned at all times for the purpose of controlling their clientele.
[Added 8-28-1990 by L.L. No. 17-1990]
F. 
All commercial jet ski and windsurfer operators shall require their clientele to wear United States Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices of Type I, II or III.
[Added 8-28-1990 by L.L. No. 17-1990]
G. 
Small sailboats, commonly known as "windsurfers," are prohibited in the following areas:
[Added 8-28-1990 by L.L. No. 17-1990]
(1) 
Within 500 feet of Mattituck Inlet.
(2) 
Within 100 feet of swimlines.
[Added 5-19-1987 by L.L. No. 5-1987]
A. 
All pleasure vessels and uninspected commercial vessels shall be equipped and lighted while under way or at anchor with any person aboard, as required under the Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, as amended, and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto and contained in Title 46 of the Code of Federal Rules, Subchapter C, Parts 24, 25 and 26, and pursuant to the provisions of § 40 of the Navigation Law of the State of New York. Failure to comply with the equipment and lighting requirements as set forth above shall be a violation of this chapter.
B. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to vessels competing in duly authorized regattas and trials preceding such regattas.
C. 
In addition to the penalties provided for in this chapter, the Bay Constable has the authority to take the following actions for violations in this section:
[Added 8-28-1990 by L.L. No. 17-1990]
(1) 
Direct the operator to proceed to a dock or anchorage.
(2) 
Suspend further use of the boat until the condition is corrected.
[Added 5-19-1987 by L.L. No. 5-1987; amended 4-6-1993 by L.L. No. 4-1993]
A. 
No person under the age of 18 years shall operate a mechanically propelled vessel unless:
(1) 
The operator who is under the age of 18 years is accompanied therein by a person who is 18 years of age or older; or
(2) 
The operator is 10 years of age or older and is the holder of a boating safety certificate issued to him by the Commissioner of the Office of Parks and Recreation of the State of New York, pursuant to § 78 of the New York State Navigation Law.
B. 
The failure of a person specified in § 96-15A(2) hereof to exhibit a boating safety certificate upon demand to any peace officer 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.
C. 
No person who is the owner of a motorboat shall knowingly authorize or permit the operation thereof unless:
(1) 
The operator is 18 years of age or older;
(2) 
The operator, who is under the age of 18 is accompanied therein by a person 18 years or older; or
(3) 
The operator is 10 years of age or older and is the holder of a boating safety certificate issued to him by the Commissioner of the Office of Parks and Recreation of the State of New York.
D. 
No person shall operate a vessel while in an intoxicated condition or while his ability to operate such a vessel is impaired by the consumption of alcohol or by the use of a drug.
E. 
All commercial jet ski or commercial windsurfing operators shall provide a patrol boat (other than a jet ski or windsurfer) which must be operational and manned at all times for the purpose of controlling their clientele.
F. 
All commercial jet ski and windsurfer operators shall require their clientele to wear United States Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices of Type I, II or III.
G. 
Small sailboats, commonly known as "windsurfers," are prohibited in the following areas:
(1) 
Within 500 feet of Mattituck Inlet.
(2) 
Within 100 feet of swimlines.
[Added 4-6-1993 by L.L. No. 4-1993]
A. 
No person shall operate a personal watercraft or a specialty prop-craft unless each person riding on or towed behind such vessel is wearing an offshore life jacket (Type I, II, III or V) approved by the United States Coast Guard.
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 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, that if the vessel is so constructed as to have a 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.
D. 
Any person operating a personal watercraft or a specialty prop-craft equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard-type engine cutoff 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 between the hours from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise.
F. 
No person shall operate a personal watercraft or a specialty prop-craft within 500 feet of any designated bathing area, except in bodies of water where the opposing shoreline is less than 500 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 10 miles per hour; provided, however, that nothing contained in this subsection 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, weaving through congested vessel traffic, jumping the wake of another vessel unreasonably or unnecessarily close to such other vessel or when visibility around such other vessel is obstructed, and swerving at the last possible moment to avoid collision, shall constitute reckless operation of a vessel.
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 § 96-18 of this chapter.
I. 
All persons operating a personal watercraft or a specialty prop-craft must comply with all applicable provisions of New York State Navigation Law § 49.
[Added 1-16-2007 by L.L. No. 3-2007]
A. 
No boat propelled by an internal-combustion engine shall be operated on any inland fresh waters in the Town of Southold except in emergency or rescue operations or by peace officers in the performance of their duties.
[Added 8-10-1971]
B. 
No person shall operate a boat propelled wholly or partly by an engine operated by the explosion of gas, gasoline, naphtha or other substance without having the exhaust from the engine run through a muffling device so constructed and used as to muffle the noise of the exhaust in a reasonable manner.
Nothing herein contained shall prohibit the Town Board of the Town of Southold from issuing special permits for aquatic events, boat races or other such events under proper supervision in limited areas for limited periods.
[Added 4-6-1993 by L.L. No. 4-1993]
No person shall swim or bathe in the mouth of Mattituck Inlet between areas designated by buoy Nos. 3 and 5.
[Added 4-6-1993 by L.L. No. 4-1993]
A. 
Scuba diving shall include any person who surface dives to explore underwater, hunt, fish or photograph while using any self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, but shall not include bona fide salvage operations displaying proper signals.
B. 
Scuba diving is prohibited in the entire area of the Mattituck Inlet or in any waters where the same may interfere with the reasonable and proper operations of boats or within 150 feet of any public bathing or swimming area except for duly licensed commercial shellfish harvesters who shall comply with the regulations of Subsection C below.
C. 
No person shall engage in scuba diving without displaying the international diving flag or authorized skin diving flag of suitable size adequately displayed by a float, buoy or boat at all times and without a person of suitable age and discretion, other than the skin diver, in a position as lookout. Such person shall not permit such diving flag to remain in any area unless such person is actually scuba diving in the area at the time.
[Added 4-6-1993 by L.L. No. 4-1993]
No person shall discharge any apparatus designed for use in spearfishing within 200 feet of any lifelines or bathing floats or, if there are no lifelines or bathing floats, then within 200 feet of any public or semipublic beach regularly used for bathing or swimming or within 150 feet of any person bathing or swimming.
[Added 5-10-1983 by L.L. No. 5-1983; amended 7-31-1973 by L.L. No. 1-1973]
No boat shall be so moored or anchored that it at any time rests within any channel or interferes with the full use of such channel, nor shall any boat be moored or anchored within 50 feet of any dock, pier or other boat docking facilities.
[Added 5-10-1983 by L.L. No. 5-1983]
All boats owned by nonresidents of the Town of Southold temporarily anchoring in Mattituck Creek shall anchor only in the federal anchorage area located near the head of said creek. The Town Board of Trustees shall cause said anchorage area to be suitably designated by appropriate buoys or markers and shall also cause suitable signs to be placed at appropriate locations in said creek to direct boaters to such anchorage area.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 32-39.2, Anchoring and mooring West Harbor and Hay Harbor, added 5-10-1983 by L.L. No. 5-1983, as amended, which previously followed this subsection, was repealed 7-22-1997 by L.L. No. 19-1997.
[Added 4-5-1994 by L.L. No. 3-1994]
A. 
The Town of Southold permits the installation of moorings for boats in specified locations of Town waters. The use of moorings has increased to such an extent that the number of moorings has begun to impair the fragile marine environment in the surrounding Town waters. The Town Board therefore declares it to be the policy of the Town to restrict and regulate the issuance of mooring permits as described herein.
B. 
Resident mooring permit.
(1) 
A resident mooring permit shall be issued by the Town Trustees to all persons who are qualified residents of the Town of Southold. Persons applying for a resident mooring permit shall be requested to sign an application in affidavit form and submit for inspection one of the following as proof of residence:
(a) 
A valid tax receipt stub for the current year for any taxable real property within the Town of Southold assessed in the name of the applicant.
(b) 
A valid motor vehicle registration in the name of the applicant and to an address located within the Town of Southold or to an address corresponding to the address of a validated tax receipt stub for the current tax year for any taxable real property within the Town of Southold affixed to the application.
(c) 
Such other proof of residence as is satisfactory to the Town Trustees.
(2) 
The Town Trustees shall inspect such application to determine that the applicant is a qualified resident of the Town. Upon approval of the application, resident mooring permit stickers shall be issued. One sticker shall be placed on the mooring, and one sticker shall be placed on the boat secured to said mooring.
C. 
Lessee mooring permit.
(1) 
A lessee mooring permit shall be issued by the Town Trustees to all persons who lease or rent property within the Town of Southold but do not qualify as residents as defined in Subsection B hereof. Persons applying for a lessee mooring permit shall present an application in affidavit form, signed by the lessee and the owner of the property, setting forth:
(a) 
The location of the leased or rented property.
(b) 
The persons occupying the same.
(c) 
The term of such tenancy.
(2) 
Upon a determination by the Town Trustees that the applicant is entitled to a lessee mooring permit, such permit stickers shall be issued and affixed to the mooring and boat in the same manner as provided for resident permit stickers.
[Added 4-5-1994 by L.L. No. 3-1994]
A. 
No person shall install or use a mooring in Town waters without a mooring permit issued by the Board of Trustees of the Town of Southold.
B. 
Any mooring without such a permit shall be removed upon notice from the Southold Town Trustees or its designated agent, which notice shall be by written notice posted on the mooring and on any boat attached to said mooring.
C. 
If such mooring is not removed by the owner within 30 days after the posting of said notice, the Southold Town Trustees or its designated agent may direct the removal or destruction of the mooring and the cost of said removal, including storage charges for any boats attached thereto, shall attach to and shall become a lien upon said property, and said property may be sold, upon direction of the court, at public auction to defray said expenses, any surplus being returned to the owner of record. The Town shall not be liable for any damage done to said mooring or any attached boat during its removal, storage and sale.