Town of Brookhaven, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven 6-16-1987 by L.L. No. 7-1987. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alcoholic beverages — See Ch. 3.
Bay and harbor bottoms — See Ch. 8.
Beaches — See Ch. 9.
Parks and recreation areas — See Ch. 10.
Houseboats — See Ch. 14.
Docks — See Ch. 22.
Fish nets — See Ch. 32.

§ 13-1 Scope.

The regulations established by this chapter shall apply to all navigable waters located within the boundary lines of the Town of Brookhaven, except when the provisions thereof are in conflict with the laws or ordinances of the United States or the State of New York or any municipal corporation or administrative authority thereof having jurisdiction thereover.

§ 13-2 Navigation laws.

All provisions of the Navigation Law of this state, of the inland rules enacted by Congress and governing the navigation of the inland waters of the United States and of Pilot Rules for United States Inland Waters, applicable to the channel systems relative to the rules for vessels passing each other and other matters consistent with the proper use of the channel systems, shall be complied with by all boats using the navigable waters within the boundary lines of the Town of Brookhaven.

§ 13-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BOAT or VESSEL
Includes every description of watercraft or other contrivance used on or capable of being used as a means of transportation in water.
MOTORBOAT
Includes any vessel propelled in whole or part by an engine or motor, whether inboard or outboard.
OWNER
Includes the person under whose name the vessel was last registered with the United States Coast Guard or the New York Conservation Department, Division of Motor Boats, and in any other case the last known owner.

§ 13-4 Operation of boats.

A. 
Every person operating a boat shall at all times operate it in a careful and prudent manner and at such a rate of speed as not to disturb the reasonable comfort or endanger the property of another or the life or limb of any person or so as to interfere with the free and proper use of the navigable waters within the Town of Brookhaven.
B. 
No person shall fail to comply with any lawful order or direction of any police officer, bay constable, harbormaster, dock master or other person duly empowered to regulate boat traffic in the navigable waters within the Town of Brookhaven and at any marina and dock facilities under the ownership and jurisdiction of the Town of Brookhaven.
C. 
Police authority during emergency conditions. Whenever the commanding officer or executive officer of the Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau shall deem it advisable during a fire or storm or at a time of any accident or special emergency, and only for such period of time as is necessitated thereby for the public safety or convenience, to temporarily close any harbor, channel, inlet or waterway in the navigable waters within the Town of Brookhaven or regulate, direct and divert boating traffic, such police officer shall have the power and authority to do so.

§ 13-5 Speed limit.

[Amended 10-18-1988 by L.L. No. 25-1988; 7-6-1993 by L.L. No. 16-1993, effective 7-9-1993; 6-12-2012 by L.L. No. 14-2012, effective 6-22-2012]
No person shall operate a boat at a speed in excess of 12 miles per hour in any channel or at a speed in excess of five miles per hour within 100 feet of any area designated as a boat basin, marina, harbor, river, stream, creek or bathing area, or an anchored or moored vessel, provided that any such area in which speed limit signs are posted, no person shall operate a boat at a speed in excess of the speed limit posted.
A. 
No person shall operate (start/run) or permit to be operated a motor, other than an electric motor, to propel a vessel on water areas in and/or on the waters designated as Peconic Lake.

§ 13-5.1 Motorboats prohibited.

[Added 1-23-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007, effective 1-29-2007; amended 6-4-2013 by L.L. No. 28-2013, effective 6-17-2013]
No person shall operate (start/run) or permit to be operated a motorboat, other than an electric motor to propel a motorboat, on the Peconic River, Willow Lake or Lilly Lake f/k/a Upper and Lower Yaphank Lakes within the Town of Brookhaven. This restriction shall not apply to emergency personnel in the performance of emergency activities that are necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare and in furtherance of activities pursuant to a lawfully issued permit.

§ 13-6 Muffler required.

No person shall operate a boat with an outboard motor or an inboard motor unless equipped with an adequately muffled exhaust, nor shall any such person use any siren or other noise-producing or noise-amplifying instrument on a boat in such a manner that the peace and good order of the neighborhood is disturbed; provided, however, that nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the use of whistles, bells or horns as signals as required by the United States Motorboat Act or other federal law for the safe navigation of motorboats or vessels.

§ 13-7 Compliance with Coast Guard equipment regulations required.

No person shall operate a boat which does not meet all applicable equipment requirements of the United States Coast Guard.

§ 13-8 Operating under influence of alcoholic beverages and narcotics prohibited.

No person shall operate a boat while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic drugs or opiates.

§ 13-9 Disturbing other boats.

No person shall operate a boat in such a manner as to unjustifiably or unnecessarily annoy or frighten or endanger the occupants of any other boat or throw up a dangerous wake when approaching another boat.

§ 13-10 Use of searchlights.

No person operating a boat shall use searchlights indiscriminately or in such a manner as to annoy or disturb other persons or boats.

§ 13-11 Hours for running engines.

No person shall run or operate any boat engine for the purpose of charging batteries, running auxiliary equipment or testing between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

§ 13-12 Improper mooring.

No boat shall be moored or anchored in any channel except at the edges thereof, and in no case closer than 50 feet to channel markers or so as to interfere with the full use of the channel by others.

§ 13-13 Navigation hazards.

Every boat in the navigable waters of the Town of Brookhaven which becomes a menace to navigation or unseaworthy or sinks, grounds or becomes otherwise disabled is hereby declared to be a nuisance, and the person in charge thereof shall abate such nuisance within two days after notice from the Town Board.

§ 13-14 Regattas.

The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to prohibit the running of regattas or boat races under the auspices of a recognized bona fide boat or yacht club or association when a permit therefor has been granted by the Town Board and after prior approval by the United States Coast Guard.

§ 13-15 Boats to observe sanitary regulations.

Persons in charge of or occupying boats docked at or moored to land, docks, piers or wharves abutting navigable waters shall observe all the health and sanitary regulations of the Town of Brookhaven and of the County of Suffolk. Discharging of toilets or of oil is prohibited in areas designated as boat basin anchorage or bathing areas.

§ 13-16 Water skis and surfboards.

A. 
No person shall operate a boat on the navigable waters of the Town for towing a person on water skis, a surfboard or similar device unless there is in such boat 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.
B. 
No person shall ride on water skis, a surfboard or similar device or use or operate a boat to tow a person thereon on the navigable waters of the Town between the period from one hour after sunset to one hour after sunrise; provided, however, that the provisions hereof shall not apply to a paid performer engaged in a professional exhibition.

§ 13-17 Penalties for offenses.

Any person violating any of the provisions in this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a violation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined in an amount not exceeding $500 or be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 15 days, or be both so fined and imprisoned. A separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.

§ 13-18 (Reserved)

§ 13-19 (Reserved)

§ 13-20 Defacing or removing serial numbers or identification marks on motors.

A. 
No person shall willfully remove, deface, cover, alter or destroy the manufacturer's serial number or any other distinguishing number or identification mark on any inboard, outboard or inboard-outboard motor.
B. 
No person shall knowingly buy, sell, receive, dispose of, conceal or knowingly have in his possession any inboard, outboard or inboard-outboard motor from which the manufacturer's serial number or any other distinguishing mark or identification mark has been removed, defaced, covered, altered or destroyed for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the identity of such inboard, outboard or inboard-outboard motor.
C. 
Any person, firm, corporation, partnership or other legal entity whatsoever found in violation of Subsection A or B of this section shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment, not exceeding three months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.