N.Y. Navigation Law Section 49
Operator


1.

No person 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 the operator is at least ten years old and is the holder of a boating safety certificate issued to him or her upon completion of a boating safety course approved 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.

a.

The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to persons who are: 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 § 64 (Licenses)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.

b.

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.

c.

For purposes of the section:

(i)

“boating safety course” shall mean a course of instruction that has been approved by the commissioner pursuant to sections seventy-five and seventy-nine of this article; and

(ii)

“boating safety certificate” shall mean a document which cannot be altered and which is provided to a person who successfully completes a boating safety course. 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 § 64 (Licenses)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 § 49-A (Operation of a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs)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.

Source: Section 49 — Operator, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/NAV/49 (updated Jan. 10, 2020; accessed Jun. 15, 2024).

40
Equipment
40‑A
Manufacture and sale of outboard motors
40‑B
Sale and use of tributyltin paint
41
Pilot rules
42
Searchlights
42‑A
Tow-chains
43
Lights to be displayed
43‑A
Use of digital billboards
44
Noise levels on pleasure vessels
45
Reckless operation of a vessel
45‑A
Beaching a disabled water craft
45‑AA
Special provisions relating to reckless operation and speed on Canandaigua lake
45‑AAA
Special provisions relating to speed on Irondequoit bay
45‑AAAA
Special provisions relating to reckless operation and speed on Greenwood Lake
45‑AAAA*2
Special provisions relating to speed on Sodus Bay
45‑AAAAA
Special provisions relating to reckless operation and speed on Lake Alice
45‑AAAAAA
Special provisions relating to noise and speed on Lamoka Lake and Waneta Lake
45‑AAAAAA*2
Special provisions relating to reckless operation, noise and speed on the Fulton Chain of Lakes
45‑B
Regulation of beaches
45‑C
Special provisions relating to reckless operation and speed on Conesus lake
45‑CC
Reckless operation and speed on the canal system
45‑D
Special provisions relating to speed at Crooke’s Point in Great Kills Harbor
46
Vessel regulation zone
46‑A
Regulations of vessels
46‑AA
Special provisions relating to speed on lakes in Chautauqua county
46‑AAA
Special provisions relating to reckless operation and speed on certain lakes in Hamilton county
46‑AAAA
Special provisions relating to speed on Cuba lake
46‑B
Special provisions relating to speed on Saratoga lake
47
Leaving the scene of an accident without reporting
47‑A
Accidents
47‑B
Report to the commissioner required upon accident
48
Negligence in use or operation of vessel attributable to owner
49
Operator
49‑A
Operation of a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
49‑B
Operating a vessel after having consumed alcohol
49‑C
Termination of unsafe operation

Accessed:
Jun. 15, 2024

Last modified:
Jan. 10, 2020

§ 49’s source at nysenate​.gov

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