New York Law
Consolidated Laws of New York
NYS Navigation Law - Vessels
S 44. Noise levels on pleasure vessels. 1. The provisions of this
section shall apply to the navigable waters of the state including all
tidewaters bordering on and lying within the boundaries of Nassau and
2. (a) No person shall operate or give permission for the operation of
any pleasure vessel in or upon the waters of this state in such a manner
as to exceed a noise level of 90dB(A) when subjected to a stationary
sound level test as prescribed by SAE J2005.
(b) No person shall operate a pleasure vessel on the waters of this
state in such a manner as to exceed a noise level of 75dB(A) measured as
specified in SAE J1970. Provided, that such measurement shall not
preclude a stationary sound level test as prescribed by SAE J2005.
3. Sale or manufacture. No person shall manufacture or offer for sale
any pleasure vessel or engine for use in a pleasure vessel for use on
the waters of this state if such vessel or engine, at the time of
manufacture or sale, cannot be operated in such a manner so as to comply
with the sound level requirements provided in this section.
4. No person shall operate or give permission for the operation of any
pleasure vessel in or upon the waters of this state that is equipped
with an altered muffler or a muffler cutout, bypass or otherwise reduce
or eliminate the effectiveness of any muffler or muffler system
installed in accordance with this section.
5. No person shall remove, alter or otherwise modify in any way a
muffler or muffler system in a manner which will prevent it from being
operated in accordance with this section.
6. Exceptions. The provisions of this section shall not apply to
pleasure vessels designed, manufactured and sold for the sole purpose of
competing in racing events and for no other purpose. Any such exemption
or exception shall be so documented in any and every sale agreement and
shall be formally acknowledged by signature on the part of both the
buyer and the seller and copies of said agreement shall be maintained by
both parties. A copy shall be kept on board whenever the pleasure vessel
is operated. Any pleasure vessel sold under this exemption may only be
operated on the waters of this state in accordance with this section.
The provisions of this section shall also not apply to:
(a) Pleasure vessels which are competing in or participating for a
definite race over a given course held under the auspices of any bona
fide club or racing association between the hours of nine o'clock in the
morning and sunset, which has been approved pursuant to the provisions
of section thirty-four of this chapter, and all provisions of such
section have been complied with or pursuant to authorization by the
commandant of the United States Coast Guard.
(b) An authorized agent of the federal, state or municipal government
when operating a pleasure vessel necessary to carry out his or her
official duty of enforcement, search and rescue, firefighting or
(c) A pleasure vessel being operated by a boat or marine engine
manufacturer for the purposes of testing and/or development.
(d) A pleasure vessel manufactured prior to nineteen hundred
7. Any officer authorized to enforce the provisions of this section
who has reason to believe that a pleasure vessel is not in compliance
with the noise levels established in this section may direct the
operator of such pleasure vessel to submit the pleasure vessel to an
on-site test to measure noise level, with the officer on board if such
officer chooses, and the operator shall comply with such request. If
such pleasure vessel exceeds the decibel levels established in this
section, the officer may direct the operator to take immediate and
reasonable measures to correct the violation, including returning the
pleasure vessel to a mooring and keeping the pleasure vessel at such
mooring until the violation is corrected or ceases.
8. Any officer who conducts pleasure vessel sound level tests as
provided in this section shall be qualified in pleasure vessel noise
testing by the department of parks, recreation and historic
preservation. Such qualifications shall include but may not be limited
to the selection of the measurement site, and the calibration and use of
noise testing equipment.
9. Penalties. (a) Any person who fails to comply with the provisions
of this section shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not
to exceed fifty dollars for the first offense and not exceeding two
hundred fifty dollars for a second or subsequent offense. However, the
court shall waive any fine for which a person who violates the
provisions of this section would be liable if such person supplies the
court with proof within thirty days of the issuance of the summons that
he purchased his pleasure vessel prior to the effective date of this
section, that the pleasure vessel's muffler was not altered or made
inoperable so as to result in a violation of the provisions of this
section, and that the pleasure vessel has been repaired, altered or
modified so as to be in compliance with the provisions of this section.
Provided, however, that such waiver of fine shall not apply to a second
or subsequent conviction under this section.
(b) Any person who alters or makes inoperable an effective muffler
system so that such system is no longer in compliance with this section
shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not less than
fifty dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars.
(c) All fines and forfeitures collected pursuant to the provisions of
this section by any court, judge, magistrate or other officer referred
to in subdivision one of section thirty-nine of the judiciary law,
establishing a unified court budget, shall be paid to the state
commissioner of taxation and finance, within the first ten days of the
month following collection to be deposited in a fund known as the
boating noise level enforcement fund established pursuant to section
ninety-one-b of the state finance law. The office of parks, recreation
and historic preservation shall distribute the fines to local law
enforcement officials according to the provisions of section
seventy-nine-b of this chapter for the purpose of enforcing the
provisions of this section.
10. All fines and forfeitures collected by any other court, judge or
magistrate or other officer shall be paid to the state comptroller
within the first ten days of the month following collection to be
deposited in a fund known as the boating noise level enforcement fund
established pursuant to section ninety-one-b of the state finance law.
The office of parks, recreation and historic preservation shall
distribute the fines to local law enforcement officials according to the
provisions of section seventy-nine-b of this chapter for the purpose of
enforcing the provisions of this section.
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