Boater Safety

Boater Safety

The Great Sacandaga Lake is a 29 mile long reservoir. There are few issues that are more important on the lake than boater safety. The Great Sacandaga Lake Association supports a safer lake by offering information on boater safety through local media outlets as well as through offering FREE New York State Boater Safety courses during the year at sites approved by the Association.

New York State’s PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL campaign encourages residents to engage in responsible recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.

For more information about the benefits of being outdoors safely and responsibly, go to https://parks.ny.gov/covid19/


Boater Safety News

Online Boater Safety Option

New York State has introduced a new option for boater safety.  Two vendors have been approved to provide online access to the boater safety curriculum. 

Permanent Boater Safety Certificates

Notice From New York State to Law Enforcement Agencies Regarding the Timely Issuance of Permanent Boater Safety Certificates (Important to Members Who Completed Courses During the Summer Of 2014 And Have Not Received A Permanent (Plastic) Card):

New Regulations to Combat Invasives

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued new regulations effective IMMEDIATELY to require boaters using DEC boat launch sites to inspect and take actions to clean invasive species from their boats prior to launching.

New Boater Safety Legislation Signed into Law

The new law requires that persons born after May 1, 1996 "operating a mechanically propelled vessel to be a holder of a boating safety certificate;"  The law was effective on May 1, 2014.

Enrollment In GSLA-Sponsored Boater Safety Classes

The GSLA is a not-for profit Association with limited fiscal and personnel resources. Lake community residents benefit from many of GSLA lake-wide activities i.e. high school citizenship awards, prom activities, contributions to local causes. However, GSLA members have the added benefit of access to our FREE NYS Boater Safety courses.

Summary of New York State Regulations

The following is a summary of New York State regulations on safe boating as appearing in New York Safe Boating.
This is not meant to substitute for a comprehensive review of the regulations.

Boat Registration

Every type of motorized craft that is capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water must be registered whether the purpose is recreational or commercial.

Persons Required to Complete A Safety Course

The law in New York requires the following people to have a Boater Safety Certificate. Anyone who is at least 14 years of age and wishes to operate a personal watercraft (PWC). Anyone who is at least 10 years of age, but less than 18 years old and wishes to operate a motor boat (not a PWC) without adult supervision." As of May 1, 2014 - "No person born on or after May first...

Acceptable Certificates

Boating safety certificates issued by the following organizations are legal in New York State. The United States Power Squadrons. The US Coast Guard Auxiliary. A boating safety certificate issued to a resident of another state or country...

Required Equipment

Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s)

"Every pleasure boat floating or sailing in New York State waters must carry a least one wearable US Coast Guard Approved PFD, for each person on board. In addition, boats 16 feet and greater in length also must carry a Type IV throwable PFD."

Visual Distress Signals

During the daytime motorboats 16 feet or longer, and any sailboat longer than 26 feet must carry day and night signals.

Fire Extinguishers

US Coast Guard Approved fire extinguishers are required on boats where a fire hazard could be expected from the motor or the fuel system - that means all boats that have engines must also have a fire extinguisher.

Sound Signaling Device

All mechanically propelled boats must carry some sort of sound signaling device.

Speed Limits on The Lake

Except as provided in section forty-five-cc of this part, no vessel shall be operated within one hundred feet of the shore, a dock, pier, raft, float or an anchored or moored vessel at a speed exceeding five miles per hour, unless such vessel is being operated near such shore, dock, float, pier, raft or anchored vessel for the purpose of enabling a person engaged in water skiing to take off or land. (Navigation Law 45 - 2)

Anchor and Line

All motorized boats must carry an anchor and line of sufficient weight and strength to provide the boat with safe anchorage. Although the law applies only to motorized craft, all boats should carry an anchor in case of an emergency on the water