New York State Law

Navigation Law

Consolidated Laws of New York's NAV code

Laws of New York

This site contains the full online searchable text of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, the Criminal Procedure Law, the Penal Law and the Vehicle and Traffic Law for the State of New York. Also the Civil Rights Law, Family Court Act, U.S. Constitution and selected articles from the Correction Law.

Navigation Law - Article 1 - Section 2


Section Description
2 Definitions.
    S 2. Definitions. The following terms when used in this chapter unless
  otherwise  expressly  stated,  or  unless the context of the language or
  subject  matter  indicates  a  different  meaning  or  application   was
  intended,  shall  be  deemed to mean and include: 1. "Office" shall mean
  the state office of parks, recreation and historic preservation.
    2. "Commissioner" shall mean the commissioner of parks, recreation and
  historic preservation,  unless  otherwise  indicated,  except  that  for
  purposes  of  the  administration  of  articles three and eleven of this
  chapter within the sixth  park  region,  the  boundaries  of  which  are
  described  in  subdivision  six of section 7.01 of the parks, recreation
  and  historic  preservation   law,   "commissioner"   shall   mean   the
  commissioner of environmental conservation.
    4.  "Navigable  waters  of  the  state"  shall mean all lakes, rivers,
  streams and waters within the boundaries of the state and not  privately
  owned,  which  are navigable in fact or upon which vessels are operated,
  except all tidewaters bordering on and lying within  the  boundaries  of
  Nassau and Suffolk counties.
    5.  "Navigable  in  fact"  shall  mean  navigable  in  its  natural or
  unimproved condition, affording a  channel  for  useful  commerce  of  a
  substantial  and  permanent character conducted in the customary mode of
  trade and travel on water. A theoretical or potential  navigability,  or
  one  that  is  temporary, precarious and unprofitable is not sufficient,
  but to be navigable in  fact  a  lake  or  stream  must  have  practical
  usefulness to the public as a highway for transportation.
    6. "Vessel" shall mean any floating craft and all vessels shall belong
  to one of the following classes:
    (a)  "Public  Vessel"  shall  mean  and  include every vessel which is
  propelled in whole or in  part  by  mechanical  power  and  is  used  or
  operated  for  commercial purposes on the navigable waters of the state;
  that is either carrying passengers, carrying freight, towing, or for any
  other use; for which a compensation  is  received,  either  directly  or
  where  provided as an accommodation, advantage, facility or privilege at
  any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement.
    (b) "Residential vessel" shall mean and include every vessel which  is
  used primarily as a residence.
    (c)  "Pleasure  vessel" shall mean and include every vessel not within
  the classification of public vessel or residential vessel. However,  the
  provisions  of  this  chapter  shall  not  apply to rowboats, canoes and
  kayaks except as otherwise expressly provided.
    (d) The term "vessel" as used in this chapter shall not include a crew
  racing shell. "Crew racing shell" shall mean any shell,  gig,  barge  or
  other  boat designed primarily for practice or racing, propelled by oars
  or sweeps, in the sport of crew or scull racing conducted by  a  private
  or  public educational institution, school, academy, college, university
  or association of any of the preceding, or by an amateur sports club  or
  association  or by the United States or International Olympics Committee
  and shall not include canoes, rowboats or lifeboats.
    The boat or  launch  accompanying  a  crew  racing  shell  shall  have
  sufficient  safety  devices  to  aid members of the crew should the need
    7. "Owner" shall mean the person actually holding title to  a  vessel,
  except  a  public  vessel  chartered  unmanned for a period of more than
  thirty consecutive days, in which case "owner" shall include the  person
  chartering the vessel.
    8.  "Person"  shall  mean  an  individual, partnership, corporation or
    9. "Master" shall include every individual having  for  the  time  the
  charge, control or direction of a vessel.
    10.  "Pilot"  shall  mean an individual licensed to take charge of the
  course of a vessel through or upon specific waters.
    11. "Engineer" shall mean an individual licensed to operate a vessel's
  main engines and auxiliaries.
    12.  "Joint  pilot  and engineer" shall mean an individual licensed to
  act as both pilot and engineer for a public vessel which in the judgment
  of the inspector can be safely navigated by one individual.
    13. "Operator" shall mean an individual who operates  or  navigates  a
  pleasure vessel.
    14. "License" shall mean a certificate furnished by the inspector.
    15.  "Inspector"  shall  mean the individual, or individuals, provided
  for in article two, section twelve, of this chapter.
    16. "Under way" shall mean that the vessel is not at anchor,  or  made
  fast to the shore, or aground.
    17.  "Visibility"  as applied to lights shall mean discernibility on a
  dark night with a clear atmosphere.
    18. "Starboard" shall mean the right hand side, facing the bow of  the
    19.  "Port"  shall  mean  the  left  hand  side, facing the bow of the
    20. "Wharf" shall mean and include any structure built  or  maintained
  for the purpose of providing a berthing place for vessels.
    21.  "Dock" shall mean a wharf, or portion of a wharf, extending along
  the shore line and generally connected with the uplands  throughout  its
    22. "Pier" shall mean a wharf or portion of a wharf extending from the
  shore line with water on both sides.
    23. "Jetty" shall mean a structure located within the shore lines of a
  body of water for the purpose of controlling currents usually to prevent
  filling in a channel.
    24.  "Breakwater" shall mean a structure located within the shore line
  of a body of water for the purpose of providing protection from wind and
  wave action.
    25. "Undocumented vessel" shall mean any vessel which is not  required
  to  have,  and  does  not  have,  a  valid marine document issued by the
  federal bureau of customs.
    26. "Open construction" shall mean that a vessel is so constructed  as
  to be void of any decking or enclosure which inhibits the continuous and
  free circulation of air within the vessel when under way.
    27.  "Aids  to  Navigation"  shall  mean buoys, beacons or other fixed
  objects in the water which are used to mark obstructions  to  navigation
  or to direct navigation through safe channels.
    28.  "Floating  Objects"  shall  mean  any anchored marker or platform
  floating on the surface of the water other than aids to  navigation  and
  shall  include  but not be limited to, bathing beach markers, speed zone
  markers, information markers, swimming or diving floats, mooring  buoys,
  fishing buoys, and ski jumps.
    29.  "Gray  water"  shall  mean  waste  water generated by water using
  fixtures other than toilets; including but not limited to  baths,  sinks
  and laundry facilities used on residential vessels.
    30.  "Personal  watercraft"  shall mean 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.
    30-a.  "Personal  flotation  device"  shall  mean a wearable flotation
  device, classified and approved by the United States Coast  Guard  which
  is  in such a condition that it is fit for its intended purpose, bears a
  legibly marked United States Coast Guard approval number and  is  of  an
  appropriate size for the person who intends to use it.
    31.  "Specialty prop-craft" shall mean 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.
    32.  "Effective  muffler"  or "underwater exhaust system" shall mean a
  sound suppression device or system designed and installed to  abate  the
  sound  of  exhaust  gases emitted from an internal combustion engine and
  which prevents excessive or unusual  noise,  as  set  forth  in  section
  forty-four of this chapter.
    33.  "Abandoned  historic  shipwreck" shall mean wrecks situated on or
  under lands owned by the state, in which the state holds title  pursuant
  to  the  Abandoned  Shipwrecks Act of 1987 (43 U.S.C. 2101) or which, by
  reason  of  their  antiquity,  history,  architecture,  archaeology   or
  cultural  value,  have state or national importance and are eligible for
  inclusion on the state register of historic places, and which have  been
  abandoned  by the owner of record. The term shall include the wreck, its
  cargo and contents and the situs.
    34. "Wreck" shall mean any wrecked property, other than  an  abandoned
  historic shipwreck.

Top of Page

The laws of the State of New York are consistently amended, repealed and/or entirely rewritten. This site strives to publish the current laws; however, official reporters should be consulted for the most up-to-date statutory language. No warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content on this website are made. This website and its owners assume no liability or responsibility for any error or omission in the information contained in the website or the operation of the website.