Boating Information

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 Please note: When Federal/Local Regulations differ - you must adhere to the more stringent (strict) standards.
Federal Regulations
To view the Federal Requirements Brochure online, please click here.

To download a copy of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Federal Requirements Brochure for Recreational Boaters please click here.
New York State Requirements

Click here for the New York State Boater's Guide - a complete reference source with all of the rules and regulations you need to know in order to boat safely and legally in New York State.

Accident Reporting

accident reporting
Federal law requires the operator – or owner, if the operator is deceased or unable to make the report – to file a boating accident report with the State reporting authority (click here for info) when, as a result of an occurrence that involves a boat or its equipment:

- A person dies
- A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury
- A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid
- Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 (lower amounts in some states and territories) or more
- The boat is destroyed.
You can help the Coast Guard and its boating safety partners to save lives by understanding and complying with this requirement.

Download an accident reporting form here.

Download an online fillable accident reporting form here.

New York State

      NY State Law requires the operator/owner of a recreational vessel is required to report in writing whenever an accident:


          • Results in the loss of life
          • Disappearance from the vessel
          • Injury requiring treatment beyond first aid 
          • Property damage in excess in $500 
          • The complete loss of a vessel.


Cases of death or injury must be reported to local police immediately and to OPRHP within 48 hours.

All other accidents must be reported within 5 days of the occurrence.


Reports can be mailed to:


OPRHP, Empire State Plaza, Agency Building 1, Albany, NY 12238.

Phone 518/474-0445

The New York Accident Reporting Form can be downloaded here
Float Plan
Why should you take the time to prepare a float plan?  The answer is simple... there are just too many facts that need to be accurately remembered and ultimately conveyed in an emergency situation.  Without a float plan you are counting on someone else, a friend, neighbor, or family member to remember detailed information that rescue personnel need in order to find you.  Information that can make a difference in the outcome.

Who should prepare a float plan?

Don't think for a minute that this is a device only for those with big expensive boats.  A Float Plan is equally effective for the owner of a 10 foot kayak or flat-bottom skiff as it is for a 48-foot express cruiser, or a 90 foot sport-fishing vessel or luxury yacht.  So, what kind of boaters prepare float plans?
  • Kayakers
  • Private charter boat services
  • Sport fisherman
  • Canoeists
  • Hunters
  • Rowers
  • Jet Skiers
  • Rafters
  • Water skiers
  • Sail boaters
  • Family day cruisers
  • Power boaters
Typically, the Skipper of the vessel is the individual who prepares the Float Plan.  However, any member of the crew can be assigned the preparation and filing duty. 

Click here to download a PDF fillable form

Animated Knot Tying

 Click on the image below for an interactive, animated knot-tying learning website: Knot Tying Link

Boat Responsibly