Jim McCulley (PLPA President) — With the official start of summer, it’s time to remind PLPA members of the safe boating regulations that govern the types and use of boats on the lake.
Most of the regulations regarding safe boating on the lake are found in your deed or can be found here on the PLPA website (https://plpa.org/lake-rules/) or by clicking the “Lake Rules” tab.
Please respect lake speed and wake restrictions
Already this year there seems to be an increasing number of boats that are violating the speed limit restrictions near the shoreline and docks. New York State Law limits vessel speed to 5 mph (no wake) when within 100 feet of the shore, a dock, pier, raft, float, or anchored boat. Peck’s Lake regulations increase that distance to 200 feet. Producing large wakes near the shoreline or docks can lead to erosion of the shoreline, danger to nesting loons, damage to docks, danger to swimmers, kayakers/canoers, or those just enjoying sitting on their docks or on their docked boats. While the 200-foot limit is the lake rule, please use caution and keep speeds low anywhere near the shoreline, docked/moored boats, kayakers/canoers, or places where people might be swimming.
A good rule of thumb is if you are within 200 feet of the shoreline, or a dock or moored boat, and your boat is producing wake, you’re probably going too fast. As a point of reference, the average walking speed is 4mph. If you’re going faster than you could walk, you’re likely going more than 5mph.
I have spoken to the Peck’s about enforcing the 5mph (no wake) speed limits within 200 feet of the shoreline, docks, moored boats etc. If you witness a boat violating this regulation, please try to get either a picture of the boat, its registration number and/or a description of the boat (make, color, type etc…) and email me at [email protected]. I will forward your complaint to the Peck family. But the best enforcement tool is for all of us to understand and follow the rules and regulations pertaining to speed limits on the lake.
Restrictions on boats
It’s also a good time to remind everyone that the lake rules also prohibit boats having more than two motors and limits their combined horsepower to not exceeding 40 horsepower. Boats may also not exceed 20 feet in length, nor be less than 3 ½ feet in width, 13 ½ feet in length, or 14 inches deep.
Waterski area rules and best practices
Those who waterski, or engage in other towed water activities, like pulling a tube etc…, must stay within the designated waterski zone area only, and are restricted to the hours between 11am and 5pm. Please avoid wide turns or turning into areas used for general boating, or that violate the 200-foot 5mph speed zone. I have also been asked to remind boaters to use caution, and avoid when possible, “cutting” through the waterski area when it is being used. There can be times when a waterskier, tuber, etc…may have fallen and is in the lake waiting for their boat to turn and retrieve them, or your wake can create a potentially dangerous situation for those skiing, tubing etc…
Sailboat Safety (and kayaks and canoes)
I’ve heard that some people have had issues with powerboats cutting across (sometimes very closely) the path of the sailboat. Sailboats under sail have right of way over powerboats because sailboats have more restricted maneuverability. Perhaps people just don’t think about the limitations of a sailboat being dependent on which way/how much the wind is blowing and that they can’t just stop and/or change direction like a powerboat. Also, be aware of the impact your wake can have on a sailboat, kayak or canoe, as a large wake can easily capsize one — especially as you boat alongside and your wake cuts across them.
Warning and hazard buoys
There are several “No Wake” and speed warning buoys throughout the lake, especially in West, Sunrise and Beaver Bays. They are there to promote safe boating as well as protecting the shoreline, docks, and docked boats. Please obey all warning and hazard buoys and markers.
Keep the lake safe, know the rules
These are NOT rules or regulations of the PLPA, but are the rules that the Peck’s have made to ensure safe boating, swimming, kayaking/canoeing, and to protect the lake and shoreline. Mostly, use common sense and be respectful/aware of others on the lake. Again, you can click “Lake Rules” to find a summary of the lake rules.