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Old 02-08-2024, 02:59 PM   #1
Skippermark
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Default New House Bill looks to ban 3 seat PWCs from half of NH Lakes

In case you haven't heard, recently introduced HB1562 (https://legiscan.com/NH/text/HB1562/id/2864326) aims to rename and expand the current definition of a "Ski craft" (PWCs) to Personal Watercraft and include modern 3 seat models.

This will prohibit modern PWCs from using about half of NH's lakes and parts of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Currently, 3 seat PWCs are classified as boats and aren't bound by the 80's law that prohibits 1 and 2 seat ski craft from certain bodies of water. Definition found here: Section 270:73,V (https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa...270/270-73.htm)

The original law was passed when PWCs were loud, smelly and annoying, but those machines have been replaced by quiet and efficient 4 strokes. Because of their small size and light weight, modern PWCs create far smaller wakes and are more environmentally friendly to sensitive shoreline areas than traditional boats' wakes, which see to be getting bigger each year.

It's now just as common to see a wake boat passing back and forth in the same spot while blasting music from their towers as it is a PWC. The difference is, the wake boat will be creating a much bigger wake, and by their very nature, people wake surfing (and waterskiing) will seek out calmer waters, which are usually close to shore and in quiet coves.

I'm not opposed to wake boats or big boats. I'm just saying banning PWCs won't do much to reduce shoreline erosion.

If restricting the public's access to public waterways is something you're against, please reach out to your representative and let them know how you feel.
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Old 02-08-2024, 03:12 PM   #2
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I wanted to add that while there are PWCs owners who are jerks and don't abide by the existing laws, there are also boaters who do the same thing. I'm sure any of us who have been boating for more than a season could tell stories of those in both categories.

To me, it comes down to respect, or the lack of it. Just look at the news to see stories of lawlessness and disrespect that people have for others. How can you expect someone to follow the law on the water when they don't do it in their daily life?

I think a better solution is to hire more law enforcement officers to enforce the existing laws rather than ban one type of vessel.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now...
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Old 02-08-2024, 03:51 PM   #3
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I don't agree with that new bill, and I hope it fails. Back when I used to live in Seabrook, I had a 3-seater registered as a boat and when I went to go put it in the water next to Eastman's, I was stopped. The town of Seabrook doesn't allow PWC and even though I had boat, I was still told to take a hike with it. So, from then on, I had to drive over the bridge to Hampton and use the ramp over there.
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Old 02-08-2024, 06:22 PM   #4
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Unless I am missing a link, I only see mention of restrictions in tidal waters?

This must be the year for new restrictions. Pretty soon we will have to canoe our stuff to the island… Should be fun with 5 dogs…
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Old 02-08-2024, 07:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codeman671 View Post
Unless I am missing a link, I only see mention of restrictions in tidal waters?

This must be the year for new restrictions. Pretty soon we will have to canoe our stuff to the island… Should be fun with 5 dogs…
By changing the definition of "ski craft" all of the old rules/bans come into play.... What morons proposed this bill? Just WOW!

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Old 02-09-2024, 04:34 AM   #6
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Question Just Askin'...

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By changing the definition of "ski craft" all of the old rules/bans come into play.... What morons proposed this bill? Just WOW!

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Those who live in areas where egregious violations occur?

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Old 02-09-2024, 09:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codeman671 View Post
Unless I am missing a link, I only see mention of restrictions in tidal waters?
At the bottom of the first link, it describes what the revisions changes.

Changing the length from 13 to 16 feet, getting rid of the 2 person max capacity, which will now include all PWCs...

https://legiscan.com/NH/text/HB1562/id/2864326
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Old 02-09-2024, 09:46 AM   #8
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Those who live in areas where egregious violations occur?
What violations are occurring? If someone is breaking an existing laws, wouldn't it be better just to enforce those laws, or are you saying you want to ban an entire group for the actions of a few?

Laws don't stop people from doing illegal things. If someone wants to go to a lake where PWCs are banned, they'll just take a boat, and if they did something illegal on a PWC, they'll likely do the same illegal activity on a boat.

Boaters frequently speed in the no-wake zone of Meredith Bay. Should we ban boats in the bay because of it, or better yet, should we ban boats from the entire lake so there's no chance anyone can go fast there?
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Old 02-09-2024, 11:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codeman671 View Post
Unless I am missing a link, I only see mention of restrictions in tidal waters?

This must be the year for new restrictions. Pretty soon we will have to canoe our stuff to the island… Should be fun with 5 dogs…
However, I believe the canoe will need to be a three-seater and you'll need to be wearing a lanyard attached to your paddle.
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Old 02-09-2024, 11:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippermark View Post
What violations are occurring? If someone is breaking an existing laws, wouldn't it be better just to enforce those laws, or are you saying you want to ban an entire group for the actions of a few?

Laws don't stop people from doing illegal things. If someone wants to go to a lake where PWCs are banned, they'll just take a boat, and if they did something illegal on a PWC, they'll likely do the same illegal activity on a boat.

Boaters frequently speed in the no-wake zone of Meredith Bay. Should we ban boats in the bay because of it, or better yet, should we ban boats from the entire lake so there's no chance anyone can go fast there?
The bills are sort of hodge-podge. Maybe make a suggestion that all motorized vessels have the same shoreland/object setbacks and restrictions on headway speed?

The bills can be amended to such.

That way no group feels like they are being singled out.
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Old 02-09-2024, 12:15 PM   #11
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Pertaining to the houseboat law they are trying to push, it literally will invite larger boats to the lake to "camp out". PWC don't create damaging wakes, but cruisers do. Let's restrict the surf boats to avoid wake damage, limit non-wake making pwc, then add in a pile of cruisers!

What are these people thinking?
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Old 02-09-2024, 12:38 PM   #12
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It's true the wakes aren't huge from the PWCs but they are the very worst for breaking the No Wake rule.
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Old 02-09-2024, 12:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippermark View Post
What violations are occurring? If someone is breaking an existing laws, wouldn't it be better just to enforce those laws, or are you saying you want to ban an entire group for the actions of a few?

Laws don't stop people from doing illegal things. If someone wants to go to a lake where PWCs are banned, they'll just take a boat, and if they did something illegal on a PWC, they'll likely do the same illegal activity on a boat.

Boaters frequently speed in the no-wake zone of Meredith Bay. Should we ban boats in the bay because of it, or better yet, should we ban boats from the entire lake so there's no chance anyone can go fast there?[
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Old 02-09-2024, 12:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codeman671 View Post
Pertaining to the houseboat law they are trying to push, it literally will invite larger boats to the lake to "camp out". PWC don't create damaging wakes, but cruisers do. Let's restrict the surf boats to avoid wake damage, limit non-wake making pwc, then add in a pile of cruisers!

What are these people thinking?
Two very different groups.
The restrictions are one group, and the open to more uses/people are the other.
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Old 02-09-2024, 01:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mercier View Post
The bills are sort of hodge-podge. Maybe make a suggestion that all motorized vessels have the same shoreland/object setbacks and restrictions on headway speed?

The bills can be amended to such.

That way no group feels like they are being singled out.
That's a great suggestion, John, and you're right about the bills being hodge-podge. We took our PWCs to Lake George this past summer, and it had a similar set of hodge-podge rules.

PWCs are limited to 5 MPH within 500' of shore, but for boats the limit drops to 100'. I asked the parks commission about it, and they said they want to protect the shoreline, especially in areas where there are lots of islands that are less than 1000' apart.

That didn't make much sense because boats can go fast in much of those areas, and their wakes could be big. Wouldn't it make more sense to limit speeds for all vessels in those areas.
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Old 02-09-2024, 08:47 PM   #16
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I’m in the “just be courteous” camp but, it just appears to me that NH legislators would rather look busy by passing legislation rather than funding the MP to enforce existing regs. (Not any different from most legislative bodies)


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Old 02-10-2024, 07:54 AM   #17
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''Courteous'' will not keep you away from the shoreline.

Funding is the direct result of fees; so they could go up on boating registrations to offset any needed additional funding to protect the lakes.

But this shouldn't cost more... as they are already responsible for doing so should a stand-up or two-seater runabout enter the area or approach shore at more than headway speed within that buffer.

It could be made easier for MP if the regulation was the same for all users.
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Old 02-14-2024, 02:51 PM   #18
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Over all this bill is not that surprising, legislation like was passed back in 80s/90s, covered most if not all PWC at that time. NH however was not the only state doing this, many other states did as well. In return the MFGs all figured out how to skirt around the laws, make them a little bigger, and have a 3 person capacity....

Time has gone on, PWC are now the cheapest way onto the water, there popularity has sky rocketed, and in some area's they have become an annoyance... So now people are trying to change the definition of "Jet Ski" to included PWCs.... and restrict them.....

Do I support this, of course not.... did I see it coming, yes I did.....

Something like this is primed to pass quickly and silently.... so if you really object I suggest to start making your voice loud and clear to the politicians...
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Old 02-14-2024, 04:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippermark View Post
What violations are occurring? If someone is breaking an existing laws, wouldn't it be better just to enforce those laws, or are you saying you want to ban an entire group for the actions of a few?

Laws don't stop people from doing illegal things. If someone wants to go to a lake where PWCs are banned, they'll just take a boat, and if they did something illegal on a PWC, they'll likely do the same illegal activity on a boat.

Boaters frequently speed in the no-wake zone of Meredith Bay. Should we ban boats in the bay because of it, or better yet, should we ban boats from the entire lake so there's no chance anyone can go fast there?
Don't fall into his trap... his diatribe is well known and tired.
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Old 02-14-2024, 08:31 PM   #20
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The setback isn't really about annoyance.
Though it is being done hodge-podge, it really is about wave action erosion.

We've had the current set of regulations for some time now... always the complaint that it isn't being enforced... always the complaint that not enough money exists to enforce it... but basically the lake is now showing the signs.

If we maintain the current course, it will rip through the entire watershed.

So a balance between a restriction on lake use vs abutting property owners is currently being hashed out; but it must be more restrictive to slow - hopefully even turn - the present course.
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Old 02-15-2024, 09:29 AM   #21
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Just talking about this here doesn't help much, does anyone have a list of the best legislators to email to tell them that we're opposed to this?
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Old 02-15-2024, 09:39 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mercier View Post
The setback isn't really about annoyance.
Though it is being done hodge-podge, it really is about wave action erosion.
If so, then why focus on pwc? Since you ride a Yamaha pwc I am sure you will agree that the wake is minimal at most. Boats are doing the damage, not pwc.
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Old 02-15-2024, 11:23 AM   #23
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I think they are looking to do all boats... just in a hodge-podge manner.

Most likely because of the way the laws were written and the atmosphere of push back that they expect.

We see the same thing in OHRV/Snowmobiles.
The public perceived the OHRV to be loud... but when blind tested in various manners could only distinguish the sound of the snowmobile at the same relative distances.

So the public perceptions is that only certain vessels create a wake/erosion problem... and the politicians react to that.

Personally, I think a single standard is easier to promote to operators and easier to enforce.

One of the reasons, I think pushing the wake boats to 500 is overkill.
Keep one standard for all.
But the LSRs that became bills weren't entered that way.
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Old 02-15-2024, 12:38 PM   #24
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I don’t agree that “the public perception is only certain vessels create a wake/erosion.” I think public perception is that boats operated in a careless manner (i.e., PWCs plowing at low speed near shore or in confined areas; wake & wake surf boats fully ballasted plowing near shore or in confined areas; crusiers plowing in excess of no wake/headway speed restrictions; smaller boats, etc. exceeding no wake/headway speed restrictions, etc.) create a wake/errosion


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Old 02-15-2024, 12:43 PM   #25
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Which should mean a single standard.

But legislators react to the public... so PWC/Skicraft and Wake boats become their focus.

It has been this way for decades.
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Old 02-17-2024, 05:51 AM   #26
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Lightbulb "Turning The Present Course"...

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The setback isn't really about annoyance, it really is about wave action erosion. Though it is being done hodge-podge, weve had the current set of regulations for some time now... always the complaint that it isn't being enforced... always the complaint that not enough money exists to enforce it... but basically the lake is now showing the signs. If we maintain the current course, it will rip through the entire watershed. So a balance between a restriction on lake use vs abutting property owners is currently being hashed out; but it must be more restrictive to slow - hopefully even turn - the present course.
Those of us who wait on our docks for a weekend to run its course are seeing Thursdays and Fridays similarly abused. Are these the "work.from home" Covid people?

Add to that the changes that permitted excessive exhaust noise measured next to a dock
, the "boat" that the "Jet-Ski" transformed into, thousands upon thousands of registered boats, a mostly absent enforcement of anything, urine coves, and the loudspeakers blasting f-bombs across still waters--and now--erosion.

Have the chickens come home to roost?

I've reported here (with pictures) about my neighbor's clump of seven trees falling into the lake. Two are now rolling about the bottom, sending leaves and sticks to neighbors' beaches. The largest snapped in half last winter and will leave a twelve-foot stump. Like prisoners on "Death Row", the remainder await their inevitable fate as they continue their slide into the lake.

My own shoreline has lost three trees recently with each having a girth of ten feet. (at least 120 years each of "green"). The NHMP has dutifully towed them away as "menaces to navigation".

That ALL menaces are relieved is not inevitable.

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Old 03-02-2024, 02:09 PM   #27
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BILL SPONSORS:

NH - Representative Rosemarie Rung (D)
Type:
Primary Sponsor
NH - Representative Dan Wolf (R)
NH - Representative Karel Crawford (R)
NH - Representative Matthew Coker (R)
NH - Representative Will Darby (D)
NH - Senator David Watters (D)
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Old 03-02-2024, 02:11 PM   #28
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https://trackbill.com/bill/new-hamps...craft/2462608/
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Old 03-14-2024, 03:53 PM   #29
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Great News!

I just heard, with good authority, that HB-1562 is dead! Supposedly a unanimous vote by the committee.

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