Is sailing a home made boat illegal?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Roderick Beresford Stiffington IV, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. D_Roderick Beresford Stiffington IV

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    My friend and I made a boat out of cardboard and have been sailing it around in the water by my park. Some family members have voiced concern that doing this is illegal. I live in New York City, I'm not really sure how to even go about researching something like this. Eventually we wanted to make a second to turn them into a catamaran. Does anyone have any clues where I can read up on local laws to see if theres anything I need to know?
     
  2. Skull Mason

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    No but I can I come hang out and watch
     
  3. D_Adoniah Sheervolume

    D_Adoniah Sheervolume Account Disabled

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    wow, very cool! do you have a picture of it?

    don't think it's illegal to go to sea in anything, but you may run afoul of the law if it's over a certain length and not registered (the boat, not your LP...lol). however, given what must be its very home-built appearance, you may just get a warning if anyone ever bothered to harrass you.
     
  4. kalipygian

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    Is it equipped with personal flotation and emergency signaling devices? Radio? Satellite navigation? Port and starboard and bow lights? Are you prepared to be boarded and inspected by the coast guard?

    Does your family know any other interesting urban myths?
     
  5. earllogjam

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    cardboard boat? doesn't sound illegal to me. does soggy cardboard float? you wax it or something?
     
  6. D_Roderick Beresford Stiffington IV

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    I was also warned to beware of water rats swimming around that will crawl into my boat.
     
  7. Mr Ed in Mass

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    only if you sail it out of Cuba
     
  8. Mr Ed in Mass

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    Only if you try to sail it out of Cuba
     
  9. omgiswatdeysay

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    Thats about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.
     
  10. D_Ivana Dickenside

    D_Ivana Dickenside New Member

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    i don't think it's illegal to sail a home made boat. is it more along the lines of a row boat or a sail boat? if it's like a row boat you should be fine. but if it's bigger like a sail boat you'll have to head to the dmv and do some registering and more paper work.
     
  11. jason_els

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    In New York, if your boat has any motor at all, even if it's not used for primary propulsion, it must be registered. You have to go to DMV and fill out a bunch of forms including one that shows proof of ownership. They do not mention what substantiates proof if you've built the boat yourself.

    Whether it's a rowable dinghy or a square-rigged tall ship, it's the motor that matters. No motor, no worries. Just do be exceptionally careful if you even think of sailing in the East River. Do not attempt it without knowing exactly what you're doing and your cardboard boat is truly sea worthy. It looks far easier than it is. There are some vicious currents and it takes a skilled sailor to know how to navigate it safely. I don't know your experience level with sailing so please don't think I'm being patronizing. Sailing around a secluded bay should be fine, once you're in a major waterway, you must learn the rules of the road and how to sail under any condition you might encounter. Take lessons if you can. There are good sailing schools throughout the city and, better still, they know NYC waters inside and out. There really are some dangerous areas, particularly around the aptly-named Spuyten Duyvil and Hell Gate.

    Talk to wowniceone about what he recommends. The man knows sailing far better than I do.
     
  12. Mem

    Mem
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    Many beaches at the NJ shore do not allow you to put any flotation devices in the water.
     
  13. prepstudinsc

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    Won't a cardboard boat get soggy and sink after a while?
     
  14. Mem

    Mem
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    You should make your next boat out of Wonder Bread. :wink::biggrin1:
     
  15. Mr. Snakey

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    This sounds like fun. As a child my friend and i made a raft out of wood and sailed it in a big pond. What fun we had.
     
  16. vince

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    Hey Snakey, we had rafts too. We would make them out logs and scraps and whatever crap we could find. Those are some of my happiest memories.

    OrbitzXT, check with the local authorities for the regulations. The Coast Guard is a good place to start.
     
  17. Mr. Snakey

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    Yes this was fun. What a time we had.
     
  18. Deno

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    I would think that the only illegal thing about it is you might need a license. Which would probably require inspection to make sure it sea worthy. I also wouldn't describe it as sailing since I doubt you actually have a sail on it. If this would be illegal to do then I guess even tubing would be illegal. I for one wouldn't let the water touch my body. you imagine how many boat out there dumping personal waste into the water.
     
  19. kalipygian

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    I think that whatever you coat the cardboard with, inevitably water is going to soak in eventually, and it will sooner or later turn to mush. Are you putting it in a small lake or pond, or what?
     
  20. jason_els

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    In New York, you go to the DMV but again, only if the boat has a motor of any kind. Otherwise, you're free to sail what ever you please without registration.

    No license is necessary so long as he's not operating commercially.

    Not necessarily. Cardboard is pretty resilient when impregnated with water-proofing compounds.
     
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