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Course Outline

All vessels equipped with an engine must be effectively muffled by equipment that is constructed and used to muffle the noise of the exhaust in a reasonable manner. Vessel operators may not hear sound signals or voices if the engine is not adequately muffled.

  • The use of cutouts is prohibited.
  • It is illegal to exceed a noise level of:
    • 86 dbA measured at a distance of 50 feet or more from the vessel as defined by SAE J-34 or…
    • 90 dbA measured using a stationary sound level test as defined by SAE J-2005 if the engine was manufactured before January 1, 1993, or 88 dbA if the engine was manufactured on or after January 1, 1993 or…
    • 75 dbA measured from the shoreline using a stationary sound level test as defined by SAE J-1970.
  • Exceptions to the above restrictions are made for vessels participating in permitted regattas, boat races, or speed trials.
  • A peace officer can require an operator to submit a vessel to an on-site noise level test. If the vessel’s engine exceeds the noise levels stated above, the officer will instruct the operator to take immediate corrective action and may direct the operator to terminate the voyage until the engine is in compliance.
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