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silent choice illegal in n.y. ?

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Old 07-03-2003, 08:47 AM
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It sure does suck! To compound the problem try being a homeowner on the lake and you have to pay wharf (dock) registration fees as well. There was also a push to make from Tea Island south, across the whole lake 5MPH and it was all done in secrecy. Then word got out and we fought it big time and will continue to do so. I have printed out a copy of the law and will carry it in the Skater, although not having offshore housings the noise is really quiet until on plane. The Lake George Park Commission is really a bunch of wanna be cops that are on a power trip. You need to be firm but not nasty with them if you are correct. Do not let them push you around and request their name a badge number, to which you have a right. Also, keep a copy of the law with you. When they begin their speech on legalities ask them to site the section number, and sub-section and when they cannot pull out your copy. You need to again be respectful but steadfast in your position. I agree that the politicans (for whom law enforcement ultimately work for) fail to recognize the value of the tourist dollar. Just like with Americade. Let the bikes be loud for 3 or 4 days. If it werent for Americade businesses could not afford to be open in June. Noise is not in any way a detriment to the water quality of the lake, however, boaters are often times not tax payers (aside from sales tax) and therefore are easy targets. Many of the people that are complaining are lake side residents that have ancient boats (equals LOUD) and ancient homes and septic systems. These same people argue that their 1940's-1950's wodden boats need not comply with the sound restrictions and they should be grandfathered. I say noise is noise. If I need to to retrofit my boat so so you! By law each system is to be tested every five years to ensure proper operation. Mine has been in since 1985 and has NEVER been tested. Additionally, the allowance of continuous building and over population of lake side properties with condominiums and paved driveways is of far greater detriment to the quality of the lake than any other factor. Which is why I will NOT pave my driveway. It remains crushed stone so as to filter out as much storm and road run off as possible.
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Old 07-03-2003, 11:00 AM
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Obviously, both law enforcement and the boating community appears to be a little confused about the issues. Note: This discussion pertains to NYS law, as per the thread title. Other states may or may not have similar laws, check your local listings.

1.) Repeat after me: Silent Choice is not a switchable muffler. Silent Choice routes the exhaust below the water line and through the prop hub, making the exhaust for all intents and purposes silent. A switchable muffler is a muffler than can be rendered inoperative at the flick of a switch.

2.) The law as cited above is surprisingly clear: You may not "bypass or otherwise reduce or eliminate the effectiveness of any muffler or muffler system installed." Installing a Silent Choice system does not eliminate the effictiveness, the opposite is true. If there is a muffler system and you are bypassing it to reduce its effectiveness, you are breaking the law. If there is no muffler system, then the person or company who has sold you the boat has probably broken the law. If you then install a switchable muffler, you are not breaking the law. But:

3.) The point above is quickly moot, because "no person shall operate or give permission for the operation of any pleasure vessel in or upon the waters of the state of New York in such a manner as to exceed a noise level of 90dB(A) when subjected to a stationary sound level test as prescribed by SAE J2005 ... or as to exceed a noise level of 75dB(A) measured as specified in SAE J1970." And herein lies the rub.

Both test procedures are notoriously hard to implement and tickets issued with references to these procedures usually do not hold up in court. A detailed discussion would be very technical and besides the scope of this post. Suffice it to say that the University of Michigan concluded that "the testing procedures given in SAE J2005 and J1970 are both impractical and nearly impossible to enforce in practice. These procedures, even in the hands of trained, experienced officers do not provide representative, repeatable, easily conducted measurements of vehicle operating sound."

This is good and bad news.

The good news is that with knowledge of the law, the authorities can be kept at bay. Challenge an officer to conduct a test according to SAE J2005 or SAE J1970 and he will most likely back down, because he doesn't have the equipment, the training, or the time to back up a $50 ticket, which the court will most likely throw out if you promise to fit mufflers. You will notice that there is an increasing number of reports about law enforcement stopping boaters because of noise violations, but very little reports about actual tests. Whipping out a dB meter is not a valid test as far as the SAE is concerned.


The bad news is that youb are not the only one who knows that. These regulations are about to be replaced by much tougher, much more enforceable regulations. If you think these laws are bad, then look to California. Their new laws are so tough that pretty much the only way to comply with them is with permanent below the waterline exhaust. And trust me, there is someone in your state who is right now working on bringing these regulations to your state, sooner than later.

Whether the rest of the country will have California-style laws or not is also in our hands. We can provoke it by running open exhaust all day and night long. Or we can delay it by observing the laws that are on our books. One of the best arguments against new laws is: "We don't need them. We need to observe and enforce existing ones."

Which means: Put a muffler on that boat. There are new ones that do not degrade performance in any way. Cost: About two or three tanks of gas. Those who won't listen (they probably lost their hearing anyway) are killing our sport by bringing CA-style regulations upon us.

Last edited by Peconic; 07-03-2003 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 07-03-2003, 11:07 AM
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Just to try and help clarify this issue. The silent choice is not the illegal part the sound level is. If you have silent choice, but you still have mufflers on the external exhaust that keeps you below the legal limit then you are legal. When they say silent choice is illegal, they mean that just because you have the capability to quiet the exhaust does not make you legal. Your boat has to be tested at the "loudest" mode and if you pass you are ok whether or not you have silent choice isn't the issue. Think about it, you can't make it be louder than the legal limit no matter which way you throw the switch so how can that be illegal. It isn't.

But most people with silect choice do not have mufflers on them. That is where the confussion comes in. ET
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Old 07-03-2003, 12:32 PM
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It appears item#4 is the issue. Does routing the exhaust thru the hub constitute a muffling system? By the very fact that it does drop the db level, it could be argued( by a motivated DA)that it is in fact a muffling system. Therefore, if it functions as a muffling system, it can not have the cut-out provision and still comply with this section. However, if the boat was to be the same db level with thru the hub or thru the hull, then this provision is not applicable.

The other interesting item is #8, regarding actual training of personel to conduct the test. I would be curious as to how many have had actual training, particular as to implementation of SAEJ2005 and SAEJ1970.

Luckily, the locals have not bothered with the silent choice users. I personally went shotgun silencer route, great product that works, and no cut-out issue. But. I still got hassled 1X when no one else was out in the water and locals had time to kill. Pointed to the shotgun silencers and that was the end of that subject!
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Old 07-03-2003, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by formulafastech
Shane has got it right. All the people with million dollar houses on the Lake, and Hackers or Chris Crafts in the boathouse are the ones *****ing about the noise and the wake. Everyone I've seen throws a bigger wake than any "regular" boat, and they are ALL loud. I'd bet much louder than most through hulls. Hey, at least Shane is smarter than the rest of us. With the twin Outboards, they can't nail you for noise. <g> Course 105 mph could upset them. <vbg>
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending how you look at it, they know where I live, but I have served in the fire service with many of them or when I was in college working at the marina repaired many of their boats. I have been fortunate in that they will usually stop by the house, have a Pepsi or coffee and shoot he breeze and make it look good for the awnery old farts. Little do they know we are socializing. I also, take 'em for a blast in the off season and they love it.

Formulafastech has it right though. With a go fast they will find you. There are only so many of us on the lake and there are only a finite number of places to hide. However, in all my years at the lake, (31), if you are not stupid and do not go 80 on July 4th weekend between the narrows and the village at noon, and keep it at a modest rate, they will just look the other way. Also, if you run during the week, stay away from shore and other boaters, they will look away as well. And if you REALLY HAVE to run the snot out of it, go north of the Mother Bunch and stay in the middle and you will not get hasseled. A little common sense goes a LONG LONG way! If I can be of any further help to anyone with regard to concerns on the lake please let me know. If anyone is out this weekend, my house is in Basin Bay, stop by and say hi. The FORMULA hangs in the boat house, the Skater sits on mooring whips on the north side, and there are 2 PWC's on lifts on the south side. If you come in tie up perpendicular to the dock.

Last edited by Shane; 07-03-2003 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 07-03-2003, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by formulafastech
When we first went to the lake, and I called about the noise laws, and I got to talking to the officer, I was not sure about the speed limit. When he told me, I asked him about it being enforced north of the narrows. I could almost see him smile when he said "well yea we do" When we want to run WOT, as Shane says, we at at least north of the Mother Bunch, and usually up near Anthony's Nose. No real traffic, and no houses, and in the middle of the lake.
Right on! You gonna be up this weekend?
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Old 07-03-2003, 07:06 PM
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I am a little confused. I thought that "silent choice" or "captains call" switched the "wet" through hull exhaust to propeller/underwater exit? How does this turn the mufflers on and off?
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Old 07-03-2003, 07:59 PM
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Dckrafft: You aren't confused. They are. Silent Choice et al work the way you describe it.
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Old 07-03-2003, 10:37 PM
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The bottom line: It depends on how the law is being interpreted.
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Old 07-04-2003, 11:44 AM
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I have a house down on the east shore across from the village.
The lg patrol are pretty good & really dont hassle you if
boat with some respect. They mostly hassle the people out
there that are driving like maniacs. When you leave the village
wide open, 2 &3 boats together,the see you. They may not
hassle you then,but sooner or later they remember your boat
then they go after you. Watch out for that chick with the blonde
hair. Shes the meanest LG on the lake. (something to prove)!!
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