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Old 07-09-2022, 10:46 AM   #1
BeaverIslandGuy
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Default Marking Rocks with a buoy?

Hi Forum Members.

I have a question regarding marking some near-to-the surface rocks near our shoreline. I have searched both on the Winni Forum and general internet, but have not found anything directly on topic.

We have several rocks between 30-50 ft off shore that are about 2 feet below the surface, and therefore can create an issue with propellers and centerboards. While I and our “older” family members know where they are, guests and younger folk (aka grandkids) may not remember visit to visit.

May I mark them? If so, are there restrictions on what I may use to mark them? Is anything from a small float to a larger “danger -rocks” hazard buoy valid this close to shore? I would imagine that permits are not needed, in the same way that a raft permit is not needed (but different in that a mooring or swim area permit is). What are official NH Dept of Safety regulations?

Thanks in advance, as I know the forums have some more legally-types that can usually link to correct regulations.

PS. I know (OK - surmise) any such markers must not construe a hazard to Navigation (like a raft), but that would be the extent of my thoughts.
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Old 07-09-2022, 10:57 AM   #2
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A white, one gallon Clorox bottle is the buoy to use for marking rocks below.

And, www.bizer.com ..... the Lake Winnipesaukee map maker .... will supposedly pay a cash reward for any shallow rock that is less than six feet depth .... that Bizer has "overlooked."
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Old 07-09-2022, 11:02 AM   #3
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I have neighbors that just mark them with anchored bleach bottles. They have for years and appears to not be an issue with the "Powers-that-be".

I have rocks also. I know where they are. Frequently boats that come way too close to shore get rewarded with out-drive damage. Sea Tow has made some money off those rocks. I smile and wrestle with a twang of guilt...Not much though!
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Old 07-09-2022, 11:04 AM   #4
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We have a floating marker for a rock about 75' offshore. There are many such markers around the lake within the 150' zone. There is one near Belknap Point that MP boats go by every day. I don't know if this is in violation of some obscure rule however the markers have common sense strongly in their favor. I can't imagine MP making an issue of a near shore ma

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Old 07-09-2022, 11:05 AM   #5
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Default 150' rule

Unless it is a no-wake zone, rock hazards are not marked. Technically you shouldn't be cruising 50 feet offshore. If it is a no-wake zone, then yes it should be marked with a buoy. I see all kinds of markers around lakes.

In Mass. I visited Webster Lake. Can't recall seeing any buoys, there were tons of plastic gallon milk jugs! Locals call them 'sunken island' markers! Makes one wonder which side of the marker you should be on!
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Old 07-09-2022, 11:18 AM   #6
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In my experience, personally-maintained, non-standard markers are common for near-shore hazards (e.g. bleach bottles, plastic duck buoys).

I'm no expert in the law, but I find nothing prohibiting you from doing what you described, safely:
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/...270/270-26.htm says you can't interfere with formal nav aids, nor create hazards to navigation. Section b says you also can't use haz-mat containers, unless you've neutralized them.
If you look at the regulations on swim rafts (http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/...0/270-72-d.htm) it sounds like the state is fine with the landowner adding floating objects, again, if they're not a hazard to navigation. Maybe you can even add your name to the proposed marker/float and call it a swim raft to make it expressly legal? I don't see a size definition on what constitutes a swim platform.
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Old 07-09-2022, 11:21 AM   #7
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Talking Thanks for your thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadHopper View Post
Unless it is a no-wake zone, rock hazards are not marked. Technically you shouldn't be cruising 50 feet offshore. If it is a no-wake zone, then yes it should be marked with a buoy. I see all kinds of markers around lakes.
Thanks to all whom have piped in so far. I agree that for general boating, within 150 ft to shore shallow areas, shoals, rocks, etc are not marked (in fact, I think this was part of the criteria of a navigation buoy on the lake - if less than 20 ft AND over 150 ft from shore (not including marked channels, etc), that is when Dept of Safety, through MP, would add a mark.)

My needs in the 30-50 ft range are reminders for visitors/guests coming/departing/playing near our dock, so the above milkjug/bottle idea would work well.

I was just wondering if there were any official guidance, especially if I wanted to add a more visible marker to help at night coming into the dock.

As for those uninvited “visitors” that think 15 ft is 150 ft as they blow by in their wakeboats and PWC, while I would also smirk at the below water damage of their navigational skills (and there is evidence on some of the rocks to suggest this has in fact happened), I would not mind “encouraging” them to be a little further out.
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Last edited by BeaverIslandGuy; 07-09-2022 at 11:25 AM. Reason: Fix typos
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Old 07-09-2022, 11:25 AM   #8
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"It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

There are several near us that stay in place all season, and I'm thankful for them.

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Old 07-09-2022, 01:31 PM   #9
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Is a bleach bottle over a rock 2 ft below the surface a hazard to navigation or is the rock the hazard? Go for it, no one will say anything. Wrap them with reflective tape if you are worried about nighttime visibility. The boats nav lights will get reflected.

As far as which side you should pass the marker on? I will normally opt for the side where deeper water “should be”. Unfortunately, I’ve paid for that once or twice.

There used to be bottle markers off Cow that had red & green reflective tape to mark the “channel.


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Old 07-09-2022, 01:51 PM   #10
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I think you should be able to but ask some people on Chases Island. They tried to mark rocks because people kept going on the wrong side of the buoy and they were told they were not allowed.
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Old 07-09-2022, 03:18 PM   #11
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Good memory Tis. Here is the Marine Patrol position regarding home made markers.

The New Hampshire Marine Patrol takes a lot of
initiative to ensure public bodies of water are adequately marked for safe
boating; so you are correct that "private" markers are not approved on navigable
waters across the state. Typically if a "home-made" navigational aid is located
it is removed. While the intention is good, to your point, if everyone took it
upon themselves to "courtesy mark" what they perceived as a navigational hazard
may cause greater confusion to those trying to navigate an already precarious
body of water.

If there is concern that an area needs to be marked differently than it
presently is we encourage folks to contact us. On occasion we do add
navigational aids or have moved existing ones that may have come off station due
to ice flows or tampering.

Of course we always encourage boaters to use a navigational chart and to take
advantage of the many electronic devices available to ensure safe boating.
However most importantly folks need to slow down and not boat faster than their
knowledge and abilities allow.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any further questions - respectfully,

Joshua Dirth, Sgt.
Division of State Police
Marine Patrol
31 Dock Road
Gilford, NH 03249
www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/nhsp/
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Old 07-09-2022, 10:55 PM   #12
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A few years back there was a strip of black and yellow danger tape stretched between the markers in Tommy’s Cove that I would think was very useful for first-time visitors. A couple years ago the tape disappeared. I don’t know if it was a voluntary removal. Anybody know?


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Old 07-10-2022, 09:58 AM   #13
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White Clorox bottle was a marker of choice. Used to mark mooring for Sailfish and some large rocks. My mom would save them and bring them to the lake and the teens would use them to set up temporary slalom course for skiing.
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Old 07-10-2022, 11:44 AM   #14
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Default marking rocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by tis View Post
I think you should be able to but ask some people on Chases Island. They tried to mark rocks because people kept going on the wrong side of the buoy and they were told they were not allowed.
Yes that is correct. We put out two red detergent bottles and the Marine Patrol came by and removed them. Too bad because people hit the same rocks about every other day. Yesterday a very new boat hit the rocks and I'm sure the lower unit and prop were damaged. When they hit the sound is awful. The engine actually pops up. Some boaters just keep going. There are two black and white markers indicating which way to pass. But many people still pass on the wrong side. We see this often. We wave yell to warn them. They just wave back. Then it is too late.
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Old 07-10-2022, 05:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasedawg View Post
Yes that is correct. We put out two red detergent bottles and the Marine Patrol came by and removed them. Too bad because people hit the same rocks about every other day. Yesterday a very new boat hit the rocks and I'm sure the lower unit and prop were damaged. When they hit the sound is awful. The engine actually pops up. Some boaters just keep going. There are two black and white markers indicating which way to pass. But many people still pass on the wrong side. We see this often. We wave yell to warn them. They just wave back. Then it is too late.
I remember you writing about that and thinking it is too bad because you were just trying to help people.
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Old 07-11-2022, 07:13 AM   #16
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The MP will not mark anything within the 150' buffer zone around the shoreline... It is long standing tradition that people all over the state mark the inshore rocks with white clorox bottles. For some reason the MP does seem to have an issue if brightly colored bottles are used.

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Old 07-11-2022, 08:07 AM   #17
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I would just "remind" others before they come. But if the rocks are in front of your property, I suppose marking is fine, although it is apparently not fine with MP. But marking things in front of someone else's property is not neighborly...
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Old 07-11-2022, 08:44 AM   #18
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The Town of Center Harbor has a newly installed park bench in the grass lawn area at their Lake Winnipesaukee town docks commemorating Tup Goodhue, with a plaque on it that says he was the keeper of Nipple Rock since 1960.

Nipple Rock is a rock ledge type of boat hazard with a recognizable shape above the lake water surface, located out there between Round, Camp, Breezy, Forty, and Fish Islands. So for 60-years of ice, wind, rain, sun and water spray, Tup kept the Nipple Rock paint job looking good with a new paint re-do.

Last edited by fatlazyless; 07-13-2022 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 07-13-2022, 06:50 AM   #19
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The ultimate rock marker: Laconia Daily Sun, April 6, 2016 says in a brief article with a photo that local airplane pilot Bill Hemmel reports that Nipple Rock looks like it has been painted with a coat of bright new paint.

http://www.winnipesaukee.com/photopo...php?photo=3269

Nipple Rock has Flasher Buoy 46 atop it, plus is painted with red and white paint over the last sixty years.

Nipple Rock is looking for a secret volunteer artist to maintain and carry forward the sixty year long tradition of painting it with red and white paint.

Anyone know, was April 2016 the last time it got freshened up with new paint?
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Old 07-13-2022, 02:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatlazyless View Post
The ultimate rock marker: Laconia Daily Sun, April 6, 2016 says in a brief article with a photo that local airplane pilot Bill Hemmel reports that Nipple Rock looks like it has been painted with a coat of bright new paint.

http://www.winnipesaukee.com/photopo...php?photo=3269

Nipple Rock has Flasher Buoy 46 atop it, plus is painted with red and white paint over the last sixty years.

Nipple Rock is looking for a secret volunteer artist to maintain and carry forward the sixty year long tradition of painting it with red and white paint.

Anyone know, was April 2016 the last time it got freshened up with new paint?
It was painted after 2016! TUPPY
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