Rules and Regulations

Dartmouth Waterways Rules and Regulations
(Approved July 29, 2003, Updated January 12, 2004)

  1. No mooring shall be placed in Dartmouth waters without prior consent of the Dartmouth Harbormaster. Moorings shall be constructed to the Harbormaster’s specifications.
  2. All moorings shall be inspected every three years at user’s expense by a designated mooring inspector approved by the Harbormaster. A list of designated mooring inspectors will be available at the Harbor Master’s office. Inspector shall issue a report to user, owner, and Harbormaster.
  3. All moorings will have a number assigned to them by the Harbormaster.
  4. All boats, 12 feet and over, whether on moorings, private or commercial docks, shall be registered with the Harbormaster by July 1, of each year. New registration shall be required within 14 days of placement in Dartmouth waters.
  5. Proof of a registered mooring, a commercial mooring rental contract, a dock / slip contract, or a private dock / slip location for the current year must be provided prior to receipt of Waterways Registration. Also Proof of excise tax payment, if applicable, must be provided.
  6. An identification sticker shall be issued upon registration. Stickers shall be placed on the hull portside aft.
  7. No boat shall be put on a mooring that was designated for a smaller craft.
  8. Vessels moored or docked in Dartmouth waters in excess of fourteen days will be considered non-transient vessels subject to waterways use fees. Exceptions will be those vessels undergoing repair for extended periods at recognized facilities.
  9. No private mooring can be rented, sold or transferred without prior written permission from the Harbormaster.
  10. Any mooring that is not visible for two weeks after being noted by the Harbormaster shall be considered a navigational hazard, subject to removal at owner’s expense and location will be forfeited.
  11. Winter logs must be set in such a way that they do not lay flat on water. A minimum of 18” should be visible above the water line, and should be removed June 1 and should be reinstalled before October 1 of each year.
  12. Winter logs must have mooring number permanently marked on them.
  13. No boat will be docked or moored on a private dock, slip or mooring without written permission of the owner. Violators will be subject to removal by the Harbormaster or his agent at the owner’s expense.
  14. No vessels may be rafted at any time without approval of the harbormaster. The raft must have an operator on board at all times.
  15. No vessel can anchor overnight inside the breakwater unless an operator is on board and approval of the Harbormaster has been obtained.
  16. No vessel shall be moored or anchored so as to interfere with free and unobstructed use of channels, fairways or berthing spaces without express written approval of the Harbormaster.
  17. Swimming is prohibited in all designated channels and fairways.
  18. Pot floats, fish nets, and fishing lines are prohibited in all channels and fairways.
  19. No person shall deposit or abandon a vessel or structure upon a beach, public right-of-way or in Dartmouth waters. When any vessel or structure is deposited or abandoned in the waters of Dartmouth, the Harbormaster is authorized and empowered to remove or cause to be removed said vessel or structure at owner’s expense.
  20. No person or vessel may discharge sanitary waste in Dartmouth waters.
  21. Speed in the harbor is limited to 5 miles per hour – minimum wake.
  22. Vessels operated after dark shall display Coast Guard approved running lights.
  23. Jet and water skiers shall not operate within 150 feet of any mooring or 300 feet of any public or private bathing area.
  24. All other pertinent State and Federal laws and regulations shall apply.
  25. The Harbormaster is empowered to exercise his discretion in enforcing rules and regulations. Appeals of such exercise shall be directed to the Dartmouth Waterways Management Commission.