Waters and navigation

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§3. Mooring sites

In all harbors wherein channel lines have been established by the municipal officers, as provided in section 2, and in all other coastal and tidal waters, harbors and great ponds where mooring rights of individuals are claimed to be invaded and protection is sought of the harbor master, the harbor master shall assign and indicate only to the masters or owners of boats and vessels the location that they may occupy for mooring purposes and shall change the location of those moorings from time to time when the crowded condition of that harbor or great pond, the need to conform to section 7‑A or other conditions render the change desirable. [PL 1991, c. 838, §16 (AMD).]

Unless permitted by an ordinance adopted under section 3‑A, mooring assignments may not be transferred. Assignments may not be rented unless the provision for rental was part of the agreement when the mooring was assigned. [PL 1991, c. 685, §1 (AMD).]

Assignment of these mooring privileges does not confer any right, title or interest in submerged or intertidal lands owned by the State. To the extent that there is any inconsistency between this subchapter and any law that establishes or otherwise provides for a port authority, board of harbor commissioners or similar authority for any coastal waters of the State, that inconsistency must be resolved in favor of this subchapter. [PL 2003, c. 660, Pt. A, §23 (AMD).]

Whenever practicable, the harbor master shall assign mooring privileges in those waters where individuals own the shore rights to a parcel of land, are masters or owners of a boat or vessel and are complainants, and shall locate suitable mooring privileges therefor for boats and vessels, temporarily or permanently, as the case may be, fronting their land, if so requested, but not to encroach upon the natural channel or channels established by municipal officers; provided that not more than one mooring may be assigned to any shorefront parcel of land under this privilege. Notwithstanding section 11, persons who, prior to January 1, 1987, owned shore rights of at least 100 feet of frontage regardless of the size of the lot have mooring privileges assigned according to this section. The limitation of one mooring assigned under this privilege does not prevent the owner of a shorefront parcel from receiving additional mooring assignments under the allocation system for all other residents. [PL 2003, c. 660, Pt. A, §23 (AMD).]

A harbor master may refuse to assign mooring privileges to any vessel or boat owner or master who has not paid any fee, charge for services, forfeiture or penalty levied pursuant to this subchapter. [PL 1987, c. 655, §3 (NEW).]

Municipalities may not charge mooring fees for and do not have jurisdiction over the siting or specifications of structural moorings used to secure aquaculture equipment within the boundaries of a lease site when that site's lease is issued pursuant to Title 12, section 6072, 6072-A or 6072-B. [PL 2003, c. 660, Pt. A, §23 (NEW).]

Municipalities have jurisdiction over boat and vessel moorings within the boundaries of a lease site when that site's lease is issued pursuant to Title 12, section 6072, 6072-A or 6072-B. A municipality may not charge a mooring fee for a boat or vessel within the boundaries of a lease that is inconsistent with that municipality's other mooring fees for commercial vessels. [PL 2003, c. 660, Pt. A, §23 (NEW).]

A harbor master, a code enforcement officer or, in the case of a great pond located in an unorganized territory, a board of county commissioners of the county in which the unorganized territory is located may direct the master or owner of a boat or vessel to remove that person's mooring or floating dock from a great pond if the harbor master, code enforcement officer or the board of county commissioners determines that leaving the mooring or floating dock in during ice-in conditions would create a public safety hazard. [PL 2015, c. 105, §1 (NEW).]


PL 1987, c. 412, §§3,8 (RPR). PL 1987, c. 655, §3 (RPR). PL 1991, c. 685, §1 (AMD). PL 1991, c. 838, §16 (AMD). PL 2003, c. 660, §A23 (AMD). PL 2015, c. 105, §1 (AMD).

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