Marine Services Bureau

Marine Related FAQ's, Regulations, Important Information, & Marine Links

  1. How can I request a “Slow Speed, No Wake” barrel?

    A: The Marine Services Bureau determines whether requests for Slow Speed/No Wake Buoys are necessary. If a request is approved, the Marine Services Bureau will coordinate with the agency in charge of placing Slow Speed/No Wake Buoys. 

    To make a request for a Slow Speed/No Wake Buoy, you must contact the Marine Services Bureau Station that is closest to the location of the requested Slow Speed/No Wake Buoy. To locate a Marine Services Bureau Station, please click HERE

  2. I found an abandoned boat, can I use it as my own?

    A: There are steps that one is required to take prior to using a vessel as their own. Follow the steps listed in the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s “Application for Title to an Abandoned Vessel” at:

  3. What is “Slow Speed, No-Wake”?

    A: Speed or No-wake is regulated by both, Title 12:7-45 Speed of Power Vessels and Title 13:82-1.7 Speed.
    It states that the speed of a power vessel should be regulated to avoid injury or damage to property. Additionally, if you are within 200ft of any marina, pier, dock or wharf; work floats or barges engaged in work; through bridge openings less than 400ft wide; through waterways less than 200ft wide; vessels not under command; any vessel with flashing emergency lights activated. What does this mean? Within 200ft of any of the above listed conditions you are required to operate your vessel at minimum headway speed, regardless of the presence of a sign or buoy. If you are causing a wake, you are going too fast!
    Slow-No-Wake graphic

  4. Who has the right-of-way?

    A: The right-of-way is determined by International and Inland Navigation Rules, as well as, New Jersey State Rules. A copy of the United States Coast Guard’s Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook can be downloaded in PDF format at:

    New Jersey rules can be found by clicking on the following links: Title 12 Chapter 7 [pdf] and Title 13 Chapter 82 [pdf]

    Also, see the below diagrams for more common meeting situations.

    Rule 15: Crossing Situation:

    What is the appropriate action of each vessel operator?

    • In a crossing situation, the vessel which has the other on its starboard side shall keep out of the way
    Rule 15: Crossing Situation graphic

    Rule 14: Head-on Situation

    What is the appropriate action of each vessel operator?

    • Each shall alter their course to starboard
    • When a vessel is in any doubt if the condition exists, assume the condition does exist and act accordingly
    Rule 14: Head-on Situation graphic


  5. A boat is drifting in the channel and I am trying to get by it, who has the right of way?

    A: When a power vessel is making way and encounters a power vessel under way but not making way, drifting, all navigation rules and State rules apply. Vessels are responsible for their wake and any damage caused to the vessel being passed or injuries to its. (N.J.A.C. 13:82-1.7) Likewise, a vessel that is underway, but not making way, drifting, should not unreasonably interfere with another vessels or free and proper use of the waterway. (N.J.A.C. 13:82-1.11)

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