Safety Terms and Conditions for Rentals

The Otsego County Sheriff's Department patrols Otsego Lake. It is essential that you follow these rules and regulations to avoid arrest and penalties and to ensure your own safety and that of the vessel.

PLEASE REVIEW carefully the following rules, regulations and safety tips. It is our sincere desire that you have a safe, trouble-free and enjoyable time on our beautiful, historic Lake.



NAVIGATION SAFETY

  • OVERTAKING/PASSING: Boat being passed has the right of way. Keep clear.
  • MEETING HEAD-ON: Keep to the right (starboard).
  • CROSSING: boat to the right (starboard) has the right of way. Slow down, stop, or pass astern. NEVER cut off another vessel.
  • SAILING VESSELS: Sailboats of all types have the right of way, except in a narrow channel or when the sailboat is the overtaking vessel.
  • DO NOT ENTER THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER at any time.
  • NO-WAKE ZONE: DO NOT EXCEED 5 MPH inside the no-wake buoys within 200 feet of the shoreline. New York State law PROHIBITS wakes within 200 feet of the shore.
  • STAY CLEAR OF ALL BUOYS. They mark underwater hazards, sailboat race courses, and no-wake zones. They also mark snorkelers and swimmers.
  • BEWARE OF SUNKEN ISLAND, at the north end of the Lake. Marked by buoys and very shallow. Watch carefully if you are near it.
  • DO NOT TURN SHARPLY OR TOO FAST: This could be very dangerous for your passengers and your vessel.

BOAT SAFETY

  •  ALWAYS BE ALERT: Watch for skiers, swimmers, divers and other boats. DRIVE DEFENSIVELY.
  • DO NOT OVERLOAD THE BOAT: Each rental boat is rated for a specific number of people. The boat may state a greater number than what you are told by the Boatyard staff, but you must adhere to what the staff says.
  • DO NOT TOW anything (tubes, another boat, etc.) or anyone behind your rental boat.
  • PETS are not allowed.
  • There are NO LADDERS on our rental boats. Please consider the difficulty of boarding your vessel should you take a swim.
  • IN CASE OF A STORM, HIGH WINDS OR ROUGH WATER: pull slowly into the nearest dock or shelter.
  • NEVER LEAVE YOUR BOAT UNATTENDED: The boats in our fleet have replacement values of up to $25,000 and will be your sole responsibility.

RETURNING YOUR BOAT TO THE BOATYARD

  • Steer between the red and green buoys; stay to the left of the red buoy, and dock at the wooden docks.
  • Slow down when approaching the dock; put your gear in neutral.

PROPELLERS

The propeller is the most easily damaged part of your boat. AVOID all shallow areas and underwater hazards, most of which are more prevalent at the north end of the Lake around Sunken Island. You are responsible for any damage to the propeller; a repair might cost as much as $125.

  • Check your propeller before you leave the rental dock, and again when you return.
  • KEEP ALL LINES INSIDE THE BOAT: stern lines can get caught in the propeller.

Required by New York State law:

CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 12 MUST WEAR LIFE JACKETS.


THE LAKE 

  • WATCH FOR LAKE WEEDS at all times, especially near the shoreline. It is a CRIMINAL OFFENSE to disturb or destroy the water lilies in the Lake. Should your propeller become entangled in weeds, put your boat in reverse for a few moments to clear it. Failure to do so could result in damages to the propeller and the engine.
  • OTSEGO LAKE is used for public drinking water, and much time, effort and expense have been spent to ensure the water is clean. The use of soaps or detergents and pollution debris of ANY form is a severe violation of water quality laws. The laws are STRICTLY enforced, and carry very stiff fines.

PONTOON BOATS

  • Life jackets, flares and flags are under the forward seats.
  • For your safety, always remain inside the railings when the boat is in motion.

GENERAL RULES

We try to keep our boats clean so you can enjoy your time on our Lake. Please be considerate of the next person who rents this boat and try to bring it back in the same condition you found it.

All rental boats will have a full tank of gas. We require that you return to the Boatyard for any additional fuel you may need during your rental period to ensure that the proper gas and oil mixture is provided for our engines.

In consideration of those people who have reserved your boat for a time after your return, all rental boats are due back at the Boatyard dock at the specified, agreed time noted on your rental agreement. Failure to return the rental at said time will result in an OVERTIME CHARGE of $50 per 15 minutes.

Sam Smith's Boatyard is the ONLY party authorized to repair any mechanical failures on your rental boat. In the event of a problem, contact Sam Smith's at 607-547-2581, or signal the Sheriff's Patrol for assistance. The Boatyard will pay service and towing expenses that are a result of mechanical failure. ANY OTHER damages to your rental will be added to your bill. THIS INCLUDES RUNNING OUT OF GAS. Check your gauge frequently to avoid this problem.

There is a $20 charge for LOST KEYS.

Sam Smith's Boatyard reserves the right to deny rental at any time, and may terminate the rental contract at its sole discretion.

All rental rates, prices, fees, and availability are subject to change without notice.

PLEASE TAKE CARE OF OUR BOATS AND OUR LAKE. 

 

Rentals

Open 7 Days a Week!

Monday - Sunday

9:00am to 5:00pm

For rental reservations, call 607-547-2581