Town of Dennis, MA
Barnstable County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Dennis 3-16-1982; amended 3-22-1983. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Waterways Commission — See Ch. 5, Art IV.
Selectmen — See Ch. 36, Art. VIII.
Boats — See Ch. 55.
Jet skis — See Ch. 117.
Marina — See Ch. 130.
Waterways bylaws — See Ch. 181.
Wetlands — See Ch. 187.
Beach regulations — See Ch. 200.
Shellfish regulations — See Ch. 222.
A. 
Speeds.
(1) 
The speed limit shall be six (6) miles per hour, except in designated water ski and unrestricted areas.
(2) 
There shall be no wake in restricted areas.
B. 
Waterskiing.
(1) 
Waterskiing is permitted only in the Bass River Salt Box area and Follins Pond.
C. 
Harbor pollution.
(1) 
No oil or other petroleum products shall be dumped or pumped overboard in the harbors or waterways.
(2) 
No untreated sewage, rubbish, debris, garbage or dead fish shall be discharged or dumped overboard into Dennis water. No cleaning of fish is permitted on town docks.
D. 
Berthing.
(1) 
All vessels entering Town of Dennis waters are subject to the direction of the Harbormaster, who shall be consulted before anchoring or tying up to any of the town-owned facilities or moorings.
E. 
Negligent operation.
(1) 
No person shall operate any motor boat or any other vessel in a reckless or negligent manner as to endanger the life, safety or property of any other person.
F. 
Conduct.
(1) 
All persons shall conduct themselves at all times in any waterways of the Town of Dennis, at Sesuit Harbor Municipal Marina (as defined in § 231-6A) or at any other facility in or related to waterways in the Town of Dennis in a peaceful and orderly manner so as not to create any annoyance, nuisance or hazard to any person.
G. 
Violation of rules and regulations.
(1) 
Any violation of any of these rules and regulations shall, in addition to any penalties provided by law, be just cause for the cancellation of the lease of any lessee of a slip or mooring and the removal from the marina of any such violator and any boat owned by said violator at the latter's expense. Nothing in this section is intended nor should be construed to prevent the Harbormaster from pursuing any rights or remedies available under law.
A. 
Mushroom-type anchor or equivalent approved by the Harbormaster.
Length of Vessel
(feet)
Weight
(pounds)
Under 16
50
16 to 20
75 to 100
20 to 26
150
26 through 32
200
B. 
Chain size.
Length of Vessel
(feet)
Length
(feet)
Diameter
(inches)
Under 16
15
5/16
16 to 26
15
3/8
26 through 32
15
1/2
C. 
Pennant diameter.
Length of Vessel
(feet)
Nylon or Equivalent
(inches)
Under 16 through 20
1/2
20 to 26
5/8
26 through 32
5/8 to 3/4
D. 
Scope.
Length of Vessel
(feet)
Scope, Including Chain
(feet)
Under 16 through 32
30
E. 
Special conditions.
(1) 
Present moorings may stay at existing overall scope. If harbor conditions in these areas become congested in the future, moorings shall be shortened in these tidal waters with chain two (2) feet above mean high water and the length of the pennant equal to the length of the vessel.
F. 
Mooring buoys shall be painted white with a blue horizontal band and be marked with the Town of Dennis permit number, which shall be so marked and maintained as to be visible at all times.
(1) 
Where winter spars or buoys are used, they shall be clearly visible.
(2) 
All flotation buoys shall be plainly and clearly visible above any tide level at all times.
(3) 
The Harbormaster Department will inspect all moorings prior to installation, beginning in the spring through the summer.
(4) 
All pennants shall be nylon or equivalent with adequate mooring devices approved by the Harbormaster and/or his assistants to eliminate the hazard of chafing. These will be checked annually by the Harbormaster and/or his assistants.
(5) 
The Harbormaster Department shall keep a detailed record of the description of all moorings, their location, owner's name, telephone number(s), home and business addresses, date of mooring installation and the length and rig of the vessel using the mooring. It shall be the responsibility of the mooring owner to advise the Harbormaster Department of any change in the above record information.
Regulations governing mooring spaces in all waterways of the town are the same as those governing mooring spaces in Sesuit Harbor as set forth in § 231-5.
A. 
The Town of Dennis, for the safety and convenience of the boating public, will provide a patrol of Bass River at the convenience and discretion of the town.
B. 
This patrol will normally operate from June 20 up to and including Labor Day of the calendar year.
C. 
The harbormaster will annually promulgate an operating procedure after consultation with the Waterways Commission.
A. 
The Executive Secretary will regulate marina operations and procedures in accordance with this policy through persons authorized to represent the marina. This office will establish detailed duties, practices and procedures to effectuate this policy.
B. 
The Harbormaster will maintain full and complete records of marina applications, use and operations, including chronological waiting lists for both slip and swing mooring space, and perform other responsibilities included in the harbormaster job description.
C. 
The Executive Secretary will recommend to the Selectmen appointment of a Harbormaster and assistants. Directions in general shall be in writing and will include a schedule of working or on-duty dates and hours.
D. 
All use of the marina and its waters and shoreside shall be subject to the rules and regulations included in the Sesuit Harbor Municipal Marina Lease Agreement for Marina Space, which are hereby incorporated in this policy, and shall be subject in all other applicable provisions of the waterways regulations of the Town of Dennis.
E. 
The Harbormaster and assistants shall be charged with enforcement of such rules and regulations.
F. 
Charges for use of marina space during the boating season (May through October) will be made as adopted by the Board of Selectmen.
G. 
Town slips and moorings.
(1) 
Areas specified by the Harbormaster shall be reserved for swing moorings, and no mooring may be installed or set therein without prior inspection and approval by the Harbormaster or his designee.
(2) 
A mooring space or slip relinquished by an assignee for any reason shall, except as hereinafter provided, immediately void all rights of the assignee to that mooring space or slip.
(3) 
Moorings shall be removed by the assignee of a mooring space when ordered to do so by the Harbormaster, for reasons such as repair, dredging or navigational hazard.
(4) 
Applications for assignment of swing mooring spaces or town slips may be made by any person on forms provided by the Harbormaster and shall be submitted annually to the Harbormaster on or before April 15 of each year and shall be accompanied by evidence of ownership of a boat satisfactory to the Harbormaster and payment of the established fee.
[Amended 6-22-1984]
(a) 
All such applications on a waiting list on January 1 of each year, if not previously withdrawn, shall be deemed to be renewed, and no additional application fee will be charged for said renewal.
(b) 
Application fees paid by applicants to whom a mooring space or slip is assigned shall be credited with the amount so paid upon assignment.
(5) 
Each year the Harbormaster shall grant applications, duly made, for mooring spaces and town slips in this order: first to those applicants to whom a mooring space or slip was assigned on October 31 of the preceding year and then to other applicants in the same order by which completed applications were received by him, notwithstanding the foregoing:
(a) 
The surviving spouse of a decedent to whom a mooring space or slip was assigned at the time of death or on the preceding October 31 shall have all the rights respecting the use and assignment of the mooring space or slip that the decedent would have had if he had lived.
(b) 
Only one (1) application or assignment for a slip or mooring will be accepted per household. A household may have both a slip and mooring application or assignment
(c) 
The Harbormaster may, in his sole discretion, refuse to grant the application of any person who has been found previously to have violated any waterways rule or regulation.
(6) 
Identification decals issued to assignees of slips or mooring spaces shall be affixed to the bow or windshield of the vessel to be moored or berthed, and any vessel moored or berthed without said decal may be removed by the Harbormaster at the owner's expense.
(7) 
No mooring space or slip shall be assigned to any person who has not then paid any boat excise tax due and payable to the town.
H. 
A fee set by the Board of Selectmen, chargeable upon assignment of a slip or mooring, shall be due and payable with the application for renewal due on or before May 1 of each year, except when said assignment is made after that date, and in such cases the fee shall be due and payable within five (5) days from and after the date of the assignment. If, in any case, the fee is not paid when due, the assignment shall then be canceled, the application fee shall be forfeited to the town and the slip or mooring in question shall be reassigned to another applicant forthwith.
[Amended 6-22-1984]
I. 
No boat may enter any slip or tie up at any mooring other than that assigned, except with permission of the Harbormaster. Neither slips nor moorings are transferable. No boat owner to whom a slip or mooring is assigned shall sublet such slip or mooring. No boat owner to whom a slip or mooring is assigned shall allow any other boat owner to use his slip without expressed written permission of the Harbormaster. Such use, in any case, shall not exceed seven (7) days. Any boat owner to whom a slip or mooring is assigned must have his boat in his slip or on his mooring not later than July 15 of each calendar year, unless he has notified the Harbormaster, in writing, as to his intentions and/or reason for delay. If the owner does not have his boat in his slip or on his mooring by July 15 of the calendar year, and if no such notification is received by that date, it is understood that the boat owner has forfeited his slip or mooring, and such slip or mooring will then be assigned to the next person on the waiting list.
J. 
Notice to file for application for slips or moorings shall be advertised in local papers by the Executive Secretary or his designee.
K. 
Transients shall contact the Harbormaster for assignments.
L. 
Only nylon or dacron line of the proper size shall be used in the harbors.
M. 
No rafting will be allowed, i.e., one (1) boat to a mooring.
N. 
Signs bearing pertinent information shall be erected at the launching ramp.
O. 
In the interest of safety and orderly operation of the marina, the Harbormaster may, upon written notice to the slip occupants, reassign slips. The size of vessels involved will be a determining factor in any slip reassignments.
For the benefit of all who use these facilities, the following rules and regulations have been established.
A. 
The word "marina" shall hereinafter refer to the Sesuit Harbor Municipal Marina and any person authorized to represent it, including the Harbormaster and Assistant Harbormasters. The marina encompasses all town-owned property and facilities, including parking areas provided for boating at Sesuit Harbor and use of all harbor waters to Cape Cod Bay, also approaches from the Fairway (one-half-mile) buoy. The word "town" shall hereinafter refer to the Town of Dennis and its authorized representatives. The word "owner" shall refer to the owner of any boat or vessel berthed in or using the marina or the authorized representative of the owner.
B. 
Space rentals.
(1) 
Fees charged for space shall be strictly in accordance with published schedules and shall be paid in advance to cover a full season. No refunds will be allowed. For any vacancy of short duration, but exceeding twenty-four (24) hours, the Harbormaster or assistant should be advised in order to permit temporary use of the space for transients. Any transient fees, in accordance with published schedules, will accrue to the town. No refunds to original lessees are contemplated in such instances.
(2) 
If it is considered by the Harbormaster to be in the best interest of the marina and/or its occupants, this space agreement may be canceled on ten (10) days' notice, with the owner removing his boat forthwith, and proportional reimbursement will be made of the fee.
(3) 
Space rentals may not be sublet, are nontransferable and may not be assigned to others by the lessee. Transfer of boats between spaces will only be allowed with the prior permission of the Harbormaster or assistant.
(4) 
No boat may enter any slip or tie up to any buoy or space other than that assigned without permission of the Harbormaster or assistant.
C. 
To be admitted and to continue as an occupant of the marina, a boat must be registered, identified, marked, equipped, operated and maintained as required by law and the practice of good seamanship.
D. 
When a boat enters the marina area, it immediately comes under the jurisdiction of the marina and shall be berthed only where assigned and maneuvered as directed.
E. 
All boats will be secured in their assigned space in a manner acceptable to the Harbormaster or assistant.
F. 
All persons shall conduct themselves at all times at the marina (as defined in § 231-6A) in a peaceful and orderly manner and shall not threaten or cause, directly or indirectly, any bodily harm to any person or damage to any property in the marina and shall not commit any nuisance or create any hazard which may affect any person or property at the marina.
G. 
Violations of rules and regulations. Any violation of any of these rules and regulations shall, in addition to any penalties provided by law, be just cause for the cancellation of the lease of any lessee of a slip or mooring and the removal from the marina of any such violator and any boat owned by said violator at the latter's expense. Nothing in this section is intended nor should it be construed to prevent the Harbormaster from pursuing any rights or remedies available under law.
H. 
Disposal of wastes; overnight occupancy.
(1) 
Federal, state and town statutes prohibit the discharge of sewage, waste material, oil and fuel, rubbish or refuse of any kind or description into any river, stream, pond or tidal waters of the harbor. Heavy fines and imprisonment are the penalties for violation.
(2) 
Overnight occupancy of boats is prohibited unless specific prior approval is obtained from the Harbormaster or assistant.
(3) 
Owners, guests, employees and all persons are to use the marina's shoreside toilets. All garbage and other refuse must be placed in receptacles provided by the marina.
I. 
Noise shall be kept to a minimum at all times. Consideration for others requires discretion in the operation of engines, generators, radios and television sets in such a manner at such times as to create no nuisance or disturbance.
J. 
Swimming, diving (skin or scuba) and waterskiing are prohibited in the marina unless specifically authorized in advance by the Harbormaster or assistant. Swimming is authorized in the area adjacent to the Dennis Yacht Club.
K. 
Fishing; use of walkways; minors.
(1) 
Fishing from floats and berthed boats within the marina is discouraged.
(2) 
The cleaning or dragging of fish on floats, walkways and ramps is prohibited.
(3) 
The use of walkways and floats is restricted to lessees, their guests or authorized personnel. The boarding of any boat without permission is trespassing.
(4) 
Children shall be accompanied by an adult at all times within the marina.
L. 
Obstruction of walkways; appurtenances.
(1) 
Boat owners shall not place supplies, materials, accessories or debris on any float, walkway or ramp and shall not construct or place thereon any lockers, chests, cabinets or containers without the permission of the Harbormaster or assistant.
(2) 
Boats having tenders on davits, gangways or boarding ladders or steps, extreme overhangs, bow or stern sprits, boomkins, spars, pulpits, etc., shall be secured in such a manner that none of these appurtenances shall create a hazard or block free passage along any float, walkway or waterway.
M. 
Fueling is prohibited when tied to a slip. Use town landing float or cast off and refuel in open harbor. Smoking is prohibited on any landing or area where refueling is permitted,
N. 
Dogs and pet animals arc permitted in the marina only on a leash or when otherwise confined or restrained.
O. 
Overnight living in house trailers, campers or other vehicles in any marina parking area is prohibited. Overnight parking of vehicles in such areas while boating is permitted only with the prior permission of the Harbormaster or assistant.
P. 
Tenders, skiffs, dinghys and other small boats shall be aboard boats or placed where the marina directs. All such small boats shall carry identification numbers, marks or names. They may not be tied up in rentable space nor stored on any float, walkway or ramp or in parking areas.
Q. 
No part of the marina, ashore or afloat, nor any boat therein shall be used for the conducting or solicitation of business of any kind except for normal operation of commercial fishing, charter fishing, sightseeing or head boats, and no signs or other advertising material will be permitted without permission of the Harbormaster or assistant, who will control size, placement, etc. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an owner from contracting for or using such services as his boat may require from the businesses or resources regularly available in the area or to him privately.
R. 
Owners using the harbor shall obey all posted speed signs and may be held liable for damage caused by excessive wake or wash or negligent operation. Inland rules of the road shall apply.
S. 
Sailboats not under auxiliary power are prohibited from using the inner harbor because of lack of maneuvering space due to the large number of boats on swing moorings, in slips and in restricted channels.
T. 
Boat owners shall not take aboard nor discharge passengers (including boaters, waterskiers, divers or fishermen) at any public bathing area.
U. 
Harbor parking areas shall not be used for beach parking.
V. 
The town assumes no responsibility on account of fire, theft or damage of any nature to any boat or property connected therewith nor for personal injury to any person.
W. 
Any owner or operator of a boat or vessel within the harbor may be liable for any damage or injury to town property or personnel.
Admission to parking at the town harbor areas as designated shall be governed by the following:
A. 
Designated areas shall be:
(1) 
Sesuit Harbor: public access area.
(2) 
Sesuit Harbor: all other lots.
B. 
Any person may secure a vehicle pass for the public access area and all other lots for a fee set by the Board of Selectmen, which is valid for a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle and trailer combined.
C. 
A real estate taxpayer or year-round resident in the Town of Dennis may secure a beach/harbor vehicle pass for each motor vehicle registered in his name, his spouse's name or his minor dependent, which is valid in all Sesuit Harbor lots except for the public access area, for a fee set by the Board of Selectmen for a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle and trailer combined.
D. 
Any vehicle which does not have a vehicle or beach/harbor pass shall be charged a harbor parking fee for the use of the above-designated areas as set by the Board of Selectmen.
E. 
Within the designated parking areas, there will be no parking where posted. Loading or unloading is permitted where posted.
F. 
All harbor or beach/harbor passes or stickers shall be affixed on the front bumper of the vehicle.