Town of Cohasset, MA
Norfolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Cohasset as Art. IX of the 1988 General Bylaws. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Harbor Master — See Ch. 30, § 30-42.
Harbor Committee — See Ch. 30, § 30-62.
Watercraft — See Ch. 255.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BOAT
Includes every type of watercraft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, other than a seaplane.
BOAT OWNER
An individual or entity having legal ownership of a boat.
[Amended 4-6-1991]
COHASSET HARBOR
Consists of the body of water lying inside a straight line projected across the channel from White Head Dolphin at Long's Point to White Rock and shall not include the channel extending seaward beyond that point, but shall specifically include all waters within the Town of Cohasset lying west and south of the Border Street Bridge known as "the Gulf."
[Amended 7-17-2000]
HARBOR MASTER
Includes the Harbor Master, Assistant Harbor Master, and Deputy Harbor Masters, all duly appointed by the Board of Selectmen.
INDIVIDUAL
Natural person.
LENGTH OF BOAT
The length overall from the fixed most forward point of the boat or its extremities to the point furthest aft, including, without limitation, parts affixed to the boat such as bow pulpits, bowsprits, boomkins, mizzen booms, rudders, swim platforms, and outboard motors in raised position.
MOORING HOLDER
An individual or entity holding a valid mooring permit.
PRUDENT SEAMANSHIP
Having regard for the lives and safety of the public, state of visibility, traffic density, maneuverability of vessels, state of the wind, current, and water and the current Rules of the Road.
SKIN DIVER
A swimmer using fins, masks, snorkel tubes, or self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.
TENDER
Shall refer to a skiff or dinghy used to transport individuals or property from shore to a boat moored within Cohasset Harbor.
A. 
Permit.
(1) 
An approved mooring permit (hereinafter "permit") from the Harbor Master is required for installation of mooring tackle for any boat, float, or lobster car/pound within the limits of Cohasset Harbor. The application for a permit shall be that prescribed by the Board of Selectmen on the form titled "Application for Mooring Location," dated April 1985, as revised from time to time.
(2) 
No permit shall be issued to a corporation, trust, partnership, joint venture, or other entity nor shall a permit be held in joint tenancy, tenancy in common, or other form of joint ownership; provided, however, that permits shall continue to be issued from year to year in accordance with all provisions of these bylaws and regulations promulgated by the Harbor Master to those entities currently holding permits which operate clubs or marine-related businesses adjacent to Cohasset Harbor.
[Amended 12-11-1996]
(3) 
The Harbor Master shall issue or deny a request for a permit within 15 days of the date of application. The Harbor Master shall keep accurate records and books and shall issue a signed copy of the "Application for Mooring Location" on file in the office of the Harbor Master for all boat owners with an assigned mooring location.
(4) 
The "Application for Mooring Location" shall contain such information as required by the Harbor Master. The Harbor Master shall ensure that a signed copy of the "Application for Mooring Location" is on file in the office of the Harbor Master for all boat owners with an assigned mooring location.
(5) 
Once issued no mooring permit shall be renewed unless the boat owner has regularly moored his boat in Cohasset Harbor during the preceding year and has paid an excise tax on his boat to the Town of Cohasset. If the boat owner wishes to remove his boat from Cohasset Harbor for a period of seven days, the Harbor Master must be notified in advance of such removal.
(6) 
All mooring tackle shall be constructed in accordance with the "Mooring Specifications for Cohasset Harbor," as revised from time to time by the Harbor Master (hereinafter called the "specifications") and on file with the Harbor Master, and shall not be set or moved without first being inspected by and the move approved by the Harbor Master.
(7) 
No boat with a length overall in excess of 45 feet shall be assigned a mooring location or slip in Cohasset Harbor.
(8) 
Mooring locations shall not be sold, bequeathed, transferred, swapped, bartered, rented or leased. In the event of the death of a mooring holder, the Harbor Master shall offer to assign the mooring location to the deceased mooring holder's surviving spouse. The surviving spouse shall have 90 days after receipt of the written offer from the Harbor Master in which to accept, by written response, such assignment. If the assignment is not accepted in writing within such ninety-day period, the mooring location shall be reassigned in accordance with these bylaws and regulations governing Cohasset Harbor. The Harbor Master shall make the written offer to the surviving spouse as soon as reasonably practicable after learning of the deceased mooring holder's death. Upon the death of the surviving spouse, the mooring location shall revert to the Town of Cohasset.
(9) 
No individual or entity may be assigned more than one mooring. The mooring location assigned is restricted to the boat assigned to that location, and no other boat may occupy that location without the permission of the Harbor Master.
(10) 
A mooring location waiting list shall be maintained by the Harbor Master, using the date on the "Application for Mooring Location" as the basis for position on the list. All persons must reaffirm their position on the waiting list by April 1 of each year with the Harbor Master. If a person fails to reaffirm his or her position on the waiting list by April 1, the Harbor Master shall send such person a notice by certified mail ("notice") of such failure to reaffirm and thereafter, upon reaffirmation and payment of a fine within 15 days of the receipt of the notice, the person shall be entitled to maintain his or her position on the waiting list. A record of the reaffirmation shall be kept on the "Application for Mooring Location" form on file with the Harbor Master. Persons not reaffirming on or before April 1 in each year or within the fifteen-day grace period shall be removed from the list. The Selectmen shall from time to time set the fine for failure to reaffirm on the mooring list prior to April 1.
[Amended 11-16-1992]
(a) 
Those persons or entities holding permits from the Harbor Master to install mooring tackle and moor their boats in Cohasset Harbor shall pay a mooring fee and receive a decal by April 1 of each year. Upon failure to pay the mooring fee, the Harbor Master shall remove the individual's or entity's mooring tackle from the harbor at the expense of the individual or entity failing to pay the mooring fee.
(b) 
All persons and entities owning boats, other than unregistered tenders, who have a continuous right to moor such boat at any privately owned mooring, pier, wharf, or float within the confines of Cohasset Harbor shall pay the current year boat excise and a user's fee as set by the Board of Selectmen from time to time and shall receive a decal by June 1 of each year. Upon failure to pay the user's fee, the Harbor Master shall pursue such remedies as are available under the terms of these harbor bylaws and regulations promulgated by the Harbor Master, the General Bylaws of the Town of Cohasset or the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
[Amended 5-5-1995]
(c) 
If a mooring holder ("holder") fails to pay the mooring fee by April 1 of each year, the Harbor Master shall send the holder a notice by certified mail ("notice") of such failure and thereafter upon payment of the mooring fee and a fine within 15 days of the receipt of such notice, the holder shall be entitled to retain the mooring location. In the event the holder fails to pay the fine and mooring fee within 15 days of the receipt of the notice, the Harbor Master shall remove such holder's mooring tackle from the confines of Cohasset Harbor, and such removal shall be at the expense of the holder. The Selectmen shall from time to time set the fine for failure to pay the mooring fee on or before April 1.
(11) 
All boats moored or berthed in Cohasset Harbor shall display either a mooring decal or a user's decal on the aft port quarter of the boat to indicate that the appropriate fee has been paid and the boat owner has authorization to place the boat on a particular mooring or be otherwise moored in Cohasset Harbor.
(12) 
The owners of all boats moored or berthed in Cohasset Harbor not displaying either a mooring decal or a user's decal shall, during certain times of the year as prescribed by the Board of Selectmen, pay a temporary per diem fee as set by the Board of Selectmen annually on or before July 1.
(13) 
A boat moored or berthed in violation of this chapter of the bylaws or without permission from the Harbor Master shall be removed from its mooring and stored at the owner's expense. Payment for removal and storage shall be made before the boat is released to the boat owner.
B. 
If the Harbor Master determines that the mooring tackle conforms to the specifications, he shall issue a permit and assign a location if one is available. If the Harbor Master determines that the mooring tackle does not conform to the specifications or for other valid reasons deems it improper to issue a mooring permit, he shall refuse to do so. The Harbor Master shall promulgate regulations with respect to the care and maintenance of mooring tackle, the temporary assignment of boats to moorings and with regard to such other matters pertaining to the mooring of boats as are consistent with this bylaw and the authority conferred upon the Harbor Master by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
C. 
Sale of boat.
(1) 
In the event a boat owner sells or otherwise disposes of the boat described on the "Application for Mooring Location," the boat owner may retain the mooring location for another boat if the following conditions are met:
(a) 
The Harbor Master is notified by the boat owner within 30 days of the transaction relating to the sale or other disposition of the boat and of the boat owner's intention to place another boat on the mooring location.
(b) 
The boat replacing that described on the original "Application for Mooring Location" must be, in the judgment of the Harbor Master, approximately the same size.
(c) 
The boat owner obtains the Harbor Master's approval to place a different boat on the existing mooring location on or before July 31 of the year next after the year of sale or other disposition of the original boat.
(2) 
Failure to fulfill the above conditions by the boat owner shall terminate the boat owner's permit, and the mooring location may be reassigned to another boat owner.
The boat owner or operator thereof shall not permit a boat to be operated at a speed in excess of four nautical miles per hour or cause a disturbing wake and shall use prudent seamanship within the confines of Cohasset Harbor.
Any person skin diving in Cohasset Harbor shall on each occasion obtain the prior permission of the Harbor Master and shall:
A. 
Display a diver's flag not less than 12 inches square consisting of a red field and a white diagonal stripe;
B. 
Display such flag on a float or other similar device upright at a height sufficient to be visible to passing boats;
C. 
Tow such float and flag with him while he is submerged in the water, except that for commercial purposes, permission in writing may be granted by the Harbor Master to display flags in another manner;
D. 
Be required to operate only from a boat attended by another person.
No person shall operate a boat in Cohasset Harbor while towing a water skier, aquaplane, or other similar device except in connection with a water carnival and exhibition authorized by the Selectmen or in an area designated by the Selectmen. No person shall swim or dive from Town or private piers or floats within Cohasset Harbor unless enrolled in an organized instructional program permitted by the Harbor Master. No swimming is permitted near or in a navigational channel, fairway or an area where vessels normally navigate. No person shall operate a boat in Little Harbor while towing a water skier, aquaplane or other similar device except on even-numbered days.
No person shall discharge, deposit, or throw overboard into the harbor oil, refuse, bait or any similar type of waste.
Small sailing classes will be allowed to race within Cohasset Harbor when under the jurisdiction of an authorized committee recognized by the Harbor Master. Such small boats shall respect the maneuvering problem of larger vessels in the harbor and shall be equipped with gunwale guards and shall make every reasonable effort to prevent damage to other boats moored in the Harbor.
The Harbor Master shall be responsible for Town landings, floats and piers and may promulgate regulations with respect to the use thereof.
Nothing contained herein shall be held or construed to supersede, conflict, or interfere with, or limit the jurisdiction of the United States Government with respect to the enforcement of the navigation, shipping, anchorage, and associated laws of the United States, or any lawful regulation of any department of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts having jurisdiction over boats, harbors or navigable waters.
Any violation of the provisions of this chapter of the General Bylaws of the Town of Cohasset shall be subject to the penalty set forth in Chapter 1, § 1-6, and nothing contained herein shall preclude the Harbor Master from seeking other appropriate relief, including, without limitation, injunctive relief in the appropriate court having jurisdiction.