Inflatable WatercraftInflatable Watercraft, Boat that Folds Must Follow NY Boating Laws
A 12-foot boat that folds. A paddleboard in a backpack. A kayak that blows up like a balloon.
With a Get Out on the Water: Everyone Can Enjoy Boating theme, New York Sea Grant is reminding those who enjoy inflatable watercraft, smaller boats, and nonmotorized paddlecraft to know and follow New York State boating laws.
“Unique floating vessels like inflatables and the folding boat are considered boats and are subject to applicable boating laws and standards,” says Dave White, a Great Lakes coastal recreation and tourism specialist with New York Sea Grant, Oswego, NY. “Every year we select a different style of boat to educate the public about how to be safe, in compliance with boating law, and environmentally-friendly on the water and our Inflate-A-Fleet is doing that in 2018.”
“As more and more people learn about the fabulous boating resources in New York State, it becomes increasingly more important to educate people of all ages about the best practices for safe, legal, and clean boating. New York Sea Grant is perfectly positioned to extend those practices to the public in both the Great Lakes and marine districts,” comments Katherine Bunting-Howarth, associate director of New York Sea Grant and assistant director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, Ithaca, NY.
New York Sea Grant has equipped its Inflate-A-Fleet exhibit with the folding boat and craft that can be inflated with gear and signage noting all the required and recommended items for boaters to be legal, safe and environmentally-friendly on New York State waters. Those items include such items as life vests and reflective decals for paddles.
New York Sea Grant has received New York State, National Association of Boating Law Administrators, and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary awards for the Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign. The program has educated more than one million people, including deaf boaters, emergency services first responders, anglers, sailors, and paddle sports enthusiasts, since its inception in 2008.
New York Sea Grant partners in the Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign include the Boating Industries Association of Upstate NY, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, New York State Marine Services Bureau, and marine industry businesses.
New York Sea Grant is a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, and one of 33 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For updates on New York Sea Grant activities statewide, has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links.

PHOTO: These inflatable watercraft are part of the New York Sea Grant 2018 Discover Clean and Safe Boating Inflate-A-Fleet educational exhibit. Photo: Brian P. Whattam




Dave White, NY Sea Grant, 315-312-3042 
Publicist Kara Lynn Dunn, 315-465-7578,