Excessively loud cigarette boats on Pineview Reservoir
Pass laws by the summer 2010 boating season to regulate the boat noise at least to the same level as other activities that are regulated to avoid disturbing the peace.
I want to address a public nuisance on Pineview Reservoir during the summer boating season. The issue is some extremely loud boats on Pineview Reservoir and the inability of our local law enforcement personnel to deal with it. At idle the boats are relatively quiet and can therefore pass current minimal noise laws. But at moderate to full throttle their noise reverberates throughout the whole Ogden Valley. And they are out on the water for hours at a time and often “racing” or at least pacing equally loud boats. Typically these boats are known as “cigarette” boats which were originally designed for drug smuggling and speed to outrun the Coast Guard. Local boaters state that this is one of the few remaining lakes that allow these types of boats. We need laws to prevent the noise that these boats produce. They must have adequate noise suppression so they are not a public nuisance.
I live in Radford Hills above Port Ramp and the Yacht Club. Pineview Reservoir is not a large lake in an isolated region. It is a small lake surrounded by residential communities of Huntsville and Eden. I would like to give you a comparative perspective on the amount of noise they produce. From my house I cannot hear the motors from 90% of the boats on the lake. On a quiet day I can faintly hear the jet skis which are generally considered quite noisy water craft. In the morning hours when it is quiet I can hear the launching of two stroke outboard motors from some of the boaters. The noise is not loud enough to be obtrusive or offensive but it also only lasts a few minutes as they disappear into the distance or they reach their destination. These noisy cigarette boats make so much noise we have to raise our voices on my deck facing the lake to hold a conversation as they run along the South Arm. I can hear their roar as they go down Middle or South Fork on their runs all the way to Huntsville. If I am on the rear side of the house I can hear the motor noise echo off of the Wasatch Front and back down to my house. They are louder than the F-16s that fly over from Hill AFB.
If I were to make that much noise with my car I would immediately be stopped and issued a ticket to force me to muffle my car. If I made that much noise at my house, even during daylight hours, I would be ticketed or arrested for disturbing the peace. If I made that much noise on land at a campground or beach at the lake I would be ticketed, or asked to leave, or arrested for disturbing the peace if I continued for any length of time. But according to the Sherriff and the USFS Rangers our current laws allow me the unrestricted ability to make all the noise I can possibly generate from a boat that is running above engine idle.
Around dinner time as the lake quiets down 2 or 3 of them like to drag race from one end of the lake to the other. I can estimate they go as fast as 100mph based on their speed relative to traffic on the highway going 50mph. There is a safety issue in addition to the noise also but I presume we will deal with that after they crash into and kill someone. I would suggest a ban on these cigarette boats appropriate to small reservoirs or lakes within residential communities like Pineview Reservoir.
The Utah Boating Act and Rules of the Board of Parks and Recreation pertain to any waters within the territorial limits of the State of Utah. The Act clearly states “A motorboat may not be operated in a manner that will cause it to emit more than 75 decibels of noise at the shoreline”. See http://www.boatus.org/
We need laws to regulate the boat noise at least to the same level as other activities that are regulated to avoid disturbing the peace. And we need it before summer 2010. A few years ago there would be an occasional really loud boat that we would tolerate for a day or occasional weekend. But certainly this year the cigarette boats have discovered Pineview. I would estimate there are about 10 different boats, some or most of them based out of the Yacht Club. The word is out and we need our peace restored quickly.
What say ye Ogden Valley residents? Do you share the same concerns over the noise emitted by the Don Johnson type Cigarette boats?