GILFORD — Residents have failed in an attempt to reduce the allowable speed for boats in Glendale Bay.
A state Public Safety Department hearings administrator has rejected a request to create a no-wake zone, or an area where boats would not be allowed to exceed headway speed, defined as the slowest speed necessary to maintain steerage.
Administrator Christopher Casko, who held a public hearing on the request, said in an order Monday that there was insufficient evidence of a safety problem warranting the change.
About 70 people signed a petition asking for the no wake zone. The petition stated safety concerns arising from congested boat traffic moving at varying speeds.
Casko said about as many people objected to the change.
“There was no statistical information on citations issued in the area, boat crashes, or reports to Marine Patrol of unsafe powerboat operation,” Casko said.
He said many people would be negatively affected by a no-wake zone.
The zone was proposed to extend from the lighted buoy between Pig Island and Lockes Island, extending to Belknap Point and including all the water up to the Glendale Public Docks.
Rick Dean, president of the Lockes Island Association, said the proposal would double the four- to five-minute transit time from Fay's Boat Yard, where he works, to the imaginary line that would end the restricted zone sought by petitioners.
He said high volume traffic weekends upset some people but boat traffic is light on most days and a majority of association members don't want to see increased regulation. A better approach would be to first try stepped up enforcement of existing rules for safe passage, Dean said.
Joan Hinterhaeuser, of Lockes Island, presented the petition asking for the change.
“Over the years, there has been a huge increase in kayakers, stand-up paddlers, and jet skis, as well as two sailing classes per day during the week for the Sailing School coming out from Smith Cove,” the petition states.
Even without a no-wake zone, boaters are required to drop to headway speed if they are within 150 feet of swimmers, other vessels, rafts or floats, swimming areas, docks or the shoreline, or if they are overtaking another vessel at a distance or speed such that a wake could cause danger or damage.