Noisy boats may be in trouble

If you’ve got a noisy boat, it’s time to fix it. Because of lots of complaints, DIF&W is proposing new noise rules and testing procedures. Here’s the info from DIF&W.

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has received complaints from waterfront property owners and visitors throughout the years regarding excessive watercraft noise.  As complaints appear to be increasing, the Department is proposing rules for testing guidelines and devices to determine whether or not watercraft are operating at acceptable decibel levels or exceeding the threshold set in statute, Title 12 MRS, Section 10368-A (10).  

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is proposing rules to develop motorboat testing procedures to determine if operation is occuring at decibel levels higher than 90 decibels when subjected to a stationary test, or 75 decibels when subjected to an operational test. These rules are based on the national standard, SAE J 2005, that provide specific guidelines for testing of marine engines.      

The rule will point to the national standards, SAE J2005 – JUN2018, for stationary sound level measurement procedure, and SAE J34 – JUN2018, for exterior operational sound level measurement procedure for recreational motorboats.  A copy of these standards may be purchased by the public and will be used by law enforcement to test and determine at what decibel level the watercraft is operating at.  The standards will provide specific guidelines for testing marine engines as well as prescribe the testing devices and outline critical training and certifications required to test for decibel output. 



George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.