Found this in the local paper.
Read the red part.
WTF , no woner everybody hates us they all think we are cigarette smugglers LOL.
By Darren Handschuh
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Birds are chirping, children are shrieking with delight at the beach and the roar of a high-horsepower boat motor can be heard echoing across the water.
It must be summertime in the Okanagan – well, the Central Okanagan anyway. It seems Kelowna residents bear the biggest burden when it comes to enduring loud boats.
One of the Valley‘s main attractions, for tourists and locals alike, is its lakes, but with the water comes a variety of watercraft.
Sailboats have long been popular on Okanagan Lake, but so have power boats, and the latter can bring with them a deep-throated growl heard thundering across the water.
Add the buzz of personal watercraft to the mix and people might want to consider bringing earplugs to the beach the next time they go.
However, the noise problem seems to be greatest in the middle of the Valley. Vernon and Penticton both report some complaints about noisy boats, but Kelowna RCMP say they get numerous calls about the booming watercraft.
According to the RCMP, laws are in place to muffle excessively loud boats, but some operators have found a way to skirt the law.
Boats are supposed to be equipped with a muffler system, or they must exhaust directly into the water. However, some boats have exhaust-diverter systems that allow operators to flip a switch diverting the exhaust directly into the air. This is done in the belief a less-restricted exhaust system will result in more power.
Police said research has shown boats with above-water exhaust systems are up to four times louder than boats with underwater exhaust systems.
Kelowna constables using a decibel meter last year found boat-motor noise as high as 120 dB. Workplace sound levels are considered unsafe over 85 dB.
Kelowna RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon said police are all too familiar with the issues surrounding noisy boats. Exact numbers were not available, but McKinnon said the department receives many calls on the issue every summer.
“It usually happens on the weekends,” he said. “It‘s the big cigarette boats echoing up and down the Valley.”
Cigarette boats are high-powered watercraft originally
designed for racing. They have large displacement motors that produce a lot of horsepower and, in some cases, a lot of noise.
According to Wikipedia, the boats were given the “cigarette” nickname because they were popular with cigarette smugglers in Canada. The name stuck and was eventually adopted by a boat-maker.
“They are extremely noisy,” said McKinnon, adding the noise is a concern shared by police and city council.
“We don‘t feel we have the tools and legislation to deal with it.”
McKinnon said under provincial legislation, boaters can be fined $115 for excessive noise. However, he pointed out that people who can afford to buy such a boat and keep it running typically can afford such a fine.
To him, the solution is simple: hand out bigger fines.
“There has to be a consequence,” said McKinnon, adding a recommendation to increase fines will be part of a presentation RCMP will make to city council Monday.
A quick look at some online classified ads showed a few of the big boats that are 10-plus metres long and feature twin, big-bore V8 motors. Prices ranged between $80,000 and $110,000. Filling them up with fuel can cost hundreds of dollars.
In the North Okanagan, there are three lakes to worry about. Okanagan, Kalamalka and Swan lakes all are popular destinations, but Okanagan and Kal attract the most boaters.
Clint Kanester, City of Vernon manager of bylaw enforcement, said the city is enacting a noise bylaw that would give bylaw officers the power to fine operators of noisy boats.
“We‘re looking at starting to conduct enforcement,” said Kanester, adding Vernon bylaw officers will be at area boat launches this summer, checking exhaust systems on boats.
Some boaters run straight exhaust, meaning there is no muffler system at all, and the result can be deafening.
Kanester said boat exhaust must be vented through the water, which will act as a muffler system.
Anyone breaking the noise bylaw could be hit with a $200 fine.
Kanester said bylaw officers get “a few calls every year” about noisy boats, but he admits it is not a huge issue.
Until this year, city bylaw officers turned complaints over to the coast guard to deal with. The city agency will continue to work with the coast guard on a variety of lake-related issues.
The city will also work with the RCMP, who will be on the lake in the police boat.
Gord Molendyk, Vernon RCMP spokesman, said police will be out on the water all summer looking for a variety of infractions, not just noisy boats.
Molendyk said police “are getting a few calls,” but loud boats are not a serious problem.
“We‘re at the end of the lake, so they tend to head toward Kelowna,” said Molendyk.
Kalamalka Lake falls under the jurisdiction of the municipality if Coldstream, but town officials there said complaints are relatively few. When an issue does arise, the coast guard is contacted.
Things are also quieter in the South Okanagan.
Penticton RCMP Sgt. Rick Dellebuur said noisy boats were an issue in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, but the boats and the complaints have since been muffled.
“Today, most of the boats out there are exhausted properly,” he said, “but, of course, there are a few exceptions.”
Dellebuur said the occasional call about excessive noise is received, but the majority of boating calls concern unsafe operation of the watercraft.
Penticton does have noise bylaws, but Dellebuur said they extend only so far into the lake as they were designed to deal with houseboaters who were parking on the beach and partying.
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