Except as herein otherwise provided, every vessel which is upon the waters of this State shall be numbered in accordance with the provisions of this act, and no person shall operate or give permission to operate any vessel on such waters unless it is so numbered.
A vessel shall not be required to be numbered under this act if it is:
(a) A documented vessel;
(b) Being legally operated and meets all current requirements pursuant to applicable federal law or a federally-approved numbering system of another state; provided that such vessel shall not have been within this State for a period in excess of 180 consecutive days, unless it is in New Jersey for the purpose of wet or dry storage, or for repairs, in which case the actual time for said storage or repair shall not be counted as included within the 180 days aforesaid; provided, however, that a vessel shall be considered to be based within this State if its owner owns, maintains, leases, or rents space in this State for its storage, mooring, or servicing on other than a transient basis;
(c) From a country other than the United States temporarily using the waters of this State;
(d) A public vessel of the United States, a state or subdivision or agency thereof;
(e) A ship's lifeboat;
(f) Any vessel used exclusively for racing while actually competing in or tuning up for an authorized race held under the auspices of a duly incorporated yacht club or racing association in accordance with the rules and regulations prescribed by the Division of State Police and pursuant to a permit duly issued by that division;
(g) A sailboat or vessel, except for power vessels, used exclusively on small lakes and ponds wholly within private lands;
(h) A non-motorized, inflatable surfboard, racing shell, rowing scull, tender for direct transportation between a vessel and the shore and for no other purpose (dinghy), or vessel, except power vessels, of 12 feet or less in length;
(i) A canoe or kayak; or
(j) A sailboat of 12 feet or less in length.
A sailboat shall be required to be numbered under this act if it is any class of one-design sailboat, in excess of 12 feet in length, which is temporarily or permanently equipped with power installed either inboard or outboard.
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