Having spent a great deal of time and effort researching the matter ( 5 minutes on Google) I have the following to contribute.
From a legal
perspective given that the abuse by drone is new because the technology itself is new. However the act of using a camera
to take unsolicited pictures is not new to the law with a number of laws that could be enforced in order to protect the victims.
Criminal voyeurism statute of some states cover "a place where [one] would have a reasonable expectation of privacy", meaning:
A place where a reasonable person would believe that he or she could disrobe in privacy, without being concerned that his or her undressing was being photographed or filmed by another; or
A place where one may reasonably expect to be safe from casual or hostile intrusion or surveillance.
Given the similarity to voyeurism, a jury might find that using a camera on a drone in an otherwise considered private location may amount to the torts of outrage or negligent infliction of emotional distress
Intruding upon another's solitude or private affairs, physically or otherwise, is subject to liability if this intrusion would be considered highly offensive to a reasonable person. This type of invasion of privacy is commonly associated with "peeping Toms," someone illegally intercepting private phone
calls, or snooping through someone's private records. While taking photographs of someone in public would not count, using a long range camera to take photographs of someone inside his or her home would qualify. This raises the question of being photographed on board your private boat. Does a boat have the same legal protection of a home. In most cases I would think so.
The tort of negligent infliction of emotional distress
(NIED) is a controversial cause of action, which is available in nearly all U.S. states but is severely constrained and limited in the majority of them. The underlying concept
is that one has a legal duty to use reasonable care to avoid causing emotional distress to another individual. If one fails in this duty and unreasonably causes emotional distress to another person, that actor will be liable for monetary damages to the injured individual. The tort is to be contrasted with intentional infliction of emotional distress in that there is no need to prove intent to inflict distress. That is, an accidental infliction, if negligent, is sufficient to support a cause of action.
Creating a public nuisance is a crime. This also may be used.
My thoughts are that the use of "Peeping Tom" laws are the best for snaring the invasive drone operator. It could be successfully argued that your boat being your home has just as much expectation of privacy against being peeped on in your home in the suburbs. In fact one could consider that you chose living onboard a boat so as to have even a greater expectation of privacy than living in a home on land with neighbors on three sides of your home.
your boat in the middle of a non throughway waterway by itself is placing yourself in a place of great privacy that is violated by uninvited peeping by way of drone.
Taking legal action or getting the local police to charge the person is in reality an uphill battle. On balance the cheapest way out would be to buy a radio
signal jamming device and bring that little sucker crashing to the ground.