Originally Posted by DRFerron
That responsibility extends to making good decisions about who I allow behind the helm because if there is an incident, they may automatically become part of the legal fallout.
If you are in Canada or states that have adopted this interpretation, part of being responsible is also telling guests that they may be dragged into any post accident mess if they touch the wheel.
If you are compulsively responsible, no more letting kids steer. They are minors and can not legally make a decision about taking on such a responsibility. It's illegal to do so in Canada anyway unless they have their card. When I was flying, I could let my sons hold the yoke under my supervision but I can't legally let a person with 40 years of cruising and circumnavigation experience but no operators card touch the boat's helm in Canada and some states. Go figure.
In Connecticut it is even weirder. The experience cruiser, even if not a CT resident, if they own real estate in CT but haven't taken the eight week boating course, can not legally touch the wheel with you standing right there. A person who had never been on a boat before in their life but doesn't own any CT real estate and is resident of another state could be given the deck watch unsupervised at night to navigate the vessel through all the traffic up to the NY border.