Re: Are You The Operator Underway?
I think this "operator" crap dilutes the concept of responsibility and accountability.
If you are the "captain" of a vessel, be it 10 feet long, or 1,000 feet long, you are, and should be responsible for anything that happens onboard. You can delegate authority (placing someone at the helm) but not responsibility.
Letting owner/skippers off the hook because "I wasn't driving", is totally bogus.
This isn't about preserving tradition, this system WORKS and it has worked for eons. The system still works in confined waters, and with high speed vessels. Make no mistake, PWC's are "vessels" and should be treated as such. People in Florida, are riding them to the Bahamas from Miami, for Christ's sake.
I drove Uncle Sam's war-canoes for 20 years. I've helmed and navigated nuclear submarines, and 27-foot patrol gunboats equipped with 400 hp Volvo-Penta turbo-diesels that were very fast. Do you think the rules changed for me, just because my gunboat was small, fast, and I was zipping around a confined shipping port?
I strenuously object to this re-assignment of responsibility, and to lumping everyone together with the "lowest common denominator" of water-borne trash for these safety courses.
Instead of making the entire maritime community change to conform to conditions for speedboats and PWC's, they should be forced to join the rest of the maritime community.
S/V Old Shoes
1973 Pearson 30 #255