BH, Did you helm or navigate your vessels without any related training?
The question is irrelevent. Of course I was trained, however this did not absolve the captain of any responsibility if I made a mistake.
As the master of my vessel, I should be held responsible for its safe operation. If I hand over the tiller to my #1 crew during a race, to take a rest break and he collides with another vessel, I should be held responsible for damages and injuries to that vessel. I may be able to seek some justice through the courts against my #1, but ultimately it was my decision to put him on the helm.
"I wasn't driving" is a bogus excuse and should be reserved for ground-based transport, not the maritime environment. I'm sick of the term "recreational" getting separate rules and treatment.
I've no problem with educational classes and certifications for new people with no vessel ownership or operating experience, but I don't feel that everyone else should be lumped in with those people. I should be able to challenge the test, or present proof of experience to gain the certification.