Re: A nice change for boaters!
I've been 'boarded' precisely one time in 12 years.
I was moving my dinghy to my new dock (3 miles) and had not put the new sticker on it for that year. I had it, just hadn't done the deed (it was March).
I got a warning, because he radio'd in and found I was recent on my registration.
I see the local LE all the time, I live on the river. I've never seen them pull someone over that I didn't think needed pulled over. Okay, in truth I've only seen two boats 'pulled over' - a overloaded (10 people) john boat and a idiot planning around in an anchorage.
It's just my opinion, but I work for LE. Most often that not those 'over zealous' cops in boats have been directed to work and area hard because of citizen complaints. Keep in mind the guys and gals doing it are your neighbor's and perhaps your friends. Cooperate, follow the laws and regulations. Johnny Depp looks cute in eyeliner and dreads, but pirates and freedom of the sea is only funny if it's in a comedy movie.
It's a lot easier to pull out safety gear, documentation etc. than it is to deal with being carted off to shore in a pounding police skiff while laying on your face and handcuffed.
Even if the LE officer is being a complete and utter a$$hole, he/she is going to win. It's not like you can out run them.
I hope this doesn't turn into another 'we live in a police state' or 'they have no right to board you' thread. Been done, wasn't pretty.
Lessons learned are opportunities earned.