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post #1 of 36 Old 06-20-2007 Thread Starter
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recreational boat licensing

I just read an artical in the May/June 2007 Good Old Boat magazine about the Coast Guard pushing for the manditory testing and licensing for the operators of boats. I do support safety and responsible seamanship, I'm not sure I would like to see licensing. Where would licensing help? How can the Coast Guard enforce safe skippering? Personally I don't see a need for it (yet). What I'm asking is, "Why the push for it?"
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post #2 of 36 Old 06-20-2007
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A very interesting thread with various points of view on this very topic was posted a few days ago. Take a look. You'll get an earfull from every direction.
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post #3 of 36 Old 06-20-2007
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It might reduce the number of idiot jetskiers out there. Oh, excuse me, that was redundant.
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post #4 of 36 Old 06-20-2007
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In europe you need a licence for anything that floats and moves in the water.

Its not because you need a licence, but because to GET ONE you need to go to a school take classes relevant to the boat you will operate, and learn **** about operating a vessel. They do exam one and there is no cheating or friends as the examiners are awarded by lottery.

differente licences, from jetski licence to tankers...

We think its good, because it cuts in half the amount of stupid idiots in the water!!!!

Again, its not a licence just to have a card with a picture, but to make you LEARN something!!!

And the Public Marine Institute issues them. No information other than name, adress and birth date (because the licence requires examinations again at age 40, 50 and 60).

Last edited by Giulietta; 06-20-2007 at 10:24 AM.
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post #5 of 36 Old 06-20-2007 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fstbttms
It might reduce the number of idiot jetskiers out there. Oh, excuse me, that was redundant.
some of them may do that to themselves. Darwinism!

I have no problem with the Coast Guard boarding my boat and making sure I have what is required for the safety of me and my crew. I just don't want to see a whole new burocratic environment evolve, that happens here in the U.S.
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post #6 of 36 Old 06-20-2007
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You see the problem is that in the US they make laws to "protect you from you"!!!! And I see what you mean with the burocratic stuff.

If you want to drive a car, you need to take lessons and then get a licence, to fly a plane is the same, lessons exam, licence...why should boats be different???
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post #7 of 36 Old 06-20-2007
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I expect the Coast Guard will leave the question of licensing recreational boat operators to each individual state. No way the CG wants to take this on as a federal responsibility, they have enough trouble keeping up with licensing the commercial operators (takes forever to renew a license, for example)

So some states will do it, some won't. Is it a good idea? Depends on your viewpoint. In Europe, you need a license to walk down the street.
In the US, we have more of a "lone cowboy" tradition--anyone is free to try anything, we have less regulation and let Darwin sort out the unregulated stuff.

Eventually we'll see how the various state regimes (or lack thereof) compare in casualty and accident rates. Me? when I shoved my kid off the dock in a small sailboat to see how he'd do with what I'd taught him, I wasn't really welcoming any state license requirement for him, or me for that matter. I grew up sailing, took Power Squadron when I was 14 (got no certificate, you had to be 16). There's a lot of free education out there. I'd rather not make it mandatory.

Last edited by nolatom; 06-20-2007 at 10:42 AM.
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post #8 of 36 Old 06-20-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giulietta
If you want to drive a car, you need to take lessons and then get a licence, to fly a plane is the same, lessons exam, licence...why should boats be different???
With cars you have the hard ground to contend with if you crash. Ditto for planes except you have longer to fall to get to it. With a boat you have a nice soft cushion of water to keep you from getting hurt.
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post #9 of 36 Old 06-20-2007
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Do you know how many people operating a boat have no clue as to what they are doing?
Go to your local launching ramp someday and simply watch. You will be amazed at the amount of stupidity that happens around there.
Hundreds if not thousands of people each and every year purchase boats without the first idea as to how to safely operate them. Anybody can pick up small runabout and head to the ramps without any knowledge of safe operation.

When I grew up it did not seem necessary, but over the years I have been rethinking that. People die every year in my waters. It is simply a fact. I will repeat, PEOPLE DIE. Many of these deaths can be avoided.

I too think that local knowledge of area waters should be part of a boating license. We have breakwaters in Chicago that are hit annually by boaters with out knowledge of thier home waters. People simply pile into there craft and go, they have no idea what is out there.

I will admit, most accidents are caused by high speeds and alcohol, just like in automobile accidents. The jerk that is going to drink and boat probably doesn't care about regulations and safety anyway...... but at least it is a start.

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If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White
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post #10 of 36 Old 06-20-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huguley3
With cars you have the hard ground to contend with if you crash. Ditto for planes except you have longer to fall to get to it. With a boat you have a nice soft cushion of water to keep you from getting hurt.
That statement is way wrong.

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If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White
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