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post #11 of 40 Old 04-22-2013
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Re: Informal, unscientific survey

I work right next to the Atlantic City Coast Guard Station. I see them out on the water all the time stopping boaters.. but never for more than a couple of minutes.

The only time I have seen them "go after" somebody was when a cigarette type boat ran beneath the bridge at full speed instead of at no wake speed. He deserved whatever he got

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post #12 of 40 Old 04-22-2013
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Re: Informal, unscientific survey

I was formerly a Sheriff's Deputy on an inland lake in NYS. When I was hired the sheriff had a similar philosophy as your Harbor Master, work with the people and only issue tickets if you must. I rarely issued tickets, I reserved that for those who really deserved it. Mostly it worked out pretty well but occasionally you had a few bad apples. The Park Security took a different attitude and by watching them I found that a constant heavy hand lead to constantly needing to maintain it. This was many years ago, now they are regular cops who enforce the law. Not that they are bad guys but its not the same.

As far as the tactic... the advantage was we knew and had working relations a lot of local boaters. That helped considerably on the few occasions we needed information. For instance it was a big help during large lake oriented events with heavy boat traffic. I had people flag me down all the time to chat and give me information about disable boats or overloaded boats or some bozo on a jetski going to fast, etc..

The only times this tactic backfired was with friends. I was in my early 20's when I did this and so were my friends. A few times I had to put a heavy hand on their actions and they were not too keen to listen. Made for a rough situation. But those times were few and far between.

Were I in your shoes I would leave well enough alone. If he is doing a good job keeping the peace and the harbor runs smoothly, you have a good thing going.

Just my opinion.


EDIT: My lake is likely smaller than your harbor by a wide margin so maybe its apples to oranges? I dunno, for some reason I felt compelled to point that out.

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post #13 of 40 Old 04-22-2013
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Never ticketed.
Know one person ticketed for putting out a wake close to shore.

This is all a matter of degrees. If there are a lot of boats putting out big wakes in no wake zones, perhaps it's time to crack down. Same for drinking.
But if this is just revenue enhancement, the chamber of commerce will have something to say soon enough
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post #14 of 40 Old 04-22-2013
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Re: Informal, unscientific survey

1. Never got a 'ticket' by a harbormaster
2. Since the economic downturn, happens quite often in Annapolis Harbor and adjacent areas by MD marine police.
3. "I like your guy's attitude. With him there - I would visit, with ticket mad enforcers, there are lots of other places to go".

Why put your wallet at risk for small and entirely subjective transgressions of minor but usually costly infractions if there are 'safer' and 'friendlier' places to go? You apparently have a very good, respectful, and 'honest' harbormaster, which is quite valuable for your community - called good will and is usually reciprocated in kind.
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post #15 of 40 Old 04-22-2013
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Re: Informal, unscientific survey

If I knew that officials were handing out tickets & fines in a specific port, it would be a reason to avoid going there. I've sailed since 1973 without running afoul of any so far, in ports that have included Tortola, Cancun, Hamilton(Bermuda), NYC, Newport, Marblehead, Halifax, Kinsale, Dublin, Howth, Dunoon, Royan, Ouistréham, Arcachon, Hyères, and lots in between. If your officials are looking for a new revenue stream, tell them it's not going to be deep enough to float a boat in, and that they will be surprised at how fast it dries up (and takes any incidental spending from visitors along with it.) You're interested in boater safety, not in soaking boat owners for more money.

Last edited by paulk; 04-22-2013 at 11:59 PM.
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post #16 of 40 Old 04-23-2013
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Re: Informal, unscientific survey

1. I have never been cited, I have been inspected by the Coast Guard, but passed.

2. I do not know anyone who has been cited, most of my boating is in Hawai'i and I believe they are pretty relaxed.

3. I would not like to visit a harbor with strictly enforced laws. I find the biggest danger in Harbors comes from riff raff hanging out, and not people going slightly too fast. I would rather take an annoying wake from a powerboat from time to time, than always look over my shoulder for 'police' treating my boat like it's a car "a driving atm"(sometimes)
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post #17 of 40 Old 04-23-2013
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Re: Informal, unscientific survey

I've never been ticketed, nor have I been aboard a vessel that has, in roughly 40 years on the water.

I've know countless Harbor Masters and even a few Marine Police units on coastal New England waters and each have had the same general approach that you've described for yours.

However, on an inland lake that I'm familiar with, there is a serious problem with kids speeding around and its over crowded already. Some residents want a boat/motor size restriction, others just want their spoiled kids to be able to do whatever they like. There have been a couple of deaths from accidents over the last ten years or so. The local police do actively ticket, as they're trying to send a message to the rich kid's parents. Probably necessary.

p.s. I do know someone who was ticketed in the Erie Canal system for pouring the coals in his powerboat, after a lock held him up for a long time. He knows he was wrong and deserved it.

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post #18 of 40 Old 04-23-2013
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Re: Informal, unscientific survey

1. Never

2. None

3. Avoid It

Sounds like your harbormaster is a really nice guy, your police chief a real jerk
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post #19 of 40 Old 04-23-2013
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Re: Informal, unscientific survey

I agree with misfits . . .
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post #20 of 40 Old 04-23-2013
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Re: Informal, unscientific survey

Never been cited, there has never been a reason

Just left St Solomons Island were we saw a dozon tickets being handed out with in an hour, (friday afternoon) but sure it was because of no life jackets on the smaller boats heading to the Tiki hut bar. Can you say stuped enough?

I would more then happy go were I know the enforcement was fair and if your harbor master has been at it for awhile and things a working out , no boating accidents or drownings. Why try to fix whats not broken?

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