Join Date: Nov 2006
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The services still refer to ships company as sailors and I think that is the correct term for anyone who navigates under power or sail. The old expression is that "A boater is a hat."
Apart from using a noun as a verb, calling those who mess about in boats "boaters" is a sign of nautical ignorance; the sort of thing one would expect from say, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators!