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Old 02-09-2007, 16:29   #16
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What a wonderful bassackwards world we live in today.
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The PCOC program was never intended to be a "boater training" program in that it would teach you how to operate a boat. It was to help ensure all boaters had at least "some" exposure to safe boating information in an effort to satisfy the risk managers and absolve the gov't of any liability. Nice work eh?
I believe that these requirements shift more of the burden of liability to the government and away from the individual. But that may have been the design originally??
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Old 02-09-2007, 17:52   #17
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Kai Nai,

No such luck registering in Oregon. We too must now have a "Boater Education Card". It's the usual deal - an online open book test and a small fee to the state. It applies only to 10 hp and up boats. Our cat has dual 9.9 outboards and I usually use only one at a time. Didn't think I could get away with that idea.

Lots of obscure questions about jetskis. Had to look up the answers since I don't know (and don't want to know) anything about them. It does indicate that the state believes jetskis are a big public safety problem. I'm sure they are right. Maybe some good will come of it.

The only new thing I learned (at least that I remember), is that a red buoy is sometimes called a "nun" buoy. For some reason, that stuck in my head. Anyway, I'm sure my fellow Oregon boaters will feel much safer knowing that I have that vital piece of boating knowledge. I don't usually go for sarcasm, but this thread just begs for it.

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Old 02-09-2007, 18:48   #18
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Well, gee. Here in Oregon it is required for anyone over the age of 12 to have their license to operate a boat with more that a 10 hp engine. Lets see - to qualify, I have to go to the Oregon State Marine board site (or I think one of the vendor sites), pay my $20 by credit card, and take the online test. I guess that I had better have my book handy in case I have forgotten the answer to any of the questions (then I can just look them up real quick while I am doing my test). Once I pass my online, unsupervised test I think that I just pay my $10 or so to receive my certificate and then I am quite safe to operate any boat.
Ok - I am being somewhat sarcastic. I do not believe that I will be any better or safer with a certificate that I can "buy" on the internet.
That also brings up the question (maybe it was already answered): will my Oregon certificate be honored if I am cruising the San Juans for a week or so?
Also, I would be curious to know if there has really been any reduction here in Oregon in boating accidents and fatalities since the certificate rule was put into effect.
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:49   #19
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I find it ironic that to get a USCG skippers ticket you must pass a written test and document that you have x number of days underway on a boat. No proficiency has to be demonstrated.

I guess it is assumed that experience is the best teacher, but you don't have to be operating the boat. You could be serving cocktails on a harbor dinner cruise boat and still qualify for sea time.

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Old 03-09-2007, 11:29   #20
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Mentioning the jet skis reminded me of sailing inland, and I have to grudgingly admit that Minnesota's operator's rules (graduated for under 12, 12-17, and over 17) combined with extra rules for PWCs did have a good effect when the laws first came out.

The summers before the rules were punctuated by attacks - and I use the word advisedly - by small packs of PWCs. (On the Mississippi border with Wisconsin in pool 5 the goal was to spray people inside the boat, and a Skipper 21 was too attractive a target to leave alone with only one pass.) The years just after were completely without a single event with a PWC.

I don't know if the rules are still being enforced, having spent the past 4 summers on the BC coast, but at least for that short time for that specific annoyance the certification - which is really just an attempt to make certain targeted boaters aware of rules regarding their craft - worked.
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:45   #21
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This thread begs the question:

What if you have an MCA Yachtmaster Open Ocean or USCG Masters or something to that extent??

While in Jersey, I had assumed my Masters exempted me from the stupid state "Cracker Jack Box" license. The guys in the West Marine store seemed to think it exempted me as well, but... reading these posts, I am starting to wonder.

If you have a national qualification to operate vessels of certain tonnage, does that supercede the state regulations?

Sounds a bit like the anchoring law problems to me...
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Old 03-09-2007, 15:51   #22
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If you have a national qualification to operate vessels of certain tonnage, does that supercede the state regulations?
You would have to look at each state to find out.

For example, in Alabama, the boating license is an endorsement on your state-issued Alabama driver's license. On their web site ( Boating in Alabama - Boating Education and Certification/License ) it lists a Coast Guard license under "Exemptions from Examination Requirements". That means you don't need to take the test when you apply for your license, not that you don't need to have a license.

For New Jersey, your understanding appear to be correct, as long as you have your Master's license in your posession. See New Jersey State Police - Marine Services Bureau - FAQ's question 3. ( See also question 5, where it states that you have to actually take a NJ approved boat safety course, no matter how many times you have taken similar courses in other states...)
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Old 04-09-2007, 13:34   #23
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There's no way this will ever be able to work as written in AL. I mean think about it:

I'm taking a commercial boat from NYC to South Carolina. I have to pass through several states on the way. I'm a professional seaman. So now I have to get licenses in each and every state I pass through??

This is pure insanity.


Or how about this one:

I'm a delivery skipper. I am delivering a boat from Ft Lauderdale to Maine. Now am I supposed to get a license for each and every state I go through?

Or finally (and this applies to EVERYONE on this board):

Also, if I'm not an AL resident, how do I get an endoresement on my AL drivers license, if mine license is issued in another state?

This pathetic set of legislation has a LOOOOONG way to go if they plan on enforcing it. I'm kinda p*ssed off about it, and the rest of you shoudl be too. Why? Because of the last example I stated above applied to EVERYONE. That means you can't take your boat out of your own state?

Look at NJ. Say I keep my boat at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan. The cheaper fuel dock is about 1 mile away in Jersey City. Does this mean as a NY boater I can't take my boat across the Hudson anymore to get some fuel? WTF?

These laws make absolutely no sense.
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Old 04-09-2007, 15:32   #24
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I would hope that since I can drive from state to state with on license, I could also cross state lines on a boat and that their licensing requirements apply to residents of the state, not to transients.

Of course, just because that seems logical does not mean that's the way it will be.

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Old 04-09-2007, 19:07   #25
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I'm curious: I earned a 100 ton captains liscense from the US Coast Guard. Doesn't that supercede the Washington requirements?
Mary, the Antique Sailor
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Old 05-09-2007, 00:53   #26
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Boat Licence

I got my NSW (Australia) Recreational Boat Licence - required operate a vessel capable of 10 knots, in 1983 after reading the appropriate book, answering about 20 questions in an oral test, and being able to play with a toy boat on a board with a river and its mouth on it to demonstrate things like being able to navigate on Starboard side of channel, which side to pass various navigation marks etc. No on water testing and no requirement to demonstrate any practical ability or experience.

Now if specifically sailing is your passion, you need no formal education, no licence, no "certificate of competency", no nothing to walk into your friendly broker, put your money down, take possession of your 50' sloop or ketch, and set sail for anywhere.

Imagine how much trouble you could get into in the yacht, a few miles off shore, 30 knot on shore breeze strengthening and potentially no f#@%*ng idea what to do. Now this is a situation that hopefully would not arise as a person with enough cash to buy the 50 footer might be a bit smarter, but it is possible with the current rules.

A little scary don't you think.
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:36   #27
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Imagine how much trouble you could get into in the yacht, a few miles off shore, 30 knot on shore breeze strengthening and potentially no f#@%*ng idea what to do.

A little scary don't you think.
I sailed as a kid in an 18 foot wooden boat that had so little sail and performance that you couldn't get in trouble.

Over the years I've sailed a bit on other people's boats and was happy to be able crew. Sometimes we sailed in pretty bad weather and the boat heeled right over, the ladies were p.o.'d and everyone got wet. I had never heard of reefing.

In the last year I have had my standing rigging fail, been 30 meters away from a boat struck by lightning and sunk, been moored right next to a benneteau that demasted at sea 8 weeks ago and been in a race where another boat was demasted 200 meters from us.

I have learned more about sailing in the last year than my previous 20.

But I don't think passing some sort of test will help you get that experience and I don't think the barriers to entry should be too high. There should be a test but where do you stop? Do you need an ocean going license where you have to prove your seamanship to someone before you can buy that 50 foot boat and sail it?

The world is always going to have dumb people. You can't idiot proof sailing. The good news that there really are few of them and 99 times out of 100 even that guy makes it back. The thing is none of his family will go out with him again and in fact his own confidence is shot so he's gald they won't. The boat sits and eventually sells.
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Old 05-09-2007, 23:33   #28
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When I took the exam for my license, here in BC, I took it at the Pacific National Exhibition (American translation: State Fair). I paid $5.00 for it and my dog could have taken the exam and passed. To be fair, the exam has toughened up and you actually need to read the book to pass it.

The problem is that it isn't being enforced. My son worked for a provincial camp ground that used a boat to support a camp ground on Keats Island in Howe Sound. They used him to take the boat out and deliver supplies; he doesn't have a license and those in the camp ground management didn't care that he didn't have one. I'm willing to bet they didn't even know he had to have one.

My usual rant about the Canadian Coast Guard. They are under staffed, under funded, belong to the wrong department over seeing them, and desperately under equiped. Even if everything in the Canadian Coast Guard was doubled; double budget, double staffing, double boats, etc.; there would still be a shortage of necessary Coast Guard in Canada. I have a saying, "if you have a law but you don't have the police, then you don't have a law." Well if there aren't enough Coast Guard to police our waters, you don't have a law for boating licenses.
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Old 05-09-2007, 23:40   #29
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There's no way this will ever be able to work as written in AL. I mean think about it:

I'm taking a commercial boat from NYC to South Carolina. I have to pass through several states on the way. I'm a professional seaman. So now I have to get licenses in each and every state I pass through??
You have to look at each state. I believe NJ, MD, and VA laws only apply to recreational boats.

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I'm a delivery skipper. I am delivering a boat from Ft Lauderdale to Maine. Now am I supposed to get a license for each and every state I go through?
If you regularly make deliveries, and you expect to exceed each state's maximum stay, I think the answer is Yes, that is exactly what you are supposed to do. So, if you spend so many days a year in New Jersey, you get NJ's paper. If you spend so many days a year in Alabama, you get AL's paper. etc.

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Also, if I'm not an AL resident, how do I get an endoresement on my AL drivers license, if mine license is issued in another state?
Alabama will issue a special driver's license to non-residents. It is only valid for boats.

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I'm kinda p*ssed off about it, and the rest of you shoudl be too.
I am, but you know how sometimes a stupid idea seems to get momentum and you just can't stop it? I think this is one of these. People put 10 seconds thought into it, decide it must be a good idea, and then start trying to implement it without actually thinking about it any further.

After all, if we all have boating licenses, that will stop bird flu. Uh, I mean terrorism - yeah, that's it...
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:49   #30
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Well I think we are a bit too over regulated. I sailed and motored as a kid and basically grew up on the water. The only way to access our house was by boat. If a ten year old like me couldn't drive the dink I coudn't visit my friends. But I was parentally trained and supervised - ala they knew I had the dink and knew where I was going.

I reckon that if the boat can kill others with it's speed or size you should have a license. If it can only kill yourself you don't need one.

10 foot dink, 5hp motor. No license. 8 foot jetski with 1200ccs? Definitely a license.
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