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Old 03-01-2007, 17:53   #31
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Originally Posted by Kai Nui
As for auto licensing, so you really believe that being able to pass a state driving test makes you a competent driver?
I think the state driving tests do provide a floor of competence, and I truly shudder about what it would be like if there were no tests involved to get on the road in the first place. Are there idiot drivers? Of course. But we know that, at one time, for at least one day, they could drive like a normal human being. SO its easy to punish them when they violate the rules. I don't see why the same wouldn't apply to boats.

Also, an aspect that may be considered is the fact that, once good sailors sometimes get to the age when they shouldn't be sailing, much like once good drivers plow down 15 pedestrians because they're confused. Very real people (who work for the government many here seem inclined to hate at the drop of a hat) risk their life for idiots who shouldn't be out anymore or at all. Having to keep your boating license current when you get old (70-80-whatever) seems like a good idea to me.

I just don't seem to see what the problem is. Is it the fifty bucks these things may cost? I can't see how that's a real concern considering the cost of boat(s) and their gear.

So they claim its for security, when really its for another reason. Why does the stated reason (or, for that matter, the"real" reason) matter if the final result is good?
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Old 03-01-2007, 17:59   #32
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I do not disagree with you in principal. I think safer boaters would be a good thing, and I even agree that a standard of some sort would be within reason, but this particular proposal concentrates so strongly on the relationship to anti terrorism, I do not believe actual safe boating practice will be any kind of a priority. I think identification and tracking of vessels and their crew will be the priority. That really is a dangerous box to open.
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Old 03-01-2007, 18:07   #33
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Kai, I appreciate your taking the time to discuss this topic. I do find it interesting.

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Originally Posted by Kai Nui
I think identification and tracking of vessels and their crew will be the priority. That really is a dangerous box to open.
I'm a bit confused here. Wouldn't the identification and tracking of vessels and their crew be helpful to anti terrorism?
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Old 03-01-2007, 18:15   #34
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It would if terrorists were routinely using pleasure boats for terrorism. Not that it couldn't happen, but the proportionately small number of recreational vessels out there capable of causing harm, and their limited access to strategic locations to cause that harm, really makes the idea far fetched. But, as some politicians have found the use of scare tactics effective in allowing them to to take away rights (and I believe that is what this is), efforts like this will become more common place. It is the traditional wolf in sheep's clothing.
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Old 03-01-2007, 18:22   #35
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I agree that the use of recreational boats by terrorists seems to be less likely than their use of planes or cars, (but it is certainly within the realm of possibility). But I don't think the imposition of some sort of licensing system would infringe on any "right" as I understand that word to mean.

Seems to me this is a good idea, mis-sold, or mis-labled.

But I can see how some would consider it mis-guided.
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Old 03-01-2007, 18:35   #36
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I will gladly agree to disagree on the idea of licensing, but, the idea of a federally sponsered boating safety course wouldn't be a bad idea. If the real motive is safe boating, require a safe boater certificate on each vessel, and provide that training through a federal program. I would support that 100%. This would ensure that at least one person on board would be trained in the safe operation of the vessel, and would identify who is responsible when things go wrong. Identifying boats is already done by state registration, and federal documentation. Identifying everyone who stands watch is not reasonable. A safe boat program would cost far less to implement, and I doubt most new boat owners would object to spending 50 dollars to take a 1 day course. If the Government really cares about safe boating, this would be a far better way to go than accross the board operater's licensing.
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Old 03-01-2007, 19:29   #37
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As for auto licensing, so you really believe that being able to pass a state driving test makes you a competent driver? "
What makes you think anyone has to pass a test to get a US driver's license? Quiz on the rules, in an office, usually. Road test? Nope. I know one guy who said he left $200 on the seat next to him when he went to take his test, and then someone else complained that he'd paid $300, where was the cheaper place to go. Yes, road test inspectors in some areas routinely take money and pass people who shouldn't be licensed. Old news.
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Old 03-01-2007, 19:52   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N.M.I.ke
Also, an aspect that may be considered is the fact that, once good sailors sometimes get to the age when they shouldn't be sailing, much like once good drivers plow down 15 pedestrians because they're confused. Very real people (who work for the government many here seem inclined to hate at the drop of a hat) risk their life for idiots who shouldn't be out anymore or at all. Having to keep your boating license current when you get old (70-80-whatever) seems like a good idea to me.
I would think age would be self regulating. Once a person become physically unable to hoist sails or even ride out the rough weather, let alone having to work/maintain one, they would tend to avoid boats altogether. It's not like their attention span needs to have fast reflexes like in driving in traffic. Most of the ole farts I know just sit on their boats at the dock sipping the hard stuff. The thrills of fighting the sea have passed.

As for the license, I/me/myself, I AM all for a SAFETY program that would teach the regs, safety equipment requirement, rules of the road, radio etiquette, a bit of navigation and some actual time on the water at the wheel & tiller. At this time anybody that can drive a car can basically jump into any power boat, start the motor and away they go.
Oooops! No brakes

As for security, how do we know if small boats haven't already been used??? There maybe some stock piling going on some where undetected. I see small boats all the time that are without flags and you can't see the crew for the tinted windows. Look what happened in Israel recently. They thought they were just going to bomb a few sights and it would be over. It turned out that Humas (sp) had been building up arms for some time without notice. That could happen here/anywhere in some warehouse out of public eye. Maybe even just over the border in Mexico.................._/)
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Old 03-01-2007, 20:25   #39
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Del, you would think, but sadly, (and I know this guy as a personal friend) it doesn't always work out that way.
BBC NEWS | UK | England | Devon | Rescued sailor 'risk to himself'
And maybe you are right. Maybe the bad guys are stockpiling power boats for a massive attack on the US waterways. Maybe there is a giant asteroid bearing down on us that the government isn't telling us about. Bottom line is, there is a huge difference between cautious and scared into submission. I will gladly take my chances that that next power boat with tinted windows is a terrorist, for the right to sail where I want, when I want.
We do agree on the safety training. More extensive, as you describe, would certainly be the way to go, but not very realistic in the "I want it now" society. A basic, one day class covering basic vhf, rules of the road, and some other misc safety stuff would be a vast improvement. My additional point on this is that if one person on board the boat, has that certificate, the boat is covered. Anyone can be at the helm, and that is OK. It would put a larger portion of accountability on that one person, but I believe we already have a name for such a position? Captain?
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Old 03-01-2007, 21:31   #40
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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Nui
N.M.I.K.E., It is not as much the idea of a boating license, as the reasoning behind it. This is not something being proposed to improve boater safety, but in the name of "National Security". The claims to support it are unfound, and the whole idea stinks of a power grab IMHO. As for auto licensing, so you really believe that being able to pass a state driving test makes you a competent driver? These tests are designed as a shill so that any moron can get a driver license, but the state can claim some regulation. It also takes advantage of linking something people want (the privilege of driving a car) with something the government wants (A national data base identifying every person in the country over 16.)
I think Kai understands my dismay at seeing this proposal. It is not an issue of safety or competence that is at issue here. For instance I have my builder’s License in Massachusetts (150.-) due biannually. I had to take a course that was "taught to test" it really had nothing to do with my competency as a builder but rather my competency to pass the test. Fortunately I can assure you all that if I build a home it will not suffer catastrophic failure. Why? Not because I have my builder’s license, but because it has to be inspected at each stage of the building process: foundation, framing, and at each of the "system" stages. Built to code……So if that is the case why are there some builders better regarded than others or why do some people end up with leaky roofs, windows or doors that don’t close quite right, floors that buckle and squeak, roofs that blow off, out of plumb walls, etc.?

You just can’t guarantee any level of competency in any human endeavor by test alone. It takes experience, and sometimes mistakes or failures to learn. The result is better judgment! Sailing a yacht is more forgiving than piloting a plane where a single blunder can become a catastrophic event, and what does a pilot license require above all? Flight time! Boating fatalities are typically a result of a "string of events." And I’m not talking about the drunken passenger that falls overboard from a docked boat, drowns and becomes part of the "boating fatalities" database used by the C.G. That actually happened on a boat next to me the first night I slept on my "new" sailboat in Greenwich, RI.

Do you think safety at sea is an issue, better boating by passing a written test, please spare me.

This proposal is a simple land grab at your individual freedom. You can be boarded anytime without cause by the coast guard, probable cause is not needed. Your boat requires a legible registration number, that id’s you, or a vessels name and homeport on it. Fishing vessels need a numbers that are legible by aircraft as well. They want to track you individually…. and raise money for new ships, armaments, etc. My point is that by giving up your freedoms, little by little, under the rubric of "national security" and the advances in tracking technology we will be living in an Orwellian nightmare world in no time.

Hermann Goering at Nuremberg had this to say: "[T]he people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and then denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." Does it work that way in the United States?

"People Should Not Be Afraid Of Their Governments. Governments Should Be Afraid Of Their People."




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Old 03-01-2007, 21:43   #41
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I'd chance to say, if it weren't for the coast guard Mr. Rusch wouldn't be as old as he is. Usually people that are a danger to themselves have don't last very long. At least he's not mowing down several people like the guy in Calif that plowed into a market.

Chances are his boat will wash up on a beach some where and without a boat he'll have to start driving again. In a car he won't have to raise the sails. But then, he'll be a danger to everyone else.

How many of these guys are out there, Alive??? in relation to the one's driving?
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Old 03-01-2007, 21:58   #42
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Heron, thank you for the correction, and yes, I think we agree across the board on this.
Del, Ivan is sort of a local legend and friend out here. He took off at 70? maybe 72, with a kid in his 20's and sailed his boat through the canal, and over to Europe. The kid made the voyage, then moved on, and Ivan continued on his own. He made it to spain, and yes, washed up, hauled out, and started a very long repair process. He fell into ill health, then was nursed back to health by some family members, to continue repairs on his boat. This does bring up an interesting question. He was clearly in over his head, while making passages single handed, yet survived a grounding, and is physically able to perform major repairs on his boat. I can say he was a competent sailor. I can not say if he is now, as I have not talked to him in about 3 years. Might be a good subject for another thread, how do you know when it's time to tie the lines for good? Regardless, a license, isn't going to prevent people like Ivan from sailing, anymore than it prevents 5 time DUI offenders from driving. And, unfortunately, common sense often does not stop them either.
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Old 03-01-2007, 22:11   #43
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Quote:
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I guess I'll stick my neck out and say that I don't see anything wrong with this idea. Feel free to consider this as just "its his ox getting gored, not mine" opinion as I don't (yet) have a boat, and maybe that also explains why I am somewhat surprised at the level of animus directed against this idea by the above posters.
The Commandant of the Coast Guard proposed boating licenses as a way to prevent terrorism. Please explain how you think boating licenses are a good way to prevent terrorism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by N.M.I.ke
I'm a bit confused here. Wouldn't the identification and tracking of vessels and their crew be helpful to anti terrorism?
I don't see how this proposal provides anything useful for preventing terrorism. Again, please explain how it provides any useful information.

[quote=delmarrey]As for security, how do we know if small boats haven't already been used??? There maybe some stock piling going on some where undetected. [/quote]
Please explain how boating licenses would prevent this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by N.M.I.ke
So they claim its for security, when really its for another reason. Why does the stated reason (or, for that matter, the"real" reason) matter if the final result is good?
My first question is this: What "good" final result do you anticipate?

I see nothing in the proposal that addresses training, safety, medical fitness, vision tests, etc, apart from a vague speculation that it should be administered by the states, like drivers licenses. None of those aspects are useful for preventing terrorism, with the possible exception that an UNTRAINED person is likely to be less able to handle the boat skillfully and therefore less able to use it effectively in an attack.
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Old 03-01-2007, 22:14   #44
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In all fairness coot, while I agree with your question, N.M.I.K.E. has presented some well thought out counter arguements to the popular opinin here. I think we all agree that regardless of the initial intentions, the idea of providing training for boaters is not a bad one.
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Old 03-01-2007, 22:37   #45
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A truck was used to blow up the Federal Building - The driver (Timothy McVey?) was licensed. We have people using cars to commit crimes all the time: Drive bys, robberies, street racing, hit and runs, assult with a deadly weapon, etc. All done by licensed drivers.

Soooo... license boaters and that is what you'll get.

(this is the fallacy of the "security" arguement)
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