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Old 08-05-2016, 10:16   #46
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pirate Re: No certification or license required to own and operate a sailboat...

Licencing is pretty much like the United Kingdom's current education policy.. the only thing you learn is how to pass an exam.. anything else that falls outside those narrow margins is ignored..
Lets face it.. is the RYA/ASA instructor concerned with turning out a competent and responsible seaman.. or is he just after as many passes as he can get to promote his school and gain more clients.. methinks the latter rules.. just like the Politicians waving the Pass Rates of schools churning out morons barely capable of reading, writing and basic math..

folk fail coz they had a crap instructor.. lots pass coz they had a great instructor..
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Old 08-05-2016, 10:30   #47
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Re: No certification or license required to own and operate a sailboat...

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Old 08-05-2016, 10:48   #48
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Re: No certification or license required to own and operate a sailboat...

As usual, boatman61 hit the nail on the head... I learned far more from the salty old skippers I worked for over 20 years than I did from my formal 6-8 months of formal schooling to attain my Mates Certification for Coastal Waters back in the 70's.
I recall vividly listening to a lecture at Vancouver Vocational Institute being presented by some fresh faced young know it all who's total sea time was probably in a bathtub!
When I related the substance of the lecture to my then skipper when back at work he replied,' it was guys like that got a lot of us killed in WWII'!
The miles you put on at sea and the experience you gain over the years cannot be substituted by a couple of classroom courses. It helps to learn those lessons with an old salt at your elbow on a dark watch. Phil
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Old 08-05-2016, 10:59   #49
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Re: No certification or license required to own and operate a sailboat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tchavei View Post
Same here however some things remain for a very long time. Obviously you forget things that you don't use often. I learned like 50 knots (and passed with flying colors) but only use 3 or 4 types after 10 years however I also learned that you have to give way to unpowered vessels and last year I saw a Netherland flagged motor yacht whose Portuguese skipper was screaming at a sailboat to make way for him and that he was calling the coast Guard...
In fact in Spain it's becoming an increasingly common occurrence to have a 'flag of convenience" (Belgium or Netherlands) in order to avoid licensing requirements, though in theory it would be required if the captain is Spanish. But that seems to fall in a grey area, as I'm seeing many boat ads with the "NL flag / no license required" tagline...

I don't think licensing adds much to security. Someone who has managed to sail to Spain (let's say the Med) from France, UK or Netherlands has already made a lot more of miles than a weekend sailor who has just gotten his licence. Granted, knowledge of COLREGS, safety procedures, and local laws/restrictions is a must, but for that I find the Belgian approach is much more sensible: you simply must have on board a booklet with regulations. In a boat you'll have more than enough time to go through them, they're not so complicated after all.

Here in Spain licensing requirements are quite new (15 yrs or so) and there is still a lot of discussion because professional fishing captains, who have been at sea for generations, but in many cases are almost illiterate, had to pass a quite demanding and memoristic exam, which posed quite of a challenge for many of them. As Dickens put it, "the law is an ass".

Also, I think there are at stake two mentalities: the US/UK risk-oriented, where everyone is assumed to be safe until proven unsafe, and the "napoleonic/continental law" one, where everyone is assumed unsafe until proven safe. I would stick with the first one, at least for sailing.
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Old 08-05-2016, 11:43   #50
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Re: No certification or license required to own and operate a sailboat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post

Lets face it.. is the RYA/ASA instructor concerned with turning out a competent and responsible seaman.. or is he just after as many passes as he can get to promote his school and gain more clients.. methinks the latter rules..
Hopefully most instructors disagree with that statement. Many of us take the responsibility seriously. Now the schools some of us work for or the sanctioning organization behind a school - that might, in some cases, be a different story.

I'm of the opinion that any training, no matter how mediocre you might think it is, so long as it accurately addresses the issues is better than no training at all.
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Old 08-05-2016, 18:09   #51
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Re: No certification or license required to own and operate a sailboat...

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Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
Hopefully most instructors disagree with that statement. Many of us take the responsibility seriously. Now the schools some of us work for or the sanctioning organization behind a school - that might, in some cases, be a different story.

I'm of the opinion that any training, no matter how mediocre you might think it is, so long as it accurately addresses the issues is better than no training at all.
+1

If I start passing incompetent students the instructor teaching the next level will be none too pleased with me.; nor will the sailing school / charter company.

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Old 08-05-2016, 18:21   #52
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Re: No certification or license required to own and operate a sailboat...

Speaking of charter companies ...

I've seen a few comments on this board regarding "credit card captains", people sailing - charter or owners - who don't know what they're doing, and so on.

But I'm starting to sense a consensus here that testing and licensing is not the answer.

So how do you square that circle? We don't want to impose such restrictions on competent sailors, but we only want competent people to sail. Then who decides who's competent?

I don't have an easy, obvious answer; just throwing it out for thoughts.
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Old 08-05-2016, 18:27   #53
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Re: No certification or license required to own and operate a sailboat...

You demonstrate being competent by your actions.
Likewise, you will have to pay the price for your own incompetence.
What is wrong with letting people pay the price for their own mistakes and leaving the rest of us along?
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Old 08-05-2016, 18:29   #54
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Re: No certification or license required to own and operate a sailboat...

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Originally Posted by AnglaisInHull View Post
Speaking of charter companies ...

I've seen a few comments on this board regarding "credit card captains", people sailing - charter or owners - who don't know what they're doing, and so on.

But I'm starting to sense a consensus here that testing and licensing is not the answer.

So how do you square that circle? We don't want to impose such restrictions on competent sailors, but we only want competent people to sail. Then who decides who's competent?

I don't have an easy, obvious answer; just throwing it out for thoughts.
My comments were made with my home area, the west coast of Canada in mind. Credit card captains are not very common here. Too much tide, current and unmarked but charted rocks.

Some Ontario sailors with lots of credentials are sometimes asked to take a skipper for a few days until they understand that movement of water here.

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Old 09-05-2016, 08:02   #55
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Re: No certification or license required to own and operate a sailboat...

A license can't fix stupid.
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Old 09-05-2016, 19:29   #56
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Re: No certification or license required to own and operate a sailboat...

Well I spend the season in the back bay mooring field in Fort Myers Beach, my daily entertainment is watching boaters that have no clue about navigation etc. We share the back bay with the Shrimp Boat Fleet, people (seem to me ) come under the bridge, and say lets go look at the boats, and run aground by running on the WRONG side of the red markers. Big sand bar at low tide. Some boaters ask me what the red markers 18,20, 22 mean... I usually tell them that is the water depth HAHA
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Old 22-05-2016, 02:03   #57
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Re: No certification or license required to own and operate a sailboat...

Look folks.. IMHO a license to operate a vessel is a good idea since at least it imposes a requirement for some minimal basic knowledge before people go out and share the waters with the rest of humanity. Yes, there are licensed idiots but to argue that that means licenses are useless .. na ja.. let us say that speaks more for the need to have a license in logic to have an opinion

*but* the problem is that government entities overdoit.. I have read the history of the portuguese system.. I think in spain it is also pretty convoluted.. well.. I am studying right now for the german Sportbootführerschein-See .. that is the license required to operate a vessel of more than 15hp in german waters. Anyhow.. this is actually one question in the test:

- What are traffic separation zones?
a. they are publicized maritime traffic corridors, which are divided by separation lines or zones into one way lanes.
b. they are publicized shipping traffic ways, which are divided by separation lines or zones into one way lanes.
c. they are publicized federal waterways which are divided by separation lines or zones into one way lanes.
d. they are publicized water ways which are divided by separation lines or zones into one way lanes.

Translation might not be perfect but you get the idea... Sorry but whoever thinks choosing the right answer means a proof of one's competency .. that is just sad. And that is not even a single exception.. there are tons of these questions that try to throw you off by describing the same thing with only a small difference in some term.

So that is the real problem.. what could be a meaningful test of someone's basic seamanship and knowledge of the rules of the road becomes a chance for some bureaucrat to have his petty despot moment.
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Old 22-05-2016, 03:06   #58
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Re: No certification or license required to own and operate a sailboat...

Quite the same in Spain. I'm now preparing for the PER title (my exam is on May 31) and I have to study a 300 page manual with regulations, first aid notions (pretty useless if you don't practice), chart symbols, nautical vocabulary and the like. The exam is a multiple choice test with many intentionally misleading answers. Additionally, you must go through a 16 hour motor practice with an officially licensed academy (not cheap) and yet another 8 hours if you want the additional sailing authorization. All in all, it seems the system is so constructed in order to give business to the training centers. Well, they also need to make a living... Add to that the technical inspection for boats and a dozen or so stupid regulations more, and it's easy to understand why sailing here costs almost double than in France or the Netherlands. And I don't think it's much safer: there are lots of rescues of perfectly licensed boaters due to fuel miscalculations, and many other stupid mistakes.

Just for fun, a real question from a past exam: What navigation lights must show a submerged submarine?

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Old 22-05-2016, 03:22   #59
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Re: No certification or license required to own and operate a sailboat...

Here in South Australia we have to have a license to operate any boat with an engine, called a "Recreational Boater's License."

I read the booklet for the test while standing in line to take the test, and passed with a 100% result. Not because I am clever, but because the test is a joke.

So as I sat here at home yesterday afternoon, the weather was fine which meant the recreational fishers were out. And I literally LOST COUNT of the number of times I heard ships in the channel sound their five-short-blasts collision avoidance warning. And I can bet you, each of those boats that caused those horn soundings had their recreational boater's license. Mostly, they moor in the channel. But sometimes they simply decide to go charging down the middle as though they owned the thing.


Do we need a license? YES, but it should be a REAL license. One that actually involves a test of competence to operate a boat. Yep, that would add to the cost, but I can tell you, as someone who regularly shares the water with these yahoos, any barrier that prevents them being in the water with me is one I would relish.


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Old 22-05-2016, 04:33   #60
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Re: No certification or license required to own and operate a sailboat...

Well, I think licensing is a good idea but only if it's enforced. If it's not enforced it's just an excel use in revenue raising.

Many of the Americans will think the sky is falling in, but many parts of the world have some basic level.

In all but the N.T of Australia you need some basic recreational license. But the requirements to get that differs thoughout the country. Obviously as we just heard from Matt , in SA it's just a test. Here in Tasmania it's a mandatory course.

However, despite having the necessity in Tasmania for some decades to have a license, no one ever policed it. Not even myself. In recent years with the introduction of the course, that's changing. I'm hearing it's being policed now. I'm yet to see what difference it makes in behaviours.

BUT, the question was about a 'sail boat', throughout Australia (I think) no license is required, no matter how big the vessel if it doesn't have a motor. So, Capt. Blyth would be fine.
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