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View Poll Results: Should recreational boaters be required to get a license?
Yes. 53 31.36%
No. 80 47.34%
Only if they operate near commercial traffic. 1 0.59%
Only if the boat is over x feet or x horsepower. 40 23.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 169. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 29-03-2015, 14:34   #136
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

No need to create another bureacracy in the U.S.. We have the United States Power Squadron. https://www.usps.org/index.html/ In spite of the name I believe it is not related to the U.S. government.

I took their course in the early 90's and received a discount on my boat insurance for having done so.

An abbreviated course could easily satisfy the 'education' some believe will reduce injuries and fatalities in the boating environment.

Rather than a 'stick approach', a carrot approach like offering lower insurance rates is more desirable. An incentive could be offered by government in the form of a waiver of fees boaters must pay in lieu of taking the course.


A very good course.
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Old 29-03-2015, 14:50   #137
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Just posting this as an explanation of how "Pleasurecraft Operator Licensing" is done in Canada.
The Fed.Govt. made the law-everyone who operates a pleasurecraft must pass a basic "boating" course-if they don't already have some other type of "captains" papers.
The private sector,clubs,etc administer the simple online test & issue a lifetime PCOC card,for $50.
The govt don't get involved again,unless you are hauled over by CCG ,or a Mountie,& found operating without the PCOC,or your "capt. papers",or are breaking some other law.You may be charged,or warned-depending on severity.Basically same as motor vehicle,except easier test.
Most,if not all CF members could challenge the test & pass it-no problem.
If not,you shouldn't be on the water.
The PCOC simply shows you have been exposed to basic boater "stuff" before you jump off the turnip truck & into a boat.
Obviously,it only affects new boaters.
Obviously,it can't control turnips or idiots,but it is a basic attempt to Educate them.
Not saying the CDN system is perfect,but it is an attempt to Educate newbees,without the overly onerous & tax grabbing situations that some of you relate.
I am assuming the OP was asking about "licensing" boat operators(skipper,etc),not the boat itself. The boat itself is a different issue,& is more like a vehicle registration/plating,& yes-registration/plating can be a tax grab.
Thanks for the informative & reasonable discussion re this subject.
Here is a link to Can. PCOC test,for info purposes.
CPS-ECP Pleasure Craft Operator Card

Cheers/Len
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Old 29-03-2015, 14:56   #138
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by first wind View Post
what about small sailing dinghies?

if boating is a priveledge, and not a right, then how can some boating be a right and not a privelege?
Sorry for not being clearer. My position is:
- basic personal transportation is a human right, in my opinion. No-one should be prevented or hindered from using any self-propelled means of transport: walking, running, biking, skateboards... and this includes small watercraft. and to me that includes sailing dinghies. Of course we prefer that they be somewhat educated and safety-conscious about it. And it's reasonable to restrict an activity where it would be patently unsafe, like bikes on a freeway, or kayaks in a shipping channel.
- driving powered vehicles - automobiles, aircraft, watercraft - which uses a shared infrastructure and where there is risk to others and the general public - is closer to a privilege (that cannot be arbitrarily withheld), and it's reasonable to demand a level of competence and responsibility to exercise this privilege.

[ - and voting is a right of citizenship in a democracy, full stop. and any burden placed on the exercise of that right is anti-democratic. Or are we over democracy now?]

Anyway, yeah I still think drivers need licences and boaters need some proof of competency. I would hope that a sensible card scheme would have reasonable allowances for uncarded people to be able to helm under controlled conditions.
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Old 29-03-2015, 14:57   #139
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by Wrong View Post
............... Rather than a 'stick approach', a carrot approach like offering lower insurance rates is more desirable. .............
Although minimum liability insurance is required on motor vehicles in most states, the same insurance is not required on boats.

Another thing that needs to be changed.

Any of our lives can be permanently changed or even ended by a boater with no education and no insurance. "Sorry Charlie"
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Old 29-03-2015, 14:57   #140
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
You left out a choice: only UNDER a certain y length and y hp.

Many times the bigger vessels are fine 'cuz the owners got smart.

It's the little gnats and mosquitoes that are a great problem.

Can't license out stupidity.

The "Entitled" or "Unenlightened" generation now using kayaks and SUPs are clueless, ignorant and dangerous to themselves. If there were licensing requirements, legislatures won't go after them. "They are too small to worry about," Senator Quackenstupid said at his press conference. I can hear it now...
We find there is little difference as long as its power boats. The fact that enough money will put you in command of a 60 foot SeaRay with no understanding of the rules is not acceptable. (In our marina last summer). 28 foot patio boats out on the open lake (Lake Michigan) with 26 people and no life jackets. Fishing at anchor in the channel. Trolling randomly in the channel against the flow of traffic. We have CG, DNR, Sheriff in our waterways & I have never seen a sailboat hauled over. I agree that most owners of large boats tend to be pretty responsible, often have credentials but knuckleheads are not limited to small boats. The CG boat statistics do show that sailboats are a nearly insignificant part of the total and that those are seldom rules related - usually storm or gear related.

Personally, I do not want more state regs or fees. I think the CG AUX and other organizations are willling to teach the courses needed to reduce the most awful transgressions. They could print a certificate for the Rules & safety.
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Old 29-03-2015, 15:04   #141
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Of course none of US need testing and licensing, it is only the OTHERS out there that do.


How many here have changed their view as a result of this debate? I know I haven't and am still firmly voting NO.
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Old 29-03-2015, 16:11   #142
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I may not say this correctly and will surely offend someone. We do not understand the freedoms we are giving away. Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand.

If you need someone to blame, we could have learned much more in school than was deemed necessary by those controlling education, so it is all of our, our parents, and our societies fault. Better to start from here and go forward with positive steps.

Apparently, by the responses so far, many in the cruising citizenry of America think we could use a little more government control. Because we all lack a reasonable understanding of our own national history, and what we are currently doing to ourselves, I pass on the following quotes from the beginning of our nation;

"It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it." George Washington
This is the reason man turns eventually to revolution.
"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. attributed to George Washington
We (all) have been derelict in our responsibility to control our servant government, and now they seem to control us, the creator of this government.
Perhaps using the moment in teaching others, children, consumers, etc., about use and personal responsibility could be accomplished without licensing for private Citizens. Even this will not prevent some from irresponsibility.
We are feeding the legal and insurance industry instead of addressing our own personal responsibility. Will we learn before we destroy ourselves and our unique nation while trying to find a little safety?
Commercial operators is another story as the state gives them life; they can license commercial operators all they want.
Well, this will get some interesting replies.
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Old 29-03-2015, 16:32   #143
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I don't think the concept of helmsman and captain will be changed all that quickly just because of an accident.....lawsuits included. Each accident will have its own set of facts that will determine the outcome....and may or may not drive new rules or legislation.

Being of sound mind..and having taught the safety certification for 12 years in NJ, and lived and worked on the water for most of my adult life from 6 months to all year....I can unequivocally say that simple certification, licensing or education does not directly relate to safer waters...the picture is much bigger than that and without the total picture being dealt with, one part of the solution doesn't cut it.
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Old 29-03-2015, 16:36   #144
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrong View Post
No need to create another bureacracy in the U.S.. We have the United States Power Squadron. https://www.usps.org/index.html/ In spite of the name I believe it is not related to the U.S. government.

I took their course in the early 90's and received a discount on my boat insurance for having done so.

An abbreviated course could easily satisfy the 'education' some believe will reduce injuries and fatalities in the boating environment.

Rather than a 'stick approach', a carrot approach like offering lower insurance rates is more desirable. An incentive could be offered by government in the form of a waiver of fees boaters must pay in lieu of taking the course.


A very good course.
the basic boating safety course outline has already been agreed upon by virtually all states...the National Association of Boating Law Administrators has been refining it for years....many states have adopted it and are using it.

It is the culmination of Power Squadron and USCGAuxiliary courses and new input from what I understand.
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Old 29-03-2015, 17:54   #145
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

In Hawai'i, all skippers have to pass an on line state test on seamanship and receive a certificate. If you are caught without one, it's a $1,000 fine. I've been sailing for over 30 years and learned a few things. It's a great idea as it protects all as well as lessens the burden of emergency responders.
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Old 29-03-2015, 18:04   #146
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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you make a very valid point about the different outcomes of incompetency in the air and on the water.
I was actually trying to make a point about the plain fact that the idiot driving the plane is likely to do damage only once. The other one will likely do the damage again and again.

The worst one is the one that has a license. Some of us will tend to think they are competent because they hold a license.

b.
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Old 29-03-2015, 18:22   #147
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

How many sailboating accidents occur that result in death a year? What about high-powered go fast boats on small lakes?

Maybe you should have a license to operate a motor vessels only. If you look at the coast guard stats from 2013 sailboats aren't even listed in the section "VESSEL TYPES WITH THE TOP CASUALTY NUMBERS".

Based on that report most common fatal accident occurred due to a drunk operator of an open motorboat drowning while their boat flooded because they were not wearing a life vest. :|

I'm not sure a license would fix that... you would have to know how to prevent/stop your boat from flooding.
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Old 29-03-2015, 18:23   #148
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I wonder how the US survived so far withothe ut boaters being required to be licensed. Vast majority of today's boaters in US had come up through the system by either joining a boating/sailing club at some point (where they had to take a bunch of certtification courses, exams, etc), having been boating since early age (and can probably teach any certification instructor a thing or two), have been exposed to the COLREGS in the service or have taken a course or two on their own initiative. The very few nutcases and yahus who are speeding down no wake zones drunk out of their minds will stop doing that whether or not they were licensed. And the responsible boaters will still be responsible boaters, only now a few dollars poorer and hassled for their time to take the course.

Once again we are looking for a lost coin not where it possibly fell but under a lampost because the area is lighted and we feel better looking there. Instead of dealing with the nuts, we are going to burden the responsible ones while patting ourselves on the back for a good job we're doing keeping our waterways safe. While the nuts will continue their unabated craziness because we do not have testicular fortitude to really come down hard on their antics. 'Cause more often then not these nuts are the children of local LEO's, prominent businesspeople, politicians, state and local owrkers, etc. Very few poor youthful shmucks can afford their own boat to play with and with this licensing proposal even fewer will be able to afford them. And 20 years from now we will all be wondering where did all the boaters of the next generation go?

If this proposal gets implemented chuck it up as another win for the long hand of the big government. Old Ben's warning is still as relevant today as it was 250 years ago. "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
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Old 29-03-2015, 18:50   #149
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I do not care whether there is more, or less, licensing frenzy tomorrow.

What I do care about is whether there is more or less training.

Sailing courses are great. Just not because they give you licenses.

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Old 29-03-2015, 19:08   #150
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
I wonder how the US survived so far withothe ut boaters being required to be licensed. Vast majority of today's boaters in US had come up through the system by either joining a boating/sailing club at some point (where they had to take a bunch of certtification courses, exams, etc), having been boating since early age (and can probably teach any certification instructor a thing or two), have been exposed to the COLREGS in the service or have taken a course or two on their own initiative. The very few nutcases and yahus who are speeding down no wake zones drunk out of their minds will stop doing that whether or not they were licensed. And the responsible boaters will still be responsible boaters, only now a few dollars poorer and hassled for their time to take the course.

Once again we are looking for a lost coin not where it possibly fell but under a lampost because the area is lighted and we feel better looking there. Instead of dealing with the nuts, we are going to burden the responsible ones while patting ourselves on the back for a good job we're doing keeping our waterways safe. While the nuts will continue their unabated craziness because we do not have testicular fortitude to really come down hard on their antics. 'Cause more often then not these nuts are the children of local LEO's, prominent businesspeople, politicians, state and local owrkers, etc. Very few poor youthful shmucks can afford their own boat to play with and with this licensing proposal even fewer will be able to afford them. And 20 years from now we will all be wondering where did all the boaters of the next generation go?

If this proposal gets implemented chuck it up as another win for the long hand of the big government. Old Ben's warning is still as relevant today as it was 250 years ago. "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
Above in red I would strongly disagree with....based on 15 years of hands on training as an instructor.
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