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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 03-04-2015, 12:05   #241
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by jwing View Post
By the way, I haven't read a valid reason posted for NOT having licensing, especially this one: "I hate government and don't want to give them any more power." Well, we are all like that. Except we are not ideologues about it. We happen to live in a crowded society where a lot of people think they can do whatever they want to do, regardless of how it impacts others. Those are the people that force us to have regulations.
Valid reasons for NOT licensing:

1) It prompts more laws to be written to support licensing.
2) It supports more laws to fix broken rules.
3) Licensing requires a payment by the person getting the license
4) Licensing requires a "government entity" to "administer" the licensing
5) Licensing requires the "government entity" to "authorize an authority to enforce rules against licensees" (police)
6) People (government entities, administrators, police) must be paid to do their jobs
7) Someone has to pay, usually those who "break the rules" and get "fined".
8) Number seven leads to "sobriety stops", "safety inspections", or "speed traps" in which to be able to get more money to pay for raises, bonuses, promotions for the "authorities"
9) Number eight leads to authorities who have power.
10) "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Which leads to overbearing, overpaid, overreaching "authorities" run by "government entities" who will do anything and everything to keep their yearly budget intact, keep their power and destroy those aroung them who disagree....

There's more and I could go on, but those are legitimate reasons. Look around you at today's US government and many smaller, local governments and tell me that how they got where they are now, is NOW by the "plan" listed above.
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:05   #242
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
as a former instructor. I blow hot and cold on this subject. in favour of it, is an attempt to get some basic education across. against it , is that it tends to be lowest common demoninator stuff. I dont see what the issue is about the " gubbermint".

at this point in my life Im against compulsory licensing/basic training, but every time I meet an idiot on the water, my view can change !


dave
Thanks for that. Same here.

I just don't want to give the gubbermint money when they don't do anything for boaters or for boating law enforcement.
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:05   #243
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by RickD View Post
No. Enough laws. Enough stupid taxes. Enough forcing "certifications" for crap (like IT, like network security, like electronics, like about anything). The whole certification/licensing thing is a nasty bit of money making for governments and the US Government has picked up on it big time. Pretty soon, without a license you won't even be able to use a public rest room. NO.
Would you suggest not licensing pilots? Medical doctors and dentists? Plumbers and electricians?

I don't think you have thought this through.
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:41   #244
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I think if we were to stray into the dead end alley of licensing every human activity ...

I would propose the licenses are temporal and have to be renewed (say every two years or so).

There is no way someone who got their license 10 years ago remembers more than 10% of what the required knowledge was back then. Hence, the license is at this point worth as much as a roll of toilet paper.

And those of us who took the license 10 years ago and who can sit the exam any day now and pass ... well, actually this group of operators do not need the license in the first place.

So, to sum up, I think now that we should either call all this licensing humbug quits OR ELSE stick with it but make the licenses last only a limited time: a year, maybe two.

To each their own ""

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Old 03-04-2015, 13:04   #245
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by RickD View Post
Valid reasons for NOT licensing:

1) It prompts more laws to be written to support licensing.
2) It supports more laws to fix broken rules.
3) Licensing requires a payment by the person getting the license
4) Licensing requires a "government entity" to "administer" the licensing
5) Licensing requires the "government entity" to "authorize an authority to enforce rules against licensees" (police)
6) People (government entities, administrators, police) must be paid to do their jobs
7) Someone has to pay, usually those who "break the rules" and get "fined".
8) Number seven leads to "sobriety stops", "safety inspections", or "speed traps" in which to be able to get more money to pay for raises, bonuses, promotions for the "authorities"
9) Number eight leads to authorities who have power.
10) "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Which leads to overbearing, overpaid, overreaching "authorities" run by "government entities" who will do anything and everything to keep their yearly budget intact, keep their power and destroy those aroung them who disagree....

There's more and I could go on, but those are legitimate reasons. Look around you at today's US government and many smaller, local governments and tell me that how they got where they are now, is NOW by the "plan" listed above.
Let's look at the evidence in my state, Alabama:

1) It prompts more laws to be written to support licensing.
One law; the same since enacted in 1997.

2) It supports more laws to fix broken rules.
There's been one law, unchanged since enacted in 1997. (Yes, the same answer since your points 1 and 2 said the same thing.)

3) Licensing requires a payment by the person getting the license.
True. The certification from a choice of private sources is $29.50. And there is a bureaucracy charge of $28.50. Both are one-time only fees.

4) Licensing requires a "government entity" to "administer" the licensing
OK, that's technically true, but there wasn't a new government entity established for the purpose of administering boating licenses. In spite the sometimes justifiable stereotypes, Alabama does most of this work using computers and internet.

5) Licensing requires the "government entity" to "authorize an authority to enforce rules against licensees" (police)
As has been pointed out by others in this discussion, boating laws were already established prior to the license requirement. So there already was enforcement authority. Where I boat, the LEO does not check for license unless there has been an infraction of another rule.

6) People (government entities, administrators, police) must be paid to do their jobs
This point is partially double-counting points 4 and 5. No new bureaucracies, no new bureaucrats, no new LEOs.

7) Someone has to pay, usually those who "break the rules" and get "fined".
I'm missing the point. Break the law, pay the price. That's life in a non-fantasy civilized society.

8) Number seven leads to "sobriety stops", "safety inspections", or "speed traps" in which to be able to get more money to pay for raises, bonuses, promotions for the "authorities"
This may or may not be true, depending on the local LEOs, but it has nothing to do with licensing.

9) Number eight leads to authorities who have power.
I'd say you have that backward, so my reply is that required safety training (aka licensing) has nothing to do with it.

10) "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Which leads to overbearing, overpaid, overreaching "authorities" run by "government entities" who will do anything and everything to keep their yearly budget intact, keep their power and destroy those aroung them who disagree....
You get that out of requiring boaters to demonstrate knowledge of safety and traffic rules?

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Old 03-04-2015, 13:15   #246
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Efficacy of required safety training:

In Alabama, the required licensing started in July 1997. Here is a chart of fatal boating accidents and boating accident fatalities per year for 1995 to 2000. Make of it what you will.

Figure 2-5: Alabama Recreational Boating Accidents | Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Here are boating accident statistics for all states from 2008 to 2012:
Recreational boating accidents and deaths, 2012

The annual number of fatalities in Alabama during that period stayed lower than in the years 1995, 1996, 1997,and 1998.

Please don't ask me to analyze the numbers. It took me almost 30 seconds to find them and I can't spend any more time. I got strangers to argue with on other websites, too, you know!
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Old 03-04-2015, 17:05   #247
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by jwing View Post
Efficacy of required safety training:

In Alabama, the required licensing started in July 1997. Here is a chart of fatal boating accidents and boating accident fatalities per year for 1995 to 2000. Make of it what you will.

Figure 2-5: Alabama Recreational Boating Accidents | Bureau of Transportation Statistics

(...)

Please don't ask me to analyze the numbers.
I am afraid you are asking too much.

Can you PLS provide number of recreational outings in Alabama in same years?

That is to say: what are the accident numbers PER SAY ONE THOUSAND outings?

Because (jokingly) if in the same year the number of outings halved each year (say in result of strict licensing) then the numbers you quoted may actually be a proof in case AGAINST licensing.

I am not looking for a fight. Just asking.

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Old 03-04-2015, 17:18   #248
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwing View Post
Efficacy of required safety training:

In Alabama, the required licensing started in July 1997. Here is a chart of fatal boating accidents and boating accident fatalities per year for 1995 to 2000. Make of it what you will.

Figure 2-5: Alabama Recreational Boating Accidents | Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Here are boating accident statistics for all states from 2008 to 2012:
Recreational boating accidents and deaths, 2012

The annual number of fatalities in Alabama during that period stayed lower than in the years 1995, 1996, 1997,and 1998.

Please don't ask me to analyze the numbers. It took me almost 30 seconds to find them and I can't spend any more time. I got strangers to argue with on other websites, too, you know!
This is useful data. I presented similar for Canada. I haven't studied your data enough to make any serious conclusions, but what I found in Canada was that following the introduction of our mandatory boat licensing program, the accident rates did indeed go down. HOWEVER,the declining trend pre-dated introduction of the licensing scheme. In fact, the decline following the new license more or less followed the existing declining curve.

This is why I speculate that the decline has more to do with demographic shifts than the benefit of mandatory licensing (at least the minimal version done here in Canada).

The fact is, most boating accidents are attributable to zippy boats. AND most of those injured are young males. We have fewer young males, so we have fewer social problems connected to this cohort (accident rates, crime, etc.).
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Old 03-04-2015, 17:22   #249
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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That is very troubling...it seems you have Alzheimer
Hush! Hushhhhhh!!!!

;-)

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Old 04-04-2015, 07:01   #250
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

To make these statistics truly meaningful, we would have to consider many variables that may affect them. Then do some serious regression analysis. Hell, I got nothing better to do with my life for the next three months; I'll get right on it. Oh, wait, I'm not a statistician. We should get the government to hire an expensive consultant to perform the analysis. The consultant will be in good standing with the right church, of course, so that we don't get accused of wasting government funds. Then, we can argue about his methodology if the results don't jive with our preconceived notions.
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:27   #251
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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To make these statistics truly meaningful, we would have to consider many variables that may affect them. Then do some serious regression analysis. Hell, I got nothing better to do with my life for the next three months; I'll get right on it. Oh, wait, I'm not a statistician. We should get the government to hire an expensive consultant to perform the analysis. The consultant will be in good standing with the right church, of course, so that we don't get accused of wasting government funds. Then, we can argue about his methodology if the results don't jive with our preconceived notions.
PUI ?
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:43   #252
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Would you suggest not licensing pilots? Medical doctors and dentists? Plumbers and electricians?

I don't think you have thought this through.
In the ideal world the answer is YES. In our world populated by those who can't wipe their own a$$es without calling for a "licensed" wiper the answer is probably no.

Somehow IT industry has progressed significantly and without major ruin to the population without any "licensing". Even though many of it's applications are in "life or death" evironment. Very few planes if any had crashed due to IT programmer's error, including the latest say 10 crashes or downings. Nor did Concordia hit the rocks due to IT problems but due to its heavily licensed and certified captain. Etc, etc.

What would work best is one "truth in advertising law" applicable to all buisnesses and trades which would say that whatever you're holding yourself as has to be truthful. So if the airline says "all our pilots have 1000 hours of training" and one of them has only have 990 the airline should be decertified to fly until that statement is true, etc. The same with doctors, lawyers, plumbers, ship captains and so on stating their credentials. That one law can take place of all the licenses we have today and then some. And it would be in any industry's interest to promulgate a set of rules by which its members have to live by. But the consumer would be the ultimate judge based upon now truthful information (otherwise even one non truth event should trigger decertification of those being untruthful including industry certifiers) whether to fly or take the train or walk or stay home for fear of now unlicensed persons all around him or her. And that's how it should be in a free society.
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:59   #253
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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To make these statistics truly meaningful, we would have to consider many variables that may affect them. Then do some serious regression analysis. Hell, I got nothing better to do with my life for the next three months; I'll get right on it. Oh, wait, I'm not a statistician. We should get the government to hire an expensive consultant to perform the analysis. The consultant will be in good standing with the right church, of course, so that we don't get accused of wasting government funds. Then, we can argue about his methodology if the results don't jive with our preconceived notions.
The real problem is that most are not in English. Some months ago by accident I saw a Swedish work about the declining of pleasure boat accident but it is hard to say what is due to licencing (that is only needed for some size of boats) and what is due to safer boats (RCD).
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:16   #254
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Speaking of declining use. Just watching our harbor for the past 10 years (yes I know very anecdotal but still indicative) I noticed a dramatic decline of motor boat use 2007 to 2011 seasons and slow but steady recovery from 2012 on. Probably mostly due to the state of the economy and gas prices. At some point the sailing vessels seemed to be the only ones coming out for a day out of the harbor. Most of the motor boats were used as floating summer homes by their owners. And during these recession years we had no waiting list for the moorings and actually quite a few empties. Now we have about 2 year wait.

I'd expect the statistics post-2012 to show a rise in accidents as I saw many more motor boats being used in these past 3 years.
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:35   #255
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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To make these statistics truly meaningful, we would have to consider many variables that may affect them. Then do some serious regression analysis. Hell, I got nothing better to do with my life for the next three months; I'll get right on it. Oh, wait, I'm not a statistician. We should get the government to hire an expensive consultant to perform the analysis. The consultant will be in good standing with the right church, of course, so that we don't get accused of wasting government funds. Then, we can argue about his methodology if the results don't jive with our preconceived notions.
Huh? What are you saying? That we shouldn't try to answer this question about whether these mandatory licensing programs do any good? The data is there. It would take time and effort to do a proper analysis, but on the scale of difficult studies, it's pretty easy. As I said, even my cursory look at Canadian data reveals a clear declining trend which did not seem to be significantly affected by the introduction of our mandatory licensing scheme. That, in itself, is enough to be sceptical. But a proper analysis of the data might reveal something else.

My point is that we don't have to guess, go with our gut, or follow some dubious belief in personal interpretations of national founding fathers. We can ask the question, and get the answer.

An obvious parallel is the graduated drivers licensing schemes that have been introduced in many countries. The data is available, it has been studied, and the benefits are clear. Why is it so wrong to ask the same question for boat licensing schemes?
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