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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 28-03-2015, 08:58   #16
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

From an educational point of few , yes , but like already mentioned , you'll never stamp out stupidity , Which means that the sensible boaters are going to be stuck with another revenue raising exercise . And I am refering of course to man powered crafts , anything with an engine ,is a different story ,mind you there are some prety dumb ones driving those , license and all .
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Old 28-03-2015, 08:59   #17
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I definitely think implementation will be a huge PIA. I know if I have an incident with a rec boater that I'm held to a higher standard regardless of fault since I have a license. I'm not advocating running down sailboats but I'm also against anchoring in the middle of the channel to fish or eat lunch.
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:05   #18
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I have watched this issue get banged around as the problem has steadily gotten worse since the late 60's. I think an obligatory safety course for all boaters is level 1. That should be sufficient for boats up to a certain size and horsepower/ground speed above which a license makes sense. PWC with engines separate training and license.
I am not confident however that any of this is going to be effective. The primary issue in most accidents around here is speed and operator awareness. Noone should be piloting boats over 25mph in darkness and few are competent to safely operate a vessel over 40. All it takes is one 4x6 or piling cut off etc and it hits the fan fast. Law needs to be written in an enforceable language and people need to be constantly reminded that the consequences of bad behavior on boats is often deadly. Bottom line make em all read Chapmans and pass an exam....."High" power boats need to be licensed in categories....
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:11   #19
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Absolutely NO!
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:12   #20
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by rjgmt1 View Post
What is the purpose of licensing?
To verify the boater has at least some understanding of the rules of the road and how to operate a boat.

I have encountered a few people on the water with zero knowledge of either.




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Originally Posted by rjgmt1 View Post
Does licensing prevent accidents, preventable or not?
Do you think it would result in more accidents if anyone that wanted could get in a car and go 70 down the freeway without having to first pass a driving test? Why are boats any different?



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Originally Posted by rjgmt1 View Post
Does it control a free people?
Should I have the right or freedom to drive a boat without any knowledge or training and due to my lack of experience smash into you? To paraphrase, your freedom ends where my bow begins.


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Originally Posted by rjgmt1 View Post
One who has the power to give license has the power to take away license?
Of course.



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Originally Posted by rjgmt1 View Post
With Rights comes Responsibilities.
Absolutely.


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Originally Posted by rjgmt1 View Post
Does license level the playing field for all or will some still be diligent and some still lax?
Just like cars on the road. There will always be some abusing the situation driving drunk, driving recklessly, etc. All that can be done is to try to minimize the problems.
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:13   #21
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

In my country (France), a license is mandatory for power boats if the engine is more than 6hp. It didn't prevent somebody to engage the autopilot while running at 20kts and begin repairing the cabin door. When the boat collided with a sailing yacht, the man at the helm was killed by the motorboat anchor.

So, a license isn't 100% effective against stupidity. If I follow the OP's reasoning, a license should be created for driving a bicycle, to prevent disturbing the truck drivers.

Alain
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:23   #22
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Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

California has passed a boater testing requirement that phases in over absurdly many years based on date of birth. I'm 66 and will never have to pass it. One of the interesting exceptions in the law is rental boats are exempt. Now does that make sense? The people with the least knowledge and experience can't be expected to know how to safely operate a boat so let's not require them to know anything but let's take their money and turn them loose with a jet ski or waterborne sport car.

Yes, I think licenses for boat operators should be required. More importantly, safe boating behavior should be enforced.


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Old 28-03-2015, 09:29   #23
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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So, a license isn't 100% effective against stupidity. If I follow the OP's reasoning, a license should be created for driving a bicycle, to prevent disturbing the truck drivers.
A 12-week course followed by a 2 year apprenticeship required to allow you to operate a bike, boat, or skateboard. Mandatory GPS trackers required, and onboard cameras to record any accidients. AIS to constantly report your position and speed, automatically disabling devices to shutdown your sails and engines if any inappropriate activity is detected by the authorities.

Yep, this is how we become safer.
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:31   #24
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Maybe the "problem" is too many people. How about a license to have kids. But i dont like the idea of a group of people getting together to tell ME what i cant do. I have been driving a boat since i was 5. By the time i was 7 i could dock my dads ski boat better than he could but now that i am 50 I am in violation because i dont have the required "boater safety" card.
I blame the Wright brothers for setting a bad example, those guys flew around in an airplane with no pilots license or aircraft registration. Probably didnt have insurance, and they definately did not file a flight plan with the FAA or even bother to get a proper weather briefing. And the plane itself OH MY was never safety inspected by the proper authorities. How irresponsible!!! COULD TWO PEOPLE BE!!!!

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Old 28-03-2015, 09:37   #25
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Yes! Although I'm normally against more bureaucracy, it's very clear that without a requirement to read/learn/understand the 'rules', most rec. boaters don't have a clue. At the very least, passing a short test to prove an understanding of the rules, both safety and navigation would be a good thing.
Possibly in many places, but the UK is a rare example of how a culture of learning without legislation exists and works. A network of small yachtclubs operating more as low budget self help groups polling together resources and knowledge helping the process along with the excellent RYA courses. Still idiots around, but in general not knowing and not trying to learn is frowned upon. If you have a stick and some rags anyway
In other countries though..... dunno
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:39   #26
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by BigBoater917 View Post
I definitely think implementation will be a huge PIA. I know if I have an incident with a rec boater that I'm held to a higher standard regardless of fault since I have a license. I'm not advocating running down sailboats but I'm also against anchoring in the middle of the channel to fish or eat lunch.

SO if some drunken dumbo WITH a license anchors in the middle of a channel to fish, what then ? Call the SWAT mob to shoot first then ask him to move, take away the worthless piece of paper or what?? Have teams of license inspectors on every boat ramp or marina dock or on locked entry/exit gates on every marina access channel. Prevent anyone un- licensed from buying boats or registering them or what?

I can understand the frustration but any solution that doesn't address the what if scenarios is not a solution but simply yet another confusion. Currently there is a licensed pilot being accused of crashing a German airbus, his license didn't one prevent that did it.

I have no boat license, but have passed a voluntary (British) RYA Yachtmaster offshore albeit 30 years ago and have an RYA ICC ( International Certificate of Competence). I also took and passed an online Florida boater test none of which means much at all here is the test, take it and see it ain't difficult r I wouln't have passed it!!


http://www.boaterexam.com/usa/
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:42   #27
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Canada enacted a Federal "pleasurecraft operating certificate" (PCOC) a few years ago.A Canadian can't operate a 10HP or over,legally,in Can. waters,without it.
There was "grandfathering" & "challenging"(writing test online) for existing boaters.
Not too onerous-just an attempt to get very basic boater safety out there.

It has not cured stupidity,kayaks,or jetskis,but it dose expose new boaters to the rules,safety,& most importantly,the responsibility that goes with "driving" another type of vehicle that could harm or kill others.
Also,it gives the courts another method of punishment in the event of "gross negligence".
Doubt if a Can. could get boat insurance without a PCOC-don't know this for sure.Insurance rates have not gone up,because of this,that I am aware of.
A road vehicle drivers license in Canada is a "priviledge,not a right" & this is hammered into us,during driver testing.Boating is now the same.

I am not a fan of "more govt",but I also don't believe I,or anyone, have more "rights" than others. Relying on other citizens to control themselves these days doesn't always work either.

Things to think about / Len
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:45   #28
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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1 On the other end of the spectrum, hasn't happened to me but most boaters I know have had kayaks or other small boats pull out in front of them.

2 And WTH is an obamaboat?
1 We have a harbor here with a lot of traffic through a very narrow opening. That is just where the f-ing rental kayaks, with GUIDE LEADERS, manage to "stage" their initial instructions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:b anghead:

How can the new kayakers learn if their instructiors don't teach them. Next time I'm in town, I'm going to stop by the rental place and explain it to them. It gets worse everytime we visit (once a month on average every year).

2 Everybody who has a boat gets a cell phone? Everybody gets a free boat if they turn in their cell phones???
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Old 28-03-2015, 09:49   #29
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I believe 41 US states require some form of boating safety education.

The National Association Of Boating Law Administrators have most of the state's education standardized.

The training only helps to a point. NJ is one of the strictest in terms of requirements, and yet the waterways are still mayhem from plain old overcrowding and people who just don't get it. The USCG had to come out and specifically call paddle boards vessels because dozens of boarders in a group would paddle out in front of tugs pushing barges in narrow waterways without a thought.

But it doesn't change stupid and arrogant. This year returning up the waterway I had more experienced cruisers (gross assumption based on boat and it's looks), hog the middle if the ICW to the point of running me out of the marked channel....then tell me I had plenty of room on the radio after I just squeaked by a marker within 5 feet.

Nope, even after teaching the certification course for 12 years....I don't see much changing. Even professional mariners and highly experienced cruisers debate the COLREGS routinely right here on CF.
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Old 28-03-2015, 10:04   #30
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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If you really want to solve the problem, provide enough officials to police the waterways and warn light offenders and fine gross offenders.
THAT is the REAL solution.

Problem in reality is, like with on land LEOs, they've all gotten off the streets and into their cars. On the water, the local police are almost worse than jetskis, kayaks and SUPS COMBINED! Only the CG actually knows how to operate boats and some of those kids on the red bloated inflatables are questionable, too.

Just read about the, for example, Florida FWC & LEOs tormenting boaters who DO follow the rules and IGNORING the lawbreaking jacka$$es. Didn't Michigan (and maybe Ohio, too) have to pass a law saying local LEOs couldn't repeatedly stop the same boater over and over again during a single day?

It's kinda like the FL anchoring debacle. The existing laws for getting rid of derelicts has not been APPLIED, and the fancy-pants landowners are using that as an excuse to get rid of perfectly fine anchored boats.

Truly, the world-turned-upside-down.

I, too, learned and learned and learned. As a kid at summer camp: how to sail, how to be courteous on the water. Never had no darned license, but took voluntary online boating tests.

The DISCOURTESY shown by many other types of on the water "skippers" is a reflection of their lack of consideration for others, which no licensing agency will ever cure (in addition to stupidity, same result), and is, in these types of people, not limited to the water.

The UK voluntary example mentioned earlier is great. Too bad us "Amurikans" know-it-all, we don't need no book learnin', just fire her up and full speed ahead.

Ever see a kayaker look BEHIND him before they execute a quick turn? Since most of them wear helmets, they oughta mandate those bicycle helmet rear view mirrors.

The boating industry is partly to blame too, since their ads for powerboats minimize fuel waste and maximize speed, speed, speed. That's what most of those jerk seem to be on anyway.
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