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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 07-04-2015, 15:32   #301
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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H V B - You claim to have been an experienced sailor, yet you still needed to hire a tutor to help you pass the licensing test. That is an excellent anecdote in support of mandatory licensing.
Have you considered the point that some have already made that is just the opposite of this "conclusion?"

It's not so apparent, because "teaching to the test" is one of the many issues facing the entire educational system, not only here.

When I took my Professional Engineer licesnse exam, I studied with a great instructor who taught to the test, and this was in 1980! Each weeks homework assignment was made up of examples from previous tests, and face it folks, even in engineering there are only so many questions you can ask. He gave us the answers in writing and if you knew that stuff you passed.

I worked for 40 years in the business, and I know some really good engineers, but there aren't too many. Most don't understand the basic principles and do stuff by rote, miss obvious foreseen consequences and have to start over. It's very disappointing.

They all passed the same test!

I go back to what Mike has been saying, and others. The jerks will always be out there. We already know who they.

The difficulty is getting the authorities to implement existing laws, not make new ones that impact those of us who know what we're doing.

Years ago some jerk pulled out of a side fairway right under my bow and I was moving at idle speed, less than 2 knots. He zipped right out, tore some scratches in my bow and down the port side of the boat, no damage to him. Wasn't a zippy, just a really run-down old small sailboat. Dummies.

But still, statistically and anecdotally, the zippys are the problem. And they can learn to a test just as well as anybody else. After all, they got their driver license, didn't they?

Heck, if everybody subscribed to BoatUS's Seaworthy magazine, it'd help a lot.

Education is great, start 'em when they're young, phase it in if you have to, follow Alabama's example, grandfather us old geezers in and go after the zippys.
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Old 07-04-2015, 15:41   #302
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Sorry, your examples missed the mark:

I'm not aware of any parenting rules. I duckduckgoed "Alabama parenting laws and rules" and came up with nothing except custody laws.

As school kid, I was given some serious education on walking safety and pedestrian rules. All elementary schools should provide that.

I am also unaware of any rules concerning the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes. (There are driving laws concerning alcohol, but driving on public roads does require a license.)
Strange, your state does not have any child safety laws, rules and regs currently on the books? How many parents lose their children to CPS daily for not following these seemingly simple rules - don't injure your child, don't molest your child, don't starve your child, etc? You are not aware of any of these rules? Really??
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Old 07-04-2015, 16:20   #303
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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You are missing the point. Licensing is not meant to improve or test your skills. Licensing tests demonstrate that you have knowledge of the rules.

From a public resource standpoint, licensing is far more cost-effective than having Coast Guard and State LEOs arresting people who are ignorant of the rules. Believe it or not, there are responsible people working in public positions that have seen enough over the course of their professional tenure to come to well-informed decisions on how to best serve their constituency. Their recommendations are then proposed in legislature, discussed, amended, and voted upon. When considering laws, it helps to consider the big picture rather than the limitations of one's personal experience.
believe it or not, there are people working in public positions that vote in ways that further the agenda of individuals, organizations, and businesses that support said people working in public positions' bid to stay in said positions or gain higher positions.

for instance, motorcyclists in the state of maryland agreed to pay extra for their tags to fund a rider educatoon course. this idea was created by and supported by motorcyclists. the course would be completely volutary (originally).

then, the state tried to close that course, without reducing the cost of motorcycle tags, to help a group of retired police who were planning on opening a motorcycle rider's education course; one that would be paid for by students (the original course was paid for by the increase in motorcycle license plate fees).

motorcyclists and motorcycle rights organizatons, here, raised holy hell and that bit of corruption ended before it started.

so, what you had was people in public positions voting to rip off the people paying taxes in order to help their buddies (retired from public positions) to create a monopoly.

so.....what was it you were saying about people in public positions working to serve the best interests of the people?
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Old 07-04-2015, 16:33   #304
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Not even close, as far as I can tell. One person attempted to write an article on how dangerous golf is and came up with 8 deaths between 1989 and 2010, worldwide: Death by golf ball not all that uncommon | November 29, 2010 | Bart Pfankuch | HT Golf

The annual number of boating accident deaths in the years 2008 to 2012, just in the USA, averaged over 701. That is almost 2 boating accident deaths per day.
almost 2 per day. you can't even say a solid 2 per day. having the accidents compared to the number of days overplays the severity of the issue. even quoting the complete number of deaths is misleading. 701 sounds like a big number. but, only if you don't realize that is spread over a 4 year period. that's only 173 deaths a year. most people don't automatically think in 4 year periods but, in one year periods.

still, that number means nothing. less than 2 deaths per day but, compared to how many boaters on the water for that day? that's the important, meaningful number: deaths per people on the water.

2 deaths a day would be a big deal if only hundreds of people were on the water every day. or would it be? 2 out of, say, 300 people wouldn't big a big number. it would be a tiny percent of the whole. but, the truth is, there are thousands of people on the water, every day. so, what you really have is almost 2 deaths out of thousands of boaters. not a huge problem.

and, then, you have to consider how many of those deaths were actually caused by someone breaking some rule or doing something uneducated or reckless and how many were just accidents or honest mistakes in human judgement; in other words, events that might happen regardless of testing, learning, or licensing.
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Old 07-04-2015, 16:50   #305
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I well remember British statistics some years ago showed clearly that more people drowned in their cars each year than did from boats and of course those car drivers were all properly licensed. One incident I do recall in my home town of Poole involved folks returning from a celebratory meal at a restaurant in the next town (Swanage) down the coast, via the chain ferry that runs across the harbour entrance and cuts the road distance by over 25mls. Their meal went on longer than planned and they missed the last ferry crossing of the day. The ferry was 'parked' for the night off the shore away from the car ramps and the happy ( read 'merry') eaters drove straight down the ramp into the water not realising there was no car ferry there. Moral? don't eat out!


Other incidents involved people parking on the local Quayside and neglecting to apply the parking brake or selecting the wrong gear to move off. again these were fully licenced plonkers.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:07   #306
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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...
I was the same with my driving test. Once I got my driving license I still didn't know how to take a roundabout, or drive on a freeway, as that wasn't part of the test, so it wasn't thought in driving school.

Tests just demonstrate you ability to pass tests...
....
Yes sure and I have already said that I see no point in a licence that does not stand for a certain level of practical and theoretical knowledge, the one needed to pass the licence. If the content of the knowledge is the adequate one is a completely different matter but with a lot of good graduated sailing courses around it does not seem dificult to me to have tests that would test the knowledge of the "right" knowledge needed to sailing in different situations.

Regarding the ability to pass tests you certainly don't think that a Captain of a sea liner a captain of an airplane liner or o certified surgeon has not the knowledge that was needed for having passed all tests that they needed to get their licences?

If a test is not well done, if a licence has not behind it necessarily the right training and knowledge needed for doing some functions or jobs is an entirely different matter from the one that is to know if a licence that certify a certain level of competence is needed or not.

Obviously there are testing systems able to warrant those competences as well as the right training programs and needed theory knowledge.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:42   #307
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Regarding the ability to pass tests you certainly don't think that a Captain of a sea liner a captain of an airplane liner or o certified surgeon has not the knowledge that was needed for having passed all tests that they needed to get their licences?
In none of the cases you give as example is passing a test deemed sufficient...
A Captain needs to do a lot more than just pass a few tests before he gets to command a liner. Exactly because passing a test only proves you can pass the test.

But this is mostly besides the point.

It's not "can recreational boats be licensed" but "should recreational boats be licensed". In other words, what is the problem that you are trying to solve here.
The real issue is not if it is possible to test sailing competence, but if this is needed. Is there really a problem that a licensing scheme solves?

It is interesting that in France you do need a licence for motor boats, but not for sail boats. I guess that the law makers in France don't see a problem that needs solving here either.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:52   #308
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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In none of the cases you give as example is passing a test deemed sufficient...
A Captain needs to do a lot more than just pass a few tests before he gets to command a liner. Exactly because passing a test only proves you can pass the test.

But this is mostly besides the point.

It's not "can recreational boats be licensed" but "should recreational boats be licensed". In other words, what is the problem that you are trying to solve here.
The real issue is not if it is possible to test sailing competence, but if this is needed. Is there really a problem that a licensing scheme solves?

It is interesting that in France you do need a licence for motor boats, but not for sail boats. I guess that the law makers in France don't see a problem that needs solving here either.
You don't need any sort of license for a sail boat here either, as long as it doesn't have an engine.
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:44   #309
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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...
The real issue is not if it is possible to test sailing competence, but if this is needed. Is there really a problem that a licensing scheme solves?

It is interesting that in France you do need a licence for motor boats, but not for sail boats. I guess that the law makers in France don't see a problem that needs solving here either.
Yes I agree and i have already said that. Take for instance Swiss, without no sea borders and just some lakes, or some American land locked states: Would be a sailing licence needed on those countries or states? I don't think so.

Now, take for instance the European countries that have borders with the med or near by, by far the area with more recreational boats around: On Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Monte Negro, Slovenia, Turkey in all these countries licences are needed to operate a cruising boat, in most of them if not all, graduated licences. These are all the European countries with med borders.

The only exception regarding sailing boats is France where boats that have sails as main propulsion and have a small auxiliary engine only need licence for interior waters (channels). Motor-sailors and Motorboats need a graduated licence in France for all waters.

The fact that all European countries with more pleasure boats around, all demand a licence is indicative of the need they see in having one. Do you think they are all wrong and don't know what's best for them, in what regards safety in their waters?

By the way have somebody some kind of map with the US states where boat licences are mandatory? It would be interesting to see if they also correspond to the ones that have the waters with more pleasure boats around.
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:52   #310
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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........... By the way have somebody some kind of map with the US states where boat licences are mandatory? It would be interesting to see if they also correspond to the ones that have the waters with more pleasure boats around.
It's not that easy. Many states have laws requiring a boating course and/or license for boaters born after a certain date, effectively grandfathering in middle aged and older boaters. In fifty years, most all boaters will be required to have the course or license. Some would list these states as requiring a safety course, but in reality, most boaters will not have to have one so they really shouldn't be in that category.

Currently, Washington, DC does require proof of completion of a recognized safe boating course for anyone operating a boat in DC waters. DC doesn't have a lot of water, though. I have heard that New Jersey may require a license or safe boating course.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:07   #311
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

As the operator of large vessels, if I had a dollar for every idiot pleasure craft operator that has cut me off or cut across my bow I would be a wealthy man. Allowing some rich fool to go out and operate anything he can afford without any training is ludicrous!
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:56   #312
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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The fact that all European countries with more pleasure boats around, all demand a licence is indicative of the need they see in having one. Do you think they are all wrong and don't know what's best for them, in what regards safety in their waters?
But your "fact" is incorrect.
For example the UK and The Netherlands don't require licensing. These are the countries that _invented_ recreational boating... (Yacht is a word that comes from the Dutch language).
So in spite of their huge recreational fleets, and long traditions they don't see a need for licensing. Are they all wrong?
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:13   #313
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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It is interesting that in France you do need a licence for motor boats, but not for sail boats. I guess that the law makers in France don't see a problem that needs solving here either.
Wow! That's what we should do!

But the oil companies wouldn't allow it...
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:13   #314
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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But your "fact" is incorrect.
For example the UK and The Netherlands don't require licensing. These are the countries that _invented_ recreational boating... (Yacht is a word that comes from the Dutch language).
So in spite of their huge recreational fleets, and long traditions they don't see a need for licensing. Are they all wrong?
Yes off course but you would find more Dutch and British boats cruising on the med then cruising on their own waters I don't know if that is true but if not there should not be a big difference.

But the point is that on the med you would not find out only British and Dutch boats but Spanish, French, Italian, Greek, Croatian, Swedish, Danish, German, Norwich, Ostrich and from almost any nationality. Much more sailboats (of all nationalities) than what you can find on the waters of UK or Holland.

That's why, due to being the area where you can find by far more private boats that the countries that have jurisdiction over those areas have felt first the need to regulate the traffic in what regards safety namely knowledge of the sea rules and sea good practice making mandatory the licences to all that sail on those waters.

Regarding Holland it is not true that they do not demand mandatory licences to all private boat skippers: If the boat has more than 50ft or if it is not able to go faster then 11K, then a licence is needed. I guess I would need one to sail my 41ft sailboat
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:38   #315
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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But the point is that on the med you would not find out only British and Dutch boats but Spanish, French, Italian, Greek, Croatian, Swedish, Danish, German, Norwich, Ostrich and from almost any nationality. Much more sailboats (of all nationalities) than what you can find on the waters of UK or Holland.
There are more pleasure boats in the Netherlands then in Spain and Italy combined. And that on a much smaller area.

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That's why, due to being the area where you can find by far more private boats that the countries that have jurisdiction over those areas have felt first the need to regulate the traffic in what regards safety namely knowledge of the sea rules and sea good practice making mandatory the licences to all that sail on those waters.
Again, this is not borne out by the facts. Norway, Finland and Sweden each have a pleasure craft fleet of a bout 7 million. The UK and the Netherlands each about 5. I would therefore guess that the Baltic probably has several times the amount of pleasure craft the med has...

And the countries that border the med do not require licenses from "all that sail on those waters", since they don't require it from vessels under foreign flags...
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