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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, 14:27   #76
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I highly doubt it's the internet making boating safer.....the type of boats where people are dying are the type the people use occasionally like snow skis or golf clubs. These people aren't the types to spend on boating forums.

In fact very few boating people I know except for a handful spend time on these sites. Including avid sailors, liveaboards, and the rest of the professional and active boaters I see every day.

My bet is safer boats, better motors, mandatory life jackets for kids and that has expanded as more boats require them for all hands, BUI laws, more VHF radios, cell phones, better weather availability, etc.....not the Internet except maybe a little.

Maybe Lake Superior...but my SAR experience would say that proportionally motorboats, while greater in number in situations requiring assistance related to fuel or mechanical trouble, all forms of boating require assistance on a regular basis.
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Old 28-03-2015, 14:41   #77
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Thumbs down Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I voted "No." I Have been a boater for over fifty years and have seen my share of fools on the water. I don't believe an operator's license would change that anymore than what we see on the road today. It would add a very deep layer of bureaucratic profiteering - and who wants DMV involved in boating? I live in Florida where boat registration is required (or documentation) as well as a boating safety course that can be done online with a card issued when completed.

I would be in favor of supporting our Coast Guard with better funding so that our waterways could have more enforcement of the rules in place. Let's not give up any more of our freedoms because of a minority of incompetent people.
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Old 28-03-2015, 14:42   #78
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by woodguy View Post
We all benefit from the marine services that government provides: dredging, channel marking, rescue, clean water enforcement and ICW bridge operations to name a few. Paying for these thru licensing fees seems reasonable to me.
If you pay for all the services you use the fees and licenses what are your taxes for? Two major justifications for taxation are protection of the shared environment and provision of transport infrastructure which covers all of this does it not?
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Old 28-03-2015, 14:43   #79
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

You're probably on to something with the cell phone thing. The rise of cellphones and cheap GPS units has definitely raised the general boating publics access to position info and communications. If we could just change the name of every boat to the cell phone number onboard we'd be all set.
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Old 28-03-2015, 14:52   #80
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

One of the main reasons for some sort of licensing or certification is so there is something to take away and prevent recurring idiotic boating stunts...like BUI .

Prior to licensing/certification how can you prevent someone from boating after they prove themselves unworthy?

Sure, just like driving with a revoked license is fairly rampant...my guess it does remove the majority from the pool when the license or certification is yanked.

Not sure if there is any stats on this area yet, but the LEOS I've discussed this with all seem to agree this is probably the best reason so far.
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Old 28-03-2015, 14:53   #81
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by first wind View Post
excellent post but, i'd like to point out that irregardless is not really a word; although you hear it everywhere, now.

regardless means that something is a certain way without difference (or regard) for any other conditions or influences.

adding 'ir' to a word makes it the opposite of what it means. thus, irregardless, if it was a word, would mean 'with exception to certain conditions".

i find the decay of language in modern society to be deplorable.
You're correct.
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Old 28-03-2015, 15:08   #82
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by GAWsailsflorida View Post
I voted "No." I Have been a boater for over fifty years and have seen my share of fools on the water. I don't believe an operator's license would change that anymore than what we see on the road today. It would add a very deep layer of bureaucratic profiteering - and who wants DMV involved in boating? I live in Florida where boat registration is required (or documentation) as well as a boating safety course that can be done online with a card issued when completed.

I would be in favor of supporting our Coast Guard with better funding so that our waterways could have more enforcement of the rules in place. Let's not give up any more of our freedoms because of a minority of incompetent people.
Lived in FL 15 years, never be asked/required to take a boating safety course.

But I have been yelled at by morons anchored in the middle of a marked channel for passing by them too close. Hence, if the morons had to take a test similar to a driver's license, it's possible they may have learned that it's illegal to anchor in a marked channel. I vote for making boaters aware of the rules via a licensing mechanism vs. pouring more $$ into enforcement.
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Old 28-03-2015, 18:26   #83
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Marine42247,yes i think all boaters should be license because this way they can learn all the rules and markers in the water and when too slow causing a wave in piers close to land and Jet Skiers especially they don't the danger that's in the water i saw with my own eyes a Jet Skier in Yonkers,NY ,carrying a baby with a life jacket in front of the Jet Ski that's an accident waiting to happen. I don't why these do this but it's dangerous carrying a baby on a Jet Ski this last year on July 4th 2014 its crazy ,but yes they must enforce all boaters to have a license to operate a boat or Jet Ski ,I myself have a license for both Jet Ski and Boating I have mine from New Jersey and New York State Troopers give the test too all New Yorkers save a life !!!! US Marine ,Retired
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Old 28-03-2015, 18:28   #84
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Marine42247 ,Mistake that is going to fast causing a "Wake " on Piers " slow down Hello !!!!
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Old 28-03-2015, 18:46   #85
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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I think boating would be safer and more enjoyable if everyone operating a boat was required to pass a test and obtain a license. It's not that big a burden.
Agreed. Its not a high hurdle to jump over I am sure.

On the upside, the government would have to further define exactly what "no wake" and "slow" means, otherwise they could not devise a test for it.
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Old 28-03-2015, 19:46   #86
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I voted ye as like the OP I'm a professional mariner and I hate playing dodge the dumby. I'm Canadian and Canada has a fairly effective licensing program in place. The exam is fairly easy to pass, has no recurrent costs. It exposes people to the concept of boating safety, nothing before did that. It creates dialogue and awareness, nothing more, nothing less.
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Old 28-03-2015, 20:32   #87
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

The attached photo is from June of 2012. It shows two paddle boarders who from my perspective were attempting to do one of two things. A commit suicide or B plant a bomb on a cruise ship. I was in the process of delivering bunker (fuel) barges to the Disney cruise ship in the background and the Carnival Splendor which had just docked at the next pier North, which is out of the frame. These two individuals both had backpacks with them and managed to get between the ships and the end of the pier as the Carnival splendor was making their approach. At one point they were between my tug and barge unit which is 400' long and the Carnival Splendor. Fortunately we were all able to avoid running them over without hitting anything else in the process or spilling any oil. The USCG and NYPD harbor unit caught up with these two individuals and took things from there.
Unfortunately this is becoming common place. Something has to change and I just think education is a good place to start.
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Old 28-03-2015, 20:41   #88
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Photo attached hopefully
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Old 28-03-2015, 21:02   #89
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I am a retired airplane pilot and have operated boats all of my life. Most of my experience was in the midwest on lakes, reservoirs, and some river operation. When I retired and moved to FL, I soon realized just how thin my boating education was. I knew virtually nothing of the rules of the road. I decided to go to "school" and get educated. I got my pilots license at 19, and, of course, the experience requirements, dual instruction requirements, written test, and practical test were, and still are, required. At 19 years of age, I was a newly minted licensed pilot with very little experience, but with a good basic education of aviation "rules of the road", some knowledge of the things that could kill me (or others), and a real sense of pride and accomplishment.

It is with some degree of discomfort that I vote yes on this, because I am very rarely in favor of giving the government more powers over individuals. However, like driving a car, or flying an airplane, operating a boat is not a right, it is a privilege and so, in my opinion, should be regulated as such. Six years of boating in FL has brought me to the conclusion that our system of turning someone loose with anything from a dinghy to a very large yacht, with no experience or training, is not a good idea. I would be interested to know how the insurance industry would weigh in on this.
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Old 28-03-2015, 21:13   #90
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I'm in favour of skippers in anything larger than a dinghy & 10 hp having to prove they've taken at least one boater safety course. The Canadian PCOC card sort of does that.

From the viewpoint of sailing our 19' sailboat on a great lake, we seldom have issues with jetskis, runabouts or kayakers. Rather, the boats that cause us the most grief are big powerboaters who have their floating condos set to maximum wake, or can't put down their drink so they'd have one hand to steer with. I also have to say that quite a few large sailboats (30' +), under power or sail, have considered themselves exempt from the normal right-of-way rules when it comes to us.

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