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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, 21:31   #91
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Nor do I, especially not in someone else's thread. I'll just say you need to present actual evidence, not just assertions, if you're going to make these kinds of sweeping statements.



Could be ... although I'd need to see more than correlation to go with this one. Actually, it should be testable since we could look at boaters who use the Internet vs those who don't.

My bet is the mortality and morbidity rates are dropping b/c our population is getting older. Young men are the ones involved in most of these accidents, so just like with crime, we're seeing a demographic impact as young men turn into old men.

... but I don't have evidence for this assertion either, so maybe it is due to the impact of CF
CF?

you could be right about the aging population thing. there must be some data, somewhere, that might answer that question.
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Old 28-03-2015, 21:40   #92
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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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 $$ into enforcement.
and you think that a 'licensing mechanism' isn't going to cost 'more $$'?
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Old 28-03-2015, 22:00   #93
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

The problem is more government in our lives and try living in New York. All they want is the money. They really don't care about the incidents. You have the county where I keep my boat, NASSAU, the town, Town of North Hempstead and the local village. Manhasset Bay Constable boat, and the Coast Guard is all over us too, because we are by the bridges and the entrance to the east river. They use any excuse to pull you over and if the town thinks it can make more money it will tell the Bay constable and the Nassau County police boat to write tickets at will. On top of that they would now get to charge you for a mandatory boating coarse and your license and renewal every couple of years. In Suffolk county they have already instituted a mandatory course and while yes I agree it has it's benefits, why should a 60 year old Montauk fisherman who knows more about boating then most coast guard cadets have to pay for a license. I for one and my family were all boaters and what they called clam diggers back in the day in Port Washington if your Family had been there for generations. I was almost born on a boat. I was boarded last summer by four 20 year old coasties in their orange RIB. Turns out most of them are from the mid west and were never on a boat until the academy. I knew more about boating at 5 they they knew. The problem is the technology, it allows these assholes who can afford a big boat with all the goodies to think they don't need to know anything about boating. Just turn on the GPS and set the auto pilot and go. My brother and his three kids were almost run over last year in thick fog off Block Island by a huge powerboat going full speed in virtually no visibility. These are the jerks that scare me. No skills whatsoever. In the balance of more Government intrusion or a few dopes on the water. I'll buy ans AIS and look out for the dopes.
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Old 28-03-2015, 22:28   #94
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I don't see whether the current common approach of one-time mandatory minimal boater education fits your poll.

Also, what about types of watercraft with very different stability, speed, and hazard characteristics, or very different accident rates?
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Old 28-03-2015, 22:45   #95
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Your goal is more educated boaters with the basis that this would make things safer.

I think that the error comes in believing that a testing system would provide this. I recently did the 7 day live aboard ASA and the driving purpose of their test was to "pre qualify" you for chartering a boat. While I found value (I won't be chartering any boats because as far as I know all the charter companies won't allow single handers) in the course because I was looking for hands on experience. The testing was simple and more along the lines of modern education, study for the test, pass the test, wipe the slate clean and get ready for the next test. Driver's License are done in much the same way. These really turn into desk-job creation tools and a revenue stream for the administration and if what you see on any large US city streets provide little guarantee of a safe environment.

From a personal freedom standpoint, I fail to see the reason why I need permission from anyone to do something that has no physical effect on another. If I run into your boat then I am financially (and possible criminally) responsible to make "it right", irregardless if I have a license or not. I agree there are too many stupid people in the world (on water and land) and they should all go to someplace I am not, but I realize I just can't force people to do that because I don't agree with their level of education, knowledge of risks, or abilities to evaluate what is safe and what is not.

(point being that this becomes another pain in the ass box I have to check off to get permission from a nanny state to do something I want to do that because I am responsible will have <10% of affecting someone else and the proposed solution doesn't remove the problem in reality).

But American's be lovin' their rules, regulations and lines.
We'll said brother. Do we really want another runaway beauracracy that we are forced to fund with the result being just more big government? Can anyone say TSA?
Lets put another nail in the coffin of freedom. I'd rather keep the freedom and put up with the idiots, the freedom is one of the best parts of being a mariner Please realize more government is never the answer. We need to police ourselves, including the yahoos, it's the cost of freedom we need to be willing to pay.

Good debate.

Ed
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Old 29-03-2015, 03:25   #96
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I havnt read all the responses so far, so apologies if someone else has already pointed this out.

Recreational boats are already required to be registered over here (Australia) and that goes for jet skies too. Anything with HP above 4hp (I think) is required to be registered and the operator required to be licensed.

Non motor sail boats and tenders to larger vessels don't (depending on the size)

The benefits to better registration in Tasmania is clearly being show with better launching facilities around the state.
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Old 29-03-2015, 04:42   #97
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I'd like to thank everyone for staying on track for the most part and being civil.

I'm very much for personal freedom and responsibility, however when someone else exercising their freedom impacts me (almost literally) then there is an issue. If you don't think we need a recreational license structure, how would you suggest we improve the knowledge of the boating public?
What if a new owner was required to demonstrate proficiency to a seller (not private sales)? I'm for some kind of education, I have a USCG license but took the state Safe Boating class as part of a Boy Scout merit badge and to see what they're teaching these guys. I understand the discussion that it'll be a money grab by a lot of states, but even Power Squadron and USCG Aux classes cost a few bucks and boating isn't cheap. If you drop thousands (or way more) on a boat why not spend $50 a head to get a clue on how to be safe using it?

I would like to believe that we all want better, more educated, boaters out on the water with us. It's easy to blame boats that aren't in our particular class (sailboats blame cruisers, tugs blame sailboats, everybody blames kayaks) how do we get better boaters out of the deal?
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Old 29-03-2015, 05:53   #98
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I've been sailing since age five. Few years back wife and I paid three hundred bucks to go up to Bryant Park to spend about five and a half hours taking an eight hour NY state required boating safety class.

Well, eight hours of instruction is what the state requires the classes to provide. Five and a half hours is what our instructor guaranteed would be sufficient for us to pass the test.

Her family had a driver's education business and she was spending her Saturday filling a state-mandated niche. She had never been on a boat other than the Staten Island Ferry, but she was interested to learn that in fact a vessel-not-under-command could never be the give-way-vessel.

We mostly watched videos about how dangerous bow-riding is and how my gas engine should have a spark arrestor. What a waste of time and money. Here's one of the videos. Which you can watch for free at home. It's a pretty good video. I scored 100 on the test.

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Old 29-03-2015, 06:12   #99
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I'm also surprised there is no licensing requirement in usa. As said, it's been a requirement in Australia for many years. Jet skis had seperate licensing for over 10 years also. I didn't need a licence to drive a 40 foot cat, not sure how that works.

In NSW we have to stay under 0.05 alcohol, but I think wa doesn't have that requirement.

We also have fishing licenses! Apparently the money goes to buying back commercial fishing licenses in certain areas and to restock. Apparently fishing has improved since that has started.

I think licensing with education can work, but often governments just use it as a cash grab with no real education.
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Old 29-03-2015, 07:17   #100
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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I'm also surprised there is no licensing requirement in usa.
It is state specific. AL has licensing requirements with required course. I'm sure there are others. In my home state, they use registration. EVERYTHING gets registered (kayaks/ paddleboats on up), yearly. They have went so far in recent years to require permits for ATVs, even if used on private land only.

Point being, registration has nothing to do with safety, as others suggested. Yes, it's just a money grab.
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Old 29-03-2015, 07:23   #101
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I think a safety course, something like the USPS offers, should be required.
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Old 29-03-2015, 07:24   #102
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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In my home state, they use registration. EVERYTHING gets registered (kayaks/ paddleboats on up), yearly.
Kayaks require registration?!?

What about stand up paddle boards and surfboards?!?
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Old 29-03-2015, 08:27   #103
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I'd ask a simple question: Do these mandatory recreational operator training schemes work? Do they produce fewer accidents, less property damage, fewer injuries, fewer deaths? There appears to be a number of countries around the world that use some form of mandatory licensing. Surely it shouldn't be hard to answer the question of whether these programs work.

I've tried to answer this question by looking at Canadian data, but so far I've not found any clear evidence for the benefit of our program. What about these other countries who have gone this route? Any credible evidence that these programs improve morbidity or mortality (or whatever you want to measure)?

I will speculate that the apparent dearth of clear evidence suggests that, at very least, the benefits of mandatory recreational boater training is unclear, and likely nonexistent.

I'm not spiritually opposed to good government regulations and programs. I'm all for higher taxation or user fees if they support needed effective programs. So far, I've not seen any evidence to show that these mandatory boater training programs work.

You can't regulate idiocy away, but you can educate it away. The UK's approach of making boater education and respectful operation a key part of the boating culture is, I think, superior to any licensing scheme I've seen. Of course this solution takes more time, and is harder than simply passing more laws and hiring more police.
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Old 29-03-2015, 08:46   #104
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

It seems to me that insurance would be the determiner.

Those without either a long clean record or substantial boater education would be higher risks and thus would pay more.

But the reality is I just upped my liability limits by $200,000 for about $50 a year. My hull coverage for liveaboard is around $1200 for $50,000 coverage with a $2,000 deductible.

I might be naive about insurance, but to me it sounds like operator error liability can't be too big of a deal when injuring those onboard or on other vessels or even damaging something other than your boat.

So it would seem to me that education isn't a big deal as determined by the only other people betting money on you.

If they DID have a hugely skewed price in based on education and or evaluating accidents based on lack of knowledge, it might encourage people to become more educated and experienced.

But for now, someone betting money on boaters doesn't seem to think g that good boating safety education is that big of a deal.I think the insurance companies know that the trend of appeared increased safety is from a variety of factors...not just because of the mandatory training required in many places.
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Old 29-03-2015, 08:54   #105
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I voted no for the basic premise that a license is an acknowledgment that it is a privilege and not an inborn right of free citizens. As in "driving license" vs. riding a horse out in the pasture. ANd I find it ironic that we have as much % of the "yes" votes among supposedly "free spirit" cruisers or future cruisers.

Lest we all forget how personal income tax was first presented by the Feds in 1910s - as temporary wartime 1% tax on then millionaires which of course quickly morphed into a monster we have today. Funny how we never learn.
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