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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 29-03-2015, 09:15   #106
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

A written license to operate a boat is not much different than a license to drink alcohol would be.


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Old 29-03-2015, 09:51   #107
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Licensing is not 100% effective for those who operate aircraft either. So to say that if something is not 100% effective then it is worthless, is not a valid argument.

Ask yourself how many more accidents and deaths there would be if non-commercial pilots did not need to be licensed?

If professional mariners are doing many of the same things in the same waters and sometimes with the same sized vessels as amateurs, then why should amateurs be exempt from having to live up the same level of knowledge as professional mariners?
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Old 29-03-2015, 09:52   #108
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

What happens when the licensed guy at the wheel has to go to the head and leaves his buddy in charge who didn't take the new mandatory test? You going to hand cuff the captain to the wheel? Talk about opening pandoras box. The only people to benefit from this would be the blood sucking lawyers and the local counties with fines. You can't even skate on the ponds in the town I grew up in anymore because of the world of lawsuits we live in. What, the ice was to hard when your kid fell and split his head so call a lawyer. Did getting a license stop the drunk driver who passed the course to get it. The land of I'm not responsible for I my actions is what were turning into. I know that's not what my family fought for nor was it the way I was raised. Used to be people would take a little responsibility and say hey I don't know that much about boating maybe I should take voluntary course or go out with my friend a few times who has been on the water for years. Whats the old saying " those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it". Giving the government more power is just crazy. Does anyone really think you should have to register an inflatable with a 5 horsepower on it. It's all about the money and they will use the guise of safety if you let them.
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Old 29-03-2015, 10:15   #109
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
Licensing is not 100% effective for those who operate aircraft either. So that is not a very valid argument.

Ask yourself how many more accidents and deaths there would be if pilots did not need to be licensed?
Well, we don't really know do we David, but intuitively I think your assertion is likely true; there would be a lot more accidents without the high licensing standards placed on recreational pilots. I'm pretty sure that if we placed a similar high bar for recreational boaters we would see an positive impact on accident rates.

However, the cost of getting a private pilot's license is extremely high in time and money. Is it feasible to even consider this kind of intense mandatory training for boaters? Certainly not over here in North America. Both Americans and Canadians would be up in arms.

And is it desirable? The problem really isn't that big. Boating, in almost all its forms, is an extremely safe activity. It is far safer than many activities we routinely do, and that includes flying or driving.

All of this talk of mandatory boater training may be a solution in search of a problem...
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Old 29-03-2015, 10:30   #110
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

The captain of the Costa Concordia Francesco Schettino was licensed was he not? Should he be used as an example of how licensing solves all?? I've seen some dumb efforts by both amateurs and professionals licensed or not over the years.


Oh and there are fairly frequent small aircraft crashes reported here in Florida despite the pilots being licensed to fly. Plenty of Law Enforcement officers ( I assume licensed) involved in auto wrecks also, including one that killed a biker a few weeks back. Dumb incompetence is not cured by a paper license, but proper education and experience might help however.


Should cyclists and pedestrians be licensed also, plenty of dumb ones of those round here that also impede commercial traffic on the roads.

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Old 29-03-2015, 10:37   #111
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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.
By this logic, with which I don't necessarily disagree, a test for voting would be of higher priority. While some regulation is often a good idea, controlling the regulators is mostly a lost ideal.
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Old 29-03-2015, 10:39   #112
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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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
my point exactly. at one time in history, people solved their own problems, as a community. as government has gradually become more and more controlling and restricted, people turn to government as the solution to every problem. the problem is, government is ineffective much of the time. it spends far more money (anyone remember the $500 hammers?) to attain a less effective result at the expense of individual freedom.

look around you; at every other element of life where government was used to 'solve' a problem.

have extreme drunk driving laws, with rediculous standards, stopped drunk driving? no. statistics still say that drunk driving is responsible for 25% of all fatal traffic accidents. that hasn't changed. interestingly, when reading such numbers, no one seems to point out that 25% is far less than the 75% of fatal accidents caused by people who were not drunk and made decisions that resulted in a fatal accident.

how about gun control laws? hitler was the first one to claim gun control would make life safer (anyone remember how that turned out?). America has been following his example more and more as time marches on. has it helped stop violent crime? no. in fact, places with stronger gun laws have higher violent crime rates. and, of course, the liberty of law abiding citizens has taken the hit.

every time government is put in charge of an issue, the cost of a solution skyrockets and the people pay a price in decreased freedom and increased red tape.

there are solutions that can be achieved without more government involvement. i suggested one in a previous post. another is that the boating community can work to increase the education of boaters.

the same thing was done with motorcycles, in the late 70s and 80s. motorcycling organizations started working towards educating riders, working towards rider safety. accident rates dropped, although motorcycle registrations increased. it was one way motocyclists fought the helmet law. if you reduce accidents then the supposed reason for a helmet law go away. we were all willing to put forth the effort for our own benefit; that benefit being keeping the government out of our lives.

of course, when the federal government started it's blackmail of the states, many states, including mine, force helmet law regulation, anyway. why was the federal government so eager to enforce helmet laws? was it concern for rider safety? no. they were being pushed by the insurance industry, who has a lot of pull. the insurance industry loves helmet laws because a large chunk of the price you pay for a helmet goes to insurance, padding their wallets.

helmet laws actually haven't helped. statistically, helmet law states have higher accident rates than non-helmet law states, even when the non-helmet law states have a lot more riders. back before california passed it's helmet law, they had far less accidents than rhode island, which had a helmet law. you can guess the comparative motorcycle registration rates in both of these states.

then, the rich yuppies started riding, in droves. they had disposable income and thought they were cool. they bought lots of bikes; starting with big powerful bikes instead of working their way up from smaller bikes (which is generally the way most actual bikers do it). since they thought they were the end all and be all, they figured they didn't need any rider education. motorcycle accidernts increased dramatically, often involving alcohol. previously, most accidents were caused by the young hotdoggers. since then, it's been the older crowd that has been the biggest source of accidents.

my point? voluntary education, supported and championed by the people, was very effective. government regulation was not. add a spate of uneducated people, who feel they need no education, and you get proof that the previous non-governmental education push actually did work.

there is no reason that the boating community can't work towards educating it's own members, as in the UK, and achieve similar results.
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Old 29-03-2015, 10:49   #113
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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. 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.
so, what you seem to be saying is that licensing, without education, is beneficial because the money goes to better government provided facilities.

you seem dubious about education being a good thing.

i think you misunderstand the whole idea of the OP. it wasn't to introduce licensing as another tax. it was to introduce licensing with an educational requirement; to reduce accidents not to fund better ramps.

what you suggest is the very thing that most of the posters who were against a license were actually against.
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Old 29-03-2015, 10:55   #114
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

For all those arguing that a permit, license or requirement for some basic training won't stop all boating accidents; well of course not. It would be extremely nave to think that a license or restriction of any kind would be a panacea for all the ills of boating.

However some kind of requirement will keep at least a few of the totally untrained and unskilled from taking the helm of a boat.
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Old 29-03-2015, 10:57   #115
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

how much MORE govt control are you seeking??
they already control that which female bodies are to do and how you perform personal security and have reversed constitutional rights and removed anchoring privileges....not mention they also control via bureaucracy the manner in which you raise your own children and what you are allowed to teach em and when you are allowed to teach em that, as well as controlling behavior and habits and from whom and with whom and how to be insured mandatorily and what medical procedures they allow uou to access and utilize.

mebbe govt needs to make a law that only those with common sense should consider boat ownership.
more licenses means more control and less freedoms.
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Old 29-03-2015, 11:14   #116
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

im what way has the licensing of automobile drivers hurt the industry.
in what way wi your horrible drivers record affect your ability to own and operate your boats aka homes
and vice versa
you drinkers..do you think you will not lose your homes due to loss of license to operate your vessel.

and. finally, why do you wish so much govt control of your daily lives.
govt control is not a good thing.
yes there are accidents and foulups and problems.
those are not govt responsibility.
teach and form groups in real life to teach safety.
these options are already in place.
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Old 29-03-2015, 11:21   #117
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Intuitively I believe there are three major causes of death related to boating.

1.) Speed/collision
2.) Drownings due to any number of causes. Passengers falling off a boat. Fishermen falling off a boat while peeing over the side. Swimmers being run over by a boat being driven by an innatentive operator.
3.) Sinking due to explosion, fire or operators exposing the boat to wind and waves in excess of the boat's ability by design to stay afloat.

*A license will not stop most boaters from operating their boat at excessive speeds.
*Even if they have a license, boaters inattentive to what's going on around them, will continue to run over swimmers.
*A license will not stop fishermen from peeing over the side or passengers from going overboard.
*A license will not prevent boat operators from exposing themselves and their boat to potentially hazardous conditions.

In truth, what will a license do to change most boater's behaviour in significant ways?

The boating environment bears no resemblance to what vehicle operators experience with traffic lights, signs, speed bumps, paved roads and the omnipresent traffic enforcement units.

I can't imagine what more will be gained over and above existing boating safety regulations and laws by adding a license requirement.
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Old 29-03-2015, 11:24   #118
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I'm starting to get a handle on why many Americans have deep distrust of tax and licencing schemes. For example - a property tax on boats? WTF? So I'll keep an open mind when I see those complaints.

The main point of some sort of boat operator 'licence' is as proof that there's been some minimum exposure to boating education. In Canada, it's a one-time $40 fee, so it's not exactly a revenue-maker.

Quote:
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By this logic, with which I don't necessarily disagree, a test for voting would be of higher priority.
Voting is a right; operating a boat in a public waterway is a privilege. Relatively speaking...

Quote:
Originally Posted by first wind
at one time in history, people solved their own problems, as a community.
At it's best, government IS the expression of the collective will of the community. So the problem isn't government per se (there is no civilized life without it), it's making sure your government truly understands and expresses your will. (Biggest mistake IMHO - giving corporations (amoral by definition) the same rights as a person. Not going well...)

On the small end of the scale - I regard small human-powered craft (kayak, canoe, rowboat, paddleboard) the same as bikes - these are rights, not privileges, same as walking or swimming. They cannot be regulated efficiently, best we can hope for is to push education. In highschool, my first exposure to sailing was as an optional offering from the phys-ed dept. It was a fantastic way to start right.
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Old 29-03-2015, 11:34   #119
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

I am old enough to remember the debates in Australia regarding boat registrations "it will only cost a few dollars and it will allow miscreants to be identifiable" in the State I am presently in a 40' boat with a 30hp engine costs about $450 per year to keep registered. Resist all bureaucratic schemes to the death or suffer the consequences.
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Old 29-03-2015, 11:36   #120
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Seems like some insurance companies may already require "proof of competency training".

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