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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, 12:04   #121
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Well, of course your initial assertion is clearly untrue. There are tons of government programs which are cost-effective solutions to some of society's collective problems. You know, stuff like food safety, road construction, public education, healthcare (in almost every developed country at least ), nuclear power regulations, traffic rules, police, military, fire services... All these government programs require taxation and/or fees. So it is hyperbole to say more government regulation is never the solution. Sometimes government is the most efficient solution. Sometimes it's not.

Your solution seems a reasonable one. It piggybacks on an existing government program (registration), so should result in little additional cost. Although as I understand your country (I'm Canadian), you don't have to register a boat. State licensing is an option, is it not? so you'd then have to run parallel systems in all your 50 states. Still might be cheaper, but now it starts to get more complicated.

But again, I'm not really in favour of these kinds of programs b/c I doubt their efficacy. In fact, Canada presents a perfect case study to see if forcing everyone to take a basic boating-skills course has any effect on accident rates. Everyone in Canada who operates a power-driven boat needs to have passed an exam that tests basic boating competency. This was phased in over a number of years, and is now mandatory. So here is the perfect test case to see if this has made any difference. This is a no-brainer kind of study, so surely it's been done. Anyone know there results?
Just to clarify the pcoc. It was instituted to control young people on Sea doos and fast power boats. As the Gov'mt of the day didn't want to be seen as prejudicial to any one segment of society they mandated it for everyone. The end result nothing as changed except another industry was created. At present there is no annual fee but I expect that will change in the not so distant future. The last thing you want is for the government to get involved any more than it all ready is.
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Old 29-03-2015, 12:05   #122
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by first wind View Post
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.
How the hel$ did you think I wanted licensing without education?

I said it can work assuming the government didn't just take it as a cash grab and education/skills were tied to the licence in order to get one.

In Australia a boat licence is similar to a car licence. Show the authorities you understand all the rules and voila you get a licence. Break enough rules and they will take it away from you. Now the payment of a renewal fee every 5 years is not ideal, but their excuse is they use that money for enforcement of rules. There are plenty of MSB, coastguard, police floating around the waterways that we don't really have di@khead$ except for some on jetskiis but that is another topic..

When I got my licence I already knew the rules so just sat for the exam and was given my licence. Other people study up on the rules then sit for it.
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Old 29-03-2015, 12:06   #123
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Seems like some insurance companies may already require "proof of competency training".
This is a very good point. If all boat insurers required some proof of operator education before granting liability insurance at a reasonable rate, then there would be a positive incentive to take a course, hence a market for such courses.
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Old 29-03-2015, 12:31   #124
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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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 na´ve 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.
i refer you to the quote by Banjamin Franklin, in an earlier post.
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Old 29-03-2015, 12:35   #125
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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I'm starting to get a handle on why many Americans have deep distrust of tax and licencing schemes.
It's just in our DNA. After all that's how we got start.
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Old 29-03-2015, 12:49   #126
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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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.



Voting is a right; operating a boat in a public waterway is a privilege. Relatively speaking...
but it is also a great responsibility.

uneducated voters casting votes for someone without any idea as to what that person stands for....voting instead because, say, i don't know, maybe due to the fact that they are 'cool' and play the sax on a TV show or because of their race...can be harmful to not only their country but harmful to the entire world.

there aren't a whole lot of activities in which you can involve yourself that doesn't impact anyone else in any way at all. does that mean you should have a license for each thing you do?


Quote:
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.

that's rather unfair. what about small sailing dinghies? they aren't human powered but i think it might be a bit difficult to efficiently regulate. and, for that matter, what is small? what if i built a 25' rowboat? it's human powered. it's smaller than a lot of boats. regulate it or not? of course, if you decide i need a license tlo operate it, due to it's size, how is that fair? it's just a rowboat. not any different in operatrion than other boats you wouldn't require a license for.

if boating is a priveledge, and not a right, then how can some boating be a right and not a privelege? just because it's not as easy to regulate it? if that's the case, does government's right or responsibility to regulate depend on how easy it is to do so? and, how does any of that equal safer boating?
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Old 29-03-2015, 12:52   #127
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Where we are based, licenses are obligatory. Try hard as I might, I cannot see local boaters having better skills than boaters in another country that we know very well, where licenses are optional.

The problem is that, unlike in aviation, the incompetent operator will mostly come thru alive, and will repeat his inadequate acts in the future; meanwhile the competent and skilled operator will bear the costs of the incopetent one's actions: in licensing fees, insurance fees and in all other ways (e.g. having their craft damaged).

So, from me, no vote. Licensing seems to have no bearing on skills and responsibility. Costa Concordia's captain was licensed, I think.

Get insured and then stay away from incompetent operators.

b.
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Old 29-03-2015, 13:03   #128
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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How the hel$ did you think I wanted licensing without education?
sorry if i misunderstood you.

i don't live where you live. i don't know that your licensing law has an effective educational element. the first part of your post seems to be in support of licensing as another tax to gain revenue for 'public works'. the way your last statement was worded, it made it sound as if you thought licensing, alone, was good due to revenue but, that, it might work with education added in if you could keep gov'y honest. that's why i bolded your last line.

my mistake
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Old 29-03-2015, 13:07   #129
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Where we are based, licenses are obligatory. Try hard as I might, I cannot see local boaters having better skills than boaters in another country that we know very well, where licenses are optional.

The problem is that, unlike in aviation, the incompetent operator will mostly come thru alive, and will repeat his inadequate acts in the future; meanwhile the competent and skilled operator will bear the costs of the incopetent one's actions: in licensing fees, insurance fees and in all other ways (e.g. having their craft damaged).

So, from me, no vote. Licensing seems to have no bearing on skills and responsibility. Costa Concordia's captain was licensed, I think.

Get insured and then stay away from incompetent operators.

b.
you make a very valid point about the different outcomes of incompetency in the air and on the water.
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Old 29-03-2015, 13:30   #130
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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.........powerboats driven by guys who were not paying a bit of attention to where they were going.

i think that internal combustion draws a more careless, often more reckless, type of person....especially internal combustion coupled with a sporty exterior.
Shoot, at least ya can see 'em coming.

I did almost get hit by a nice Grand Banks trawler. He was coming up directly behind me in the estuary (very wide for commercial shipping) with plenty of room. Missed me by two feet, threw a huge wake.. I chased the bastard back to his dock and reamed him out. His son came out and said: "Oh, this is dad's new boat, he's just learning how to use it, but he was a sailor for years and years. What's your problem?"

I guess he was down below when the near miss occurred. I explained it and said: "Where you point your boat is no different -- power or sail, since both of us were motoring. You were overtaking me. Teach your father to run this thing or keep him off the bloody water! Please, for his own sake."

So, yeah, most of the time the sporty boats are easy to watch out for, but a "traditional" can sometimes fool ya, too.
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Old 29-03-2015, 13:34   #131
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

And what happens to a boater and his on board family who is forced by some unavoidable occurence to give the helm to an unlicensed family member or a guest. Do they all get to be charged with "unlicensed boating"? Get their insurance revoked? Lose a boat after they lose the license to skipper it? I foresee an untapped universe of lawsuits and challenges from lawyers, insurance industry, boat dealers, professional "victims" of unlicensed skippers, etc.

Also if CF members from Down Under can illuminate us whether or not the father and son team which set out from RI in the middle of the winter storm were licensed or not in their home country. And if they were how come they made a decision which 99.9% of unlicensed US sailors would not have made.
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Old 29-03-2015, 13:40   #132
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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Originally Posted by deblen View Post
Seems like some insurance companies may already require "proof of competency training".

Insurer Ask Me For A Captain
Yes...especially as you get into bigger boats....
but in my experience the level of training or experience is neither extensive and the verification process seems feeble.
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Old 29-03-2015, 13:49   #133
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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And what happens to a boater and his on board family who is forced by some unavoidable occurence to give the helm to an unlicensed family member or a guest. Do they all get to be charged with "unlicensed boating"? Get their insurance revoked? Lose a boat after they lose the license to skipper it? I foresee an untapped universe of lawsuits and challenges from lawyers, insurance industry, boat dealers, professional "victims" of unlicensed skippers, etc.

Also if CF members from Down Under can illuminate us whether or not the father and son team which set out from RI in the middle of the winter storm were licensed or not in their home country. And if they were how come they made a decision which 99.9% of unlicensed US sailors would not have made.
So far the LEOS where I mostly boat and NJ has some of the strictest rules are pretty cool about it all.

Depending g on the boat and circumstances, the driver isn't the operator just like in larger vessels the helmsman is not the captain.

I see little kids driving all the time under dad's watchful eye of center consoles up to lareger cruisers and they aren't stopped that I can see.

But put a kid at the handlebars of a jet ski, even with an adult right behind you and you will probably get stopped.

In just about all the cases I see, just the driver thing will get you at worst a warning unless you act up enough to get a violation. That seems to be the case with a lot of infractions on the water.
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Old 29-03-2015, 14:22   #134
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

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So far the LEOS where I mostly boat and NJ has some of the strictest rules are pretty cool about it all.

Depending g on the boat and circumstances, the driver isn't the operator just like in larger vessels the helmsman is not the captain.

I see little kids driving all the time under dad's watchful eye of center consoles up to lareger cruisers and they aren't stopped that I can see.

But put a kid at the handlebars of a jet ski, even with an adult right behind you and you will probably get stopped.

In just about all the cases I see, just the driver thing will get you at worst a warning unless you act up enough to get a violation. That seems to be the case with a lot of infractions on the water.
This will of course change after the first major advertised mishap. And no LEO will want to risk his or her career just to be nice. I have yet to see ANY gov't mandated limitation on our freedom get better with time, only worse.
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Old 29-03-2015, 14:29   #135
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Re: Do you think recreational boats should be licensed?

Every time this subject comes up, it brings the nut cases out of the woodwork. Against my constitutional rights! Won't solve anything, look at the crazy divers out there! It's just a government money grabbing scheme!, etc.

I don't see how anyone of sound mind can think that testing and licensing won't make things safer on the water. Testing and licensing won't make the waterways accident free but by having people at least exposed to the rules and requirements, most will be safer operators.

For a forum that can argue for twenty pages on the importance of knowing and following the COLREGS, I can't understand any objection to requiring other boaters to know them.
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