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Old 31-05-2011, 18:27   #31
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Re: Mandatory Boater Education in WA

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Just received a notice from the state saying that WA will now require a boater education card similar to a driver's license.
Last I checked the count is 41 states now require this. For me I have an exemption until 2016 under the old guy exemption. For PWC's the exemption for everyone is next year. Each state takes a different approach. The reason so many states have done this its to target the leading causes of death on the water. Drunk and stupid count the highest on the list of causes of death. Issues like capacity plates and gasoline safety add up to the bulk of the issues. Just plain stupid rounds out the field. Sail boats are so low on the category of boats with deaths that it's almost a joke but the law applies equally unless you are old and stupid.

I would defy most anyone here to take the online course and fail. This isn't about maximum proficiency this is about minimal competency targeted at the areas that lead to death on the water - period. Ironically the issue of capacity plates does not fall on the boat for all of us but it does apply to the dinghy. Overloaded both in capacity and alcohol is what the main idea is.

You really need to know small boats and gasoline safety to pass the test. Not that it's hard but you won't be asked any navigation puzzles or highly technical questions like a USCG exam. Not much you'll be asked qualifies you to be a cruiser. It's all true stuff but really is not a minimal criteria to take off long distance or for more than a few hours.

The stats are pretty convincing that a targeted approach like this makes death on the water a goal worth eliminating (in state waters). It also costs the states nothing since contractors do all the testing.

This is a requirement that we all need to meet sooner or later but it won't qualify you for much. It just meets the requirements of the law. I still feel a formal boating education is worth the investment but I wouldn't consider this to be enough. The all day USCG or Power Squadron courses would be a better choice since it still meets the 6 hour requirement and you will learn something you didn't know. You need the idea of learning things you didn't know.
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Old 31-05-2011, 18:49   #32
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Re: Mandatory Boater Education in WA

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
My initial reaction to more government is always negative....however.....from observation.... I suspect many if not most of the people at the helms of boats darting around crowded harbors haven't the foggiest notion about simple rules of the road. It can't hurt to at least have them look at the rules even if they are too stupid to absorb anything. Sorry, guess I'm too cynical. The things more regulation can't begin to protect us from are discourtesy, aggressiveness, and egotistic behavior which I would guess account for most boating accidents.
I couldn't agree more. As much as I cringe at the thougjht of more government in my life, I think some basic boaters education should be mandatory throughout the states. Its got to the point where I avoid my marina like the plauge and go out of my way to only be there when there is the best chance of avoiding most people. Was there this Memorial Dayweekend applying bottom paint. The parade of loud, drunk, arrogant self entitled people had to be seen to be believed. Then they pile on their boats and go tear assing around with out the most basic seamanship skills,
kinda like my dad and me 40 years ago.
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Old 31-05-2011, 18:54   #33
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Re: Mandatory Boater Education in WA

Quote:
Just received a notice from the state saying that WA will now require a boater education card similar to a driver's license.
Last I checked the count is 41 states now require this. For me I have an exemption until 2016 under the old guy exemption. For PWC's the exemption for everyone is next year. Each state takes a different approach. The reason so many states have done this its to target the leading causes of death on the water. Drunk and stupid count the highest on the list of causes of death. Issues like capacity plates and gasoline safety add up to the bulk of the issues. Just plain stupid rounds out the field. Sail boats are so low on the category of boats with deaths that it's almost a joke but the law applies equally unless you are old and stupid.

I would defy most anyone here to take the online course and fail. This isn't about maximum proficiency this is about minimal competency targeted at the areas that lead to death on the water - period. Ironically the issue of capacity plates does not fall on the boat for all of us but it does apply to the dinghy. Overloaded both in capacity and alcohol is what the main idea is.

You really need to know small boats and gasoline safety to pass the test. Not that it's hard but you won't be asked any navigation puzzles or highly technical questions like a USCG exam. Not much you'll be asked qualifies you to be a cruiser. It's all true stuff but really is not a minimal criteria to take off long distance or for more than a few hours.

The stats are pretty convincing that a targeted approach like this makes death on the water a goal worth eliminating (in state waters). It also costs the states nothing since contractors do all the testing.

This is a requirement that we all need to meet sooner or later but it won't qualify you for much. It just meets the requirements of the law. I still feel a formal boating education is worth the investment but I wouldn't consider this to be enough. The all day USCG or Power Squadron courses would be a better choice since it still meets the 6 hour requirement and you will learn something you didn't know. You need the idea of learning things you didn't know.
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Old 31-05-2011, 20:42   #34
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Re: Mandatory Boater Education in WA

Has the mandatory drivers license for you car made
driving safer ? Will the mandatory boater education
card make boating safer ?

What makes life safer is individual maturity. People
who are mature mostly live healthy lives.

Is there a maturity test ?

Respectfully,
Paul
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Old 01-06-2011, 00:51   #35
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Re: Mandatory Boater Education in WA

I just took the test and passed it, so now I'm safer than you complainers! I don't even live in Washington, and I'm old enough to never require the certificate, but I thought it would be interesting to see what was in it.

Seriously, I don't really like the idea of this being mandatory, but I honestly do believe that the mandatory automobile driver's license is a good thing and has probably reduced the accident rate. This WA State boater's test might have some small benefit, and a $10 lifetime fee is pretty nominal.

I'm going to find something else to get all upset about -- this just doesn't cut it for me.
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:22   #36
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Re: Mandatory Boater Education in WA

I think it is a good thing. If it eliminates one idiot from the water, it is working. And if it slows down a few it is working. And if it makes people think about what they are doing it is a good thing. All this talk of 'we only need personal responsibility' is foolish. We need a set of rules governing that responsibility. This world we live in is not the world I grew up in. 3 times more people than when I was born, and far less capability in most of them.
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