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Old 13-09-2009, 13:10   #1
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Licensing Boaters

From part of the Laura13 thread going off topic.
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I look at all the crap being said in this thread and recognise that very few people have made any corollary between age and maturity.

What this youngster need to achieve her dream is maturity. The fact that she has been waterborne for most of her life would suggest that she has a higher level of maturity than most europeans of the same age.

Then you need to look at history and other continents and consider that marriage at 10 years old in some societies has been considered to be satisfactory (I personally dont agree but stay with me until the end of my arguement).

Thus age cannot be the sole arbiter of decisions. You need to look at the whole life experience and capabilities of the person.

Some countries consider child soldiers as acceptable where the ability to be actually able to be strong enough to hold the weapon is the decision. Whereas a european faced with the decision to kill such a soldier may need years of psychotherapy (I would hope so) .

What I am trying to say is that an arbitary age is a simple media decision, whereas the decision based on capability is so fundamentally difficult, that I am not surprised that people wish to chose the simple solution.
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I dont think we need more laws for the very few who would try such a stunt-
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Not just to address stunts, how about basic boating safety in and of itself. Unfortunately aren't most laws to address the 'outsiders' and not the average person. Why do we have drivers licenses, in the early days we didn't. Anyone could drive. I grew up on a farm and been running the tractor since I was 7 and operated the hay truck at 9. Why can't I drive on the road. Maturity, ability, competence. A means of testing the person's actual abilities.
As more and more people engage in watersport activities, do we not need some means to ensure safety on the water. Simple things like controlling/penalizing the idiot that attempted to cut between me and my towboat while waterskiing. Report him and get him off the water, drunken sot. LOL

My marina required insurance, my insurer required my PCOC and certificate for Basic cruising. This protects the marina, me and my fellow sailors.

My field of work is unregulated now however to stop anyone doing the job, it is forming an association. Soon everyone in the field will either need formal education or documented experience or combination of both (Diploma + 2 years, Bachelor + 1 yr.) Those being grandfathered in with no formal education will have to document their work and skills used to prove competency. Is it a money grab or to ensure specific standards are being met. Some think a money grab only. I see it as ensuring our clients are getting competent trainers, all working to the same standards.


Of course setting regs or laws for boating may be difficult. The PCOC is required for operating boats with an engine. Thus I need a PCOC (proving my knowledge and competency)to operate a fishing skiff 14' long with a 12 horse engine, BUT I can operate a 60' sailboat with no engine without my PCOC. The fun of rules and regulations.
JMO
So age requirements will always be arbitrary no doubt, but how do others feel on more regulatations regarding proving competency. For those with 30 years experience its a matter of demonstration and either written exam for colregs or verbal perhaps.
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Old 13-09-2009, 13:18   #2
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All that is needed is a requirement for valid insurance. And all that does is protect the innocent from the stupid - Now that's not going to make any mistakes!!!
And line the pockets of non-sailing insurers, lawyers etc etc etc.
No Federal Licencing. And thats not the first F that came to mind!

with apologies.
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Old 22-09-2009, 03:42   #3
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Old 22-09-2009, 04:25   #4
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As of September 15, 2009, I am no longer competent to operate a powered (including an electric trolling motor) boat in Canada. I donít have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card.

Office of Boating Safety - Design, Equipment & Boating Safety - Marine Safety - Marine Transportation - Transport Canada
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Old 22-09-2009, 05:30   #5
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"As of September 15, 2009, I am no longer competent to operate a powered (including an electric trolling motor) boat in Canada. I donít have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card"

Don't worry Gordmay, I have sailed half way around the globe and now I am deemed as "not competent" and have to get a card to operate my own sailboat
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Old 22-09-2009, 06:03   #6
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I have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) issued by the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron (CPSS) therefore I can legally operate my boat in Canadian Waters. The PCOC is not a license.

The Office of Boating Safety (OBS) which is currently part of Transport Canada (TC) used to be within the Search & Rescue directorate of Coast Guard (CCG) (where I work).

The whole process came about during extended discussions between Gov't (DFO & TC) and the marine industry Canadian Marine Advisory Council (CMAC) in the early-mid 90's. Gov't marine regulators at the time (TC & CCG OBS) as well as many marine industries (both commercial and pleasure craft related) saw the need for operator training and orientation especially for younger operators. This was accellerated by a number of high profile incidents of very young operators of high powered sport boats & PWC's which resulted in the loss of life.

The Gov't regulators were pushing hard for a true "licensing system" such as those for motor vehicles. Industry pushed back even harder for "less involvement" in recreational boating by Gov't. The Gov't regulators bowed to the pressure and a hybrid Gov't mandated curriculum & testing regime and private industry course provider/examiners system was established. The initial target was the younger operators and restrictions on age/horsepower for various types of pleasure craft. The system although workable was obviously flawed in many respects. What it did do was provide a forum for the dissemination of boating safety related material to a wider audience of boat operators. That in and of itself isn't necessarily a bad thing.

The exams are/were created by professional mariners (CCG) and are provided to the course providers/examiners as a "bank" of about 600 questions. The course providers/examiners are allowed to select those questions they want and most have a dozen or so standard exams. IIRC the standard exam is 36 questions with a minimum of 30 correct answers to pass. (Side note: I was the first person in the history of the CPSS Brockville Squadron to "Ace" the test! With over 25 yrs in the CCG and a course provider/examiner myself it wasn't totally unexpected! )

The possession of a PCOC does nothing for insurance. The only cources/certifications in Canada, that I know of, are those advanced (not even their PCOC cources) cources provided by the CPSS. All other "Course Providers" listed on the TC OBS site who certify operators according to the TC OBS standard will do nothing for your insurance.

Although I do believe there are a lot of "holes" in the system I do believe it has provided exposure to boating safety related information for the younger crowd or weekend warriors who wouldn't otherwise have taken the time to even pick up the "Boating Safety Handbook" freely provided by TC OBS let alone read the thing. As for grandfather allowances those are limited to professional mariners. All recreational boaters are now required to have a PCOC (although current estimates of those certified are far below the 100% expected at this point in time).
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Old 22-09-2009, 07:41   #7
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In Florida you must have a Florida Boaters Card to operate or rent a powered water craft. I just noticed it is even one of the ads on this page!

Wonder what that will do to the marine industry and how much it will deter or advance new boaters of all types.

I can see how it could be turned into a positive if the industry and local organizations including the USCG and Power Squadrons take a leading role. Make it simple to acquire with timely classes in good venues and it could be a boon, make it hard and you will see businesses going under... not something we need at this time.

Florida Boating Course Earn your Florida Boater Card today FWC approved, U.S. Coast Guard
www.boatcourse.com
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Old 22-09-2009, 08:25   #8
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In Florida you must have a Florida Boaters Card to operate or rent a powered water craft.
Never heard of it, but I am all for anything that involves training and testing for Florida boaters: The level of incompetence on the water in Florida is enormous. Screening and IQ testing should also be introduced, but that will never happen...
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Old 22-09-2009, 10:37   #9
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Originally Posted by knottybuoyz View Post
.....
The whole process came about during extended discussions between Gov't (DFO & TC) and the marine industry Canadian Marine Advisory Council (CMAC) in the early-mid 90's...

The Gov't regulators were pushing hard for a true "licensing system" such as those for motor vehicles. Industry pushed back even harder for "less....
Thanks, Knotty, for your summary...

I found a few insanities in otherwise useful CYA courses in BC: We were invited to plot a course from a light on Bowen Is to a bouy off Nanaimo Harbour. Illegal, immoral and criminally insane: to plot a course from 50' up a cliff directly to a steel bouy.

One other insanity was calling a course a heading. We end up not knowing what either word mean.

The CYA concept is a good beginning. Power Squadron and ISPA seem better. They would all be much more useful if they would lower barriers against professional sailors and keep improving courses in a more professional direction, too. Otherwise the yachtmasters certificates are already well along, when overseen by professionals.

Although I did learn a lot from racing sailors, it was when I was lucky enough to take a voyage or two with deep sea certified mariners who happened to be sailors, too, that I was able to make real progress. Would you take-off with a pilot who had taught themselves to fly and navigate?
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Old 22-09-2009, 10:46   #10
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In Florida you must have a Florida Boaters Card to operate or rent a powered water craft. I just noticed it is even one of the ads on this page!
Wonder what that will do to the marine industry and how much it will deter or advance new boaters of all types...
Anyone 21 years old and younger must have a Boating Safety Education ID Card to legally operate a boat, with 10HP or more, in Florida.

FWC - Obtaining a Boater Education ID Card

Mandatory Boater Education & Othewr Issues per Florida Bill HB1423:
http://www.boatus.com/gov/SummaryHB1423.pdf

Iíve also read, but cannot definitely confirm, that Florida law also requires that anyone convicted of a criminal boating violation, a non-criminal boating infraction which resulted in a boating accident, or two non-criminal boating safety infractions within a 12-month period, must enroll in, attend, and successfully complete an approved safe boating course for violators.

Florida Bill 1423 requires anyone operating a boat with 10 horsepower or more (except those specifically exempted) to take an approved boating safety course and obtain a Florida Boating Safety Education Identification Card on an age-based phase-in as follows:

Effective January 1, 2010, the section applies to any person who has not attained 26 years of age.
Effective January 1, 2011, the section applies to any person who has not attained 31 years of age.
Effective January 1, 2012, the section applies to any person who has not attained 36 years of age.
Effective January 1, 2013, the section applies to any person who has not attained 41 years of age.
Effective January 1, 2014, the section applies to any person who has not attained 46 years of age.
Effective January 1, 2015, the section applies to any person who has not attained 51 years of age.
Effective January 1, 2016, the section applies to any person who has not attained 56 years of age.
Effective January 1, 2017, the section applies to any person who has not attained 61 years of age.
Effective January 1, 2018, the section applies to any person who has not attained 66 years of age.
Effective January 1, 2019, the section applies to every person.


Exemptions to the boater safety education card requirement are expanded to include anyone operating a vessel within 90 days after the purchase of that vessel who has available for inspection aboard that vessel a bill of sale meeting the requirements of s. 328.46(1), F.S.

For other effects anticipated from HB1423, see an earlier CF discussion:
Bill HB 1423 looks like will run the cruisers out of Florida
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Old 22-09-2009, 11:14   #11
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Well done Gord for providing the facts...unfortunately this is much needed in Florida and sadly I am so old that I am exept until 2019 just before my 70th birthday. By which time I hope to have sailed another 50-60,000 miles and completed 2 or 3 circumnavigations. However, as a boater who will be sailing in Florida until I fade into the sunset I can only applaud the Florida Legislature.
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Old 22-09-2009, 12:15   #12
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Effective January 1, 2019, the section applies to every person.
So, even if I'm visiting Fla. I'd need a card? That's a constitutional issue in the US as Fla can't put additional restrictions on residents of another State.

Someone call Boat US.
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Old 22-09-2009, 13:47   #13
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The only cources/certifications in Canada, that I know of, are those advanced (not even their PCOC cources) cources provided by the CPSS. All other "Course Providers" listed on the TC OBS site who certify operators according to the TC OBS standard will do nothing for your insurance.
Thanks for that comprehensive presentation of the development of the PCOC.

However, I would like to correct the statement above.

I am an PCOC examiner for both the Canadian Yachting Association and International Sail and Power Association / Academy. We teach both ashore AND afloat courses that are recognized by insurance companies. In order to gain our certification (with the exception of CYA navigation courses) you must demonstrate that you have both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe that CPSS offers courses / assessment to determine if someone can actually apply the skills on the water.

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Old 22-09-2009, 13:52   #14
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As for grandfather allowances those are limited to professional mariners. All recreational boaters are now required to have a PCOC (although current estimates of those certified are far below the 100% expected at this point in time).
Also needs correction:

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Will boaters who have previously taken a boating safety course be required to take another course or test? Those who have taken a boating safety course prior to April 1, 1999 will not be required to take another course or test. A copy of a certificate or a card issued at the completion of courses taken prior to April 1, 1999 will need to be carried on board the pleasure craft.
Source

I took my CYA courses prior to April 1 1999. While I do not need a card, I have one. It is easier to carry than my logbook.

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Old 22-09-2009, 13:57   #15
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So, even if I'm visiting Fla. I'd need a card? That's a constitutional issue in the US as Fla can't put additional restrictions on residents of another State.
Someone call Boat US.
Don't go off half cocked - Read before you call !

According to thre BoatUS summary, to which I linked:

"...If you are visiting from another state, you need a written copy of your successful completion of boater
education that meets or exceeds FL’s requirements. (line 437)..."


You'll also require a valid driver's license, from some State, to legally drive your car when visiting Florida.

BTW: The Florida Boating Safety Education card is NOT a license. It doesn't require renual, and cannot be rescinded.
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