Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 28-12-2011, 15:51   #1
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Unhappy Licensing

*** Moderators note: this was split off of the thread "Lost at Sea from S/V 'Triple Stars'"

Quote:
Originally Posted by msponer
........

We know that we should have sturdy, conservative boats, wear harnesses, cover safety details well, and etc. But eventually sailing becomes normal life, and people start to balance convenience and risk in their own way. And some people simply lack stamina, or a strong inner will to survive, and tend to take shortcuts and let details slide whenever they get tired or it doesn't fit the other things going on in their head (make port by lunch, or whatever).

This is not something that certification can fix. I took a safety class that was required by an offshore race, and did not feel it was valuable. We fired flares, tried to get into a liferaft from a pool, and even had a coast guard helicopter rescue swimmer demonstration. It was fun, but I feel like much of the content was actually helpful.

...
The fact that training isn't always realistic or comprehensive in no way invalidates such training. This is akin to arguments against seatbelts, anti lock brakes etc.

Certification does at least provide a means to educate people about the basics. To make them aware of the dangers and to think about risk factors. It worth noting that professional mariners are subject to significant amounts of both compulsory training and compulsory experience.

The fact is, for every person like you that makes a reasonable risk assessment, there are 10 that don't or won't . Equally I don't believe that any sport or hobby should accept loss of life as a means of training. We live in a world that does not accept loss of life in pursuit of leisure activity, in the main. I don't mean laws I mean that's the modern public perception. The sailing industry and the consumer need to adopt a more realistic attitude to safety, rather then designing and buying a"dream" in a boat. Of course this will never happen, it took significant amount of laws and statutory codes to force car manufactures to comply, i suspect in time the same will be true for boats.

Dave
__________________

__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2011, 16:02   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
hummingway's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Gabriola Island & Victoria, British Columbia
Boat: Cooper 416 Honeysuckle
Posts: 6,933
Images: 5
Re: Lost at Sea from S/V 'Triple Stars'

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
The fact that training isn't always realistic or comprehensive in no way invalidates such training. This is akin to arguments against seatbelts, anti lock brakes etc.
Boat Operator's Certificate (I think that's the name) in Canada is very easy to get. I took the test from a retired CG officer, studied well and aced it. The test administrator commented on how well I'd done and I pointed out it was a fairly easy test. He told me many men fail the first time because they can't be bothered to study, presuming experience has already taught them what they need to know. Ironically their wives will usually pass first time, and his observation was they study for it and don't assume they have the knowledge already.

I've been on the water all my life, took the power squadron stuff when young and had I hung on to the certificate would not have been required to take the test. I'm glad I did however since I learned a lot.
__________________

__________________
“We are the universe contemplating itself” - Carl Sagan

hummingway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2011, 16:25   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
Ex-Calif's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Singapore
Boat: Maxi 77 - Relax Lah!
Posts: 11,514
Images: 4
One thing that can be undvalued is sailing with other skippers. Many of us take asa 101 and are fortunate enough to have money to buy a boat. A motivated skipper may even do a lot of book learning. I have sailed as crew for years. With every skipper I learn new things. Some good some bad. Many skippers get the boat and from then on a basically self taught.

I am sailing more with newer skippers. Some have ingrained some really bad habits.

Also, many of us sail singel hnded or effectively single handed. Any crew on board may be untrained or undertrained. This in my mind requires an extra level of safety awareness and precaution. The skipper also has a lot of his mental time split between his/her duties and supervising and directing crew.

OTOH I have sailed on many well crewed boats. The is great satisfaction in knowing that everyone will be doing there job and doing it well. The risk in this situation is letting the safety guard down and maybe taking a bit more risk. This type of crew is going to be pretty good at mob recovery if needed.

Procedures must be practiced. I dont see a large number of skippers doing mob on a regular basis.
__________________
Relax Lah! is For Sale <--- Click
Click--> Custom CF Google Search or CF Rules
You're gonna need a bigger boat... - Martin Brody
Ex-Calif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2011, 17:17   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Oregon
Boat: 57' Laurent Giles Yawl
Posts: 755
Re: Lost at Sea from S/V 'Triple Stars'

I agree, there should be a better way, but I think tests and certification are a complete distraction. This kind of knowledge is hard to measure. I think you'd end up with a bad test that wastes people's time, or worse, shifts the focus to random details and fake facts that someone has arbitrarily chosen or made up. Like a DMV test.

For me, the best way to transfer this knowledge is through these stories. They fuel my morbid imagination, which keeps me cautious, and sometimes have extra details that I had not thought of. Maybe the car accident movies they show in drivers education could be adapted for sailing.

Sailing has such a naturally high barrier to entry, that I do not feel people get into trouble from a lack of knowledge. This was certainly not the case for Triple Stars, or for the boats that were lost a few months ago on the way South.

So what would have prevented those cases? Telling people not to have bad luck? Telling them to live their lives in a more cautious way?
__________________
msponer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-12-2011, 05:36   #5
Registered User
 
Hydra's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Lorient, Brittany, France
Boat: Gib'Sea 302, 30' - Hydra
Posts: 1,229
Re: Lost at Sea from S/V 'Triple Stars'

Quote:
Originally Posted by msponer View Post
I agree, there should be a better way, but I think tests and certification are a complete distraction. This kind of knowledge is hard to measure. I think you'd end up with a bad test that wastes people's time, or worse, shifts the focus to random details and fake facts that someone has arbitrarily chosen or made up. Like a DMV test.
I disagree. In France, it is mandatory to pass an exam to drive a motor boat with an engine exceeding 6HP. The result is that many people charter big sailing boats with powerful engines but don't have a clue how to drive them. In summer, I hear every day sailing boats on the VHF requesting a tow for engine failure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by msponer View Post
<Snip>Sailing has such a naturally high barrier to entry, that I do not feel people get into trouble from a lack of knowledge. <Snip>
I disagree again. A friend of mine bought a sailing boat after only one week of sailing lessons. The result is that he ran aground on a charted rock when straying from a transit at low tide.

Alain
__________________
Hydra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-12-2011, 06:16   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 774
Re: Lost at Sea from S/V 'Triple Stars'

Hitting the high seas, so to speak without a minimal level of education, experience and technical knowledge, is not just ignorant but dangerous. If boaters, regardless of their level of engagement in either power class or sail, do nothing to develop a safe boating environ for both themselves, their crew and other boaters; then so be it if the powers to be require licensing.
Commercial crews require an expected level of experience and training regardless of their post on board; yet almost any yahoo can purchase a boat, fill it up with booze and crews, don a "captains" cap without a care in the world. It's completely irresponsible to think that no training limitations be required for recreational boaters. Boater training is as important as putting fuel into the fuel tank and oil into the engine. If the level of incompetency keeps rising, then licensing will be the only recourse to protect responsible boaters. This is not a "live free or die" issue, it's common sense that protects everybody.
__________________

Seahunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-12-2011, 06:18   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 774
Re: Lost at Sea from S/V 'Triple Stars'

[QUOTE=boatman61;848531]+A1.....
I find those advocating the 'Something must be Done' cry is usually from some one trying to make money out of me... like Sailing Schools/Instructors/Associations, Insurance Companies, Manufacturers of unnessecary gadgets/extra's etc...
[\QUOTE]

We'll just send you the SAR bill for the cost of recovery; after all safety is all about "money".
__________________

Seahunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-12-2011, 08:55   #8
Registered User
 
cfarrar's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Brooklin, Maine U.S.A
Boat: Allures 44
Posts: 734
Images: 2
Re: Lost at Sea from S/V 'Triple Stars'

Quote:
If the level of incompetency keeps rising, then licensing will be the only recourse to protect responsible boaters.
Is there any evidence to support the claim that a rising level of incompetency is causing harm to responsible boaters?

I've taken a state-mandated "safe boating" course... a complete waste of time. I've learned the most from crewing on racing and cruising boats, and inviting others to crew for me. I hope to keep learning that way.
__________________
cfarrar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-12-2011, 09:09   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 774
Re: Lost at Sea from S/V 'Triple Stars'

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfarrar View Post
Is there any evidence to support the claim that a rising level of incompetency is causing harm to responsible boaters?
I'm sure the USCG has numbers somewhere in order to justify their yearly budgets. You might find some info here:
http://www.uscgboating.org/publications/default.aspx?CategoryId=7&Month=0&Year=0&Keywords= &Search=
__________________

Seahunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-12-2011, 09:19   #10
Registered User
 
cfarrar's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Brooklin, Maine U.S.A
Boat: Allures 44
Posts: 734
Images: 2
Re: Lost at Sea from S/V 'Triple Stars'

Quote:
I'm sure the USCG has numbers somewhere...
Let us know if you find evidence for your hypothesis that licensing is needed to protect third parties from a rising level of on-the-water incompetence.
__________________
cfarrar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-12-2011, 09:29   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 774
Re: Lost at Sea from S/V 'Triple Stars'

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfarrar View Post
Let us know if you find evidence for your hypothesis that licensing is needed to protect third parties from a rising level of on-the-water incompetence.
There is no hypothesis for on the water incompetence. All one has to do is spend a few hours if not minutes on the water (or perusing some threads here) to find the obvious evidence.
The problem isn't about required licensing to make boaters safer; but to license people who have taken sufficient training to be on the water, where the license is the proof of such training.
__________________

Seahunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-12-2011, 10:24   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
Ex-Calif's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Singapore
Boat: Maxi 77 - Relax Lah!
Posts: 11,514
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seahunter
There is no hypothesis for on the water incompetence. All one has to do is spend a few hours if not minutes on the water (or perusing some threads here) to find the obvious evidence.
The problem isn't about required licensing to make boaters safer; but to license people who have taken sufficient training to be on the water, where the license is the proof of such training.
People have more disposable income so more people have boats.

Communication is a lot easier today (internet) so we hear a lot more stories.

The ratio of man's incompetence is changing little I suspect. It is a volume and awareness issue.

I remember bitching about incompetent people in the 60s and 70s. Especially ski boaters...

One can bitch about incompetent people or one can use their superior knowledge and seamanship to avoid the incompetent people.

I am a proponent of licensing and training. Specifically knowing the rules of the road and basic boat handling. I seriously doubt you can improve basic safety by mandatory training. Stupid is as stupid does. The safety test becomes a hurdle to overcome so one can do stupid things.

However when I am in a crossing situation with a power boat, it would be a nice assurance to know that he had to pass a test and should know that I have right of way in my sailboat.
__________________
Relax Lah! is For Sale <--- Click
Click--> Custom CF Google Search or CF Rules
You're gonna need a bigger boat... - Martin Brody
Ex-Calif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-12-2011, 11:17   #13
Registered User
 
Snore's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: www.USCGMaster.com
Boat: Tartan 33
Posts: 1,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif


However when I am in a crossing situation with a power boat, it would be a nice assurance to know that he had to pass a test and should know that I have right of way in my sailboat.
There are some significant holes in the logic. First is that the person will remember, second that they are not on their cell phone, distracted by a passenger, or on autopilot.

IMHO, training just means you knew the facts at the time. For example, we all took geometry. How many remember the pythagorean theorem? But we knew it to get our passing grade. Anyone who has been employed in work with a high accident rate knows the "safety is everyone's job" and that "you are responsible for your safety". Why do we know that? Because it is beat into everyone's head (from the boss down) at every quarterly safety meeting.

Applying the safety program of a high risk job to sports like sailing, means regular safety reviews of the boat, using the right protective equipment i.e. harness, as well as identifying potential points of failure and then developing and practicing emergency plans for those points of failure.

Not a single part of that safety program is ensured by a state program. But forums like this are venues for their discussion. My SWAG is that people who participate in forums like this are less likely to become fatalities because their minds are opened by conversations such as the one I am adding to.

Bill

PS: please let the cheap shot about OSHA probably requiring a hard hat go....
__________________
"Whenever...it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ismael ---- NEW website! www.USCGMaster.com
Snore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-12-2011, 11:29   #14
Moderator Emeritus
 
Ex-Calif's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Singapore
Boat: Maxi 77 - Relax Lah!
Posts: 11,514
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore

There are some significant holes in the logic. First is that the person will remember, second that they are not on their cell phone, distracted by a passenger, or on autopilot.

IMHO, training just means you knew the facts at the time. For example, we all took geometry. How many remember the pythagorean theorem? But we knew it to get our passing grade. Anyone who has been employed in work with a high accident rate knows the "safety is everyone's job" and that "you are responsible for your safety". Why do we know that? Because it is beat into everyone's head (from the boss down) at every quarterly safety meeting.

.
Any licensing is a license to learn. Drivers license, aircraft pilots license etc. No one knows it all at the time of licensing.

The problem with the "no licensing" naysayers is that the argument against licensing is usually that the person will forget what they learned.

My quote was "should" know what the rules are. Theory without practice is useless.

Pilots have to pass a biennial flight review. I would in no way propose that for boaters.

The license is also a barrier to entry. In Singapore I observed that about 60% of the applicants failed the written. In order to qualify for the written you have to pass a certified class. I failed the written by one question the first time. You can only miss 3. I passed the second time. Many of the 60% likely gave up. In order to get a shot at the practical on water test you have to pass the written. The second applicant on my boat failed the practical. So 40% pass the written and 50% of them fail the practical.

I am totally OK with that. Oh and the entire system is funded by fees so there is no public cost. I guess if you went through one time without failing it would cost about $500 to get licensed.

I am confident that 90% of the boats I encounter in Singapore have skippers with basic knowledge.

That alternative is to do nothing and we can guess the outcome of that...
__________________
Relax Lah! is For Sale <--- Click
Click--> Custom CF Google Search or CF Rules
You're gonna need a bigger boat... - Martin Brody
Ex-Calif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-12-2011, 12:51   #15
Registered User
 
capn_billl's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Houston,Tx
Boat: Maxum 37'
Posts: 1,587
Re: Lost at Sea from S/V 'Triple Stars'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seahunter View Post
There is no hypothesis for on the water incompetence. All one has to do is spend a few hours if not minutes on the water (or perusing some threads here) to find the obvious evidence.
The problem isn't about required licensing to make boaters safer; but to license people who have taken sufficient training to be on the water, where the license is the proof of such training.
The basic problem of licensing, is the power to license is the power to control....Doubt me, in my state you have to run through a background check to see if you have any outstanding fines, parking tickets, or unpaid child support,.......before you are allowed to buy a fishing license. A fishing license, like a drivers license, or any other license can be revoked at any time, and for any reason, or for no reason at all.

It is your problem to go to court, hire a lawyer and argue that you deserve it back.

Some people will pay a bribe and get one without even the ability to read the exam.

It will become a "revenue enhancer", first the fee will be small, eventually it will cost so much it is a significant barrier to entry. B.ring O.n A.nother T.housand will apply to licensing and registration fees, as well as boat maintenence.

The guy who buys an 8ft dinghy will be required to pay and take the same exam as the new buyer of a 100ft luxery yacht.

If you want to improve water safety, take the Power Squadron course. Still want more?

Take the USCG exam for captians license, note to get USCG license you have to pay to take a drug test, even if you never used, or were ever accused or suspected of taking drugs, a background test including checking for any outstanding fines, or child support will be done. You will also be checked for violations on any other license for any other field...Oh yah, you will also have to take an exam, and pay some fees, you also have to buy a TWIC card, another $200.00, (although I dont know why, and have never had to use it).

The USCG could easily make this license mandatory for everyone, although I fail to see the reason a guy who takes his family on a 18ft runabout on a small private lake needs to know which regulation mandates the firehose diameter on a 300ft freighter, (one of the exam questions). OR what is the flooding rate of a cargo hold whith a 1ft dia hole below the waterline, (maybe the Titanic crew missed this one).

Tell all your friends to take a boating class, YES. Fork over even more of my hard earned money to the goverment to tell me to, NO.
__________________

__________________
capn_billl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pleasure Powerboat Licensing Downunder djambalawa Training, Licensing & Certification 2 02-08-2011 23:23
Opinions of Non-HAM Sailors Solicited canucksailor General Sailing Forum 64 27-07-2011 20:54



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:01.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.