Louis don't sweat the unimportant stuff, we have as many idiots on the water
as you probably do where you are from. The competency idea is a good one but it doesn't go far enough. I took a challenge exam and I felt my dog could have taken the exam and had a resonable chance of passing. I took the challenge exam after 15 years of being away from the water
and I believe my score was 95%. The challenge exam was administered at our local equivelent of the State fair. I had done no prep work
for the exam and hadn't looked at a book for years.
I support the basic idea but feel it should be toughened up and there should be two levels 1) Great Lakes
and Ocean licensing and 2) a fresh water license. Needless to say, the guy water skiing on a smaller lake doesn't need to know what the other guy living in Nanaiom BC, taking his boat out into the great salt
chuck with international shipping
all around; this chap faces more challenging navigation
requiring a greater water sense.
A new person to Canada has 45 days to obtain the boater's license. We are also required to have a VHF
license, now also demonstrating we were trained in "DSC."
All these rules sound great but in all the boating
I have done in the past two years (I must confess somewhat limited due to my hip replacement one year ago on 18 May), I haven't seen one coast guard boat, RCMP boat or Vancouver
Cop boat in areas I have cruised. And I know the new requirement isn't been taken seriously. My son was hired by a company last year for his university summer employment
, part of the job required running a power boat
, they didn't even ask if he had a boater's license.
My son who is 20, under present rules, can't even run our Walker Bay dingy with Rib
and 3.3 Merc legally. This may seem harsh but in Vancouver
more is done on boats than in many areas in Canada. Our famour International fireworks displays in the summer are watched from hundreds and hundreds of boats. One year I was looking at a guy's boat and something struck me as odd, but I couldn't put my finger on it. It dawned on me that he had installed his red Port light and green Starboard lights backwards - green on the red side, etc - which meant they were focused towards the stern of the boat instead of forward. When I talked to him from the boat I was on, he couldn't figure out why I felt his navigational light problem was an issue at all; he pulled away thinking I was an idiot.
I'm all for increasing the requiremens of the exam, creating more levels, and increasing the support - budget
, manpower, vessels, stations, and arming - of the Canadian Coast Guard. I always say: "If you have a law, but you don't have the police, then you don't have a law."