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Old 26-09-2022, 10:44   #61
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License for sailing my own boat

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Originally Posted by Oeanda View Post
All else aside- The Canadian PCOC exam sets the bar so low that it would take serious effort to fail to achieve the required 75% to pass, even if you donít have the skills to simply google and then forget the answers to each question as you go. But - no need for googling, or actual knowledge. Itís set up in the format of four multiple choice questions- with 3 of the 4 options being so abjectly stupid as to leave only one possible real answer. It is insulting, no proof of any worthwhile kind of competency, and leaves the subject with a lingering feeling of complete disgust at whatever idiots were paid by our tax dollars to dream up and write that drivel.

Basically youíre paying $50 to get your cynicism card.

End rant, lol.


I agree it does seem to be a very trivial certificate and as you say is merely a $ collecting exercise. Most countries have abandoned these types of things because the administration is more expensive then the monies collected.
Most countries say like Greece simply demand a range of internationally accredited competency certs. You get them where ever you like from private training companies.

My own view is training should cover basic safety , vhf , GMDSS , some boat handling basics and COLRegs. ( plus any national laws ) the ICC is a good template but many people would find two days given up to it too much.
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Old 26-09-2022, 13:22   #62
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Re: License for sailing my own boat

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All else aside- The Canadian PCOC exam sets the bar so low that it would take serious effort to fail to achieve the required 75% to pass...
The US materials, and exams I've seen from several states, are not quite that bad. If you're new to boating you really do need to study the material - or have Google handy - to have any hope of passing the exam.

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I agree it does seem to be a very trivial certificate and as you say is merely a $ collecting exercise.
Again, most US states have done a bit better than that with their programs. They don't make any money on it. They only require a one-time education certificate and not an annual license renewal fee. Some states offer the training class and exam, but most allow third parties to offer one or both, in person or on-line, for a nominal fee.

Before these education requirements were enacted, it seemed like many boaters thought that, because there are no traffic lights, road signs or painted lines on the water, there are no rules.

I'm glad that the states are exposing people to the fact that there are laws which govern their actions on the water. I don't even care whether they remember the specifics.

And I'd never equate passing one of these exams with competency!
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Old 26-09-2022, 16:36   #63
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Re: License for sailing my own boat

My thought is that the move for competency certification and medical exam for pleasure craft will come from insurance underwriters given that the insured craft is now very expensive and litigation is vigorously engaged in should an incident occur. Huge amounts of money at stake in the hands of folks with little or no established or proven boat handling and navigation ability. This also presents an opportunity for the underwriters to deny a claim should the required competency certificate be absent..... itís just good business.
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Old 26-09-2022, 16:41   #64
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Re: License for sailing my own boat

Canada also has the ROC-M which you need to pass to use a VHF and is a bit more challenging than the PCOC (you have to do it with an examiner)
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Old 26-09-2022, 17:09   #65
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Re: License for sailing my own boat

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All else aside- The Canadian PCOC exam sets the bar so low that it would take serious effort to fail to achieve the required 75% to pass, ... It is insulting, no proof of any worthwhile kind of competency
A low bar is better than no bar, I suppose. I'm certain that many boaters have since forgotten a lot of the material. You can lead a horse to water...

I would think more of the PCOC if one had to attend a series of lessons to get it. Like 4 evenings, or an in-depth weekend. We could look to Sail Canada, provincial associations, the Power Squadron, community colleges, etc to put on and grade the course. They could also roll it into some of their longer courses like Basic Keelboat (my wife got her PCOC with that course).
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