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Old 09-26-2014, 07:56 PM   #41
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The increase in fees is a exception, the government entity over that particular active is most likely where the idea originates because of a need for funds or a perceived need. Nothing is free if the boating public wants launch ramps, pump out stations or public docks the Benjamins have to be raised from some source. People who don't own a boat aren't going to pay for them thru their property taxes.
??? I already pay thousands of $$ for annual property taxes on my boat and rented berth.
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:05 PM   #42
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I don't hate the idea and don't know why it has been so long coming? It can be very dangerous out there and there are a lot of people that just don't "get it". I will qualify that by saying that most of us (meaning the larger tonnage vessels) *DO* pay attention to our surroundings because A) we know what damage larger boats like ours can do & B) Our boats are our "babies". They are expensive to fix and we have all put many hundreds of blood, sweat, and tears into keeping them up.

No, like someone said earlier, the majority of accidents and deaths, by a wide margin, are the smaller sport, skiff, bay, and small fishing boat owners. I call them "boat owners" and not "boaters", not to be derogatory, but because they have a boat... grab the pickup truck and ten friends... and throw it in any body of water, they think they can do whatever they please. Most don't embrace the lifestyle of being a boater. My apologies if I offend anyone here because I really am painting with a broad brush.

Many go out Willy Nilly without any regard to weather or sea conditions in boats that HAVE NO BUSINESS and WERE NOT DESIGNED for the body of water they are in. They don't pay any attention to nav aids or understand rules of the road or who is the stand-on vessel when underway. Many don't have, or don't monitor, a VHF radio. They have a $2000 fishing reel and no chart plotter. They bring onboard a cooler of water and a pallet of Miller Lite.

I have a friend who has owned many boats since we were kids and NEVER knew why inlets were sometimes impossible to get thru in their 18' Dixie (example). Just last year I explained to him about tide and winds and what is really going on and it was like I told him Santa Clause wasn't real! Anyway, I see people in crowded turning basins letting their 8 year-old kid drive. I see boats, clearly designed for four people, loaded with six, eight, or more AND enough camping gear to scale Mount Everest. I'm certainly not surprising anyone here. Y'all have seen it all and probably way worse.

Hey, I won't say I remember everything I learned 5 years ago in the USCG course we took (and I was planning on a refresher sooner-or-later) nor do I don't pretend that a program like the one in CA will work to end boating accidents. However, like the driver's license program, it does, at least, give a MINIMAL amount of comfort to me and does put SOME liability back onto the operators.
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:22 PM   #43
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I totally agree

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I had to study rules and pass written and practical tests to get my driver's license. I had to learn a ton of stuff, spend hours with instructors, and pass written and practical tests to get my Private, Commercial, Instrument, Flight instructor, and Seaplane pilot licences/ratings.

I am just fine with the idea that individuals should have to study and learn stuff and pass written and practical tests to obtain a boat operator's licence.

I see nothing that makes a boat any less potentially harmful and dangerous in the hands of an ignorant, unskilled operator than a vehicle or aircraft.
Imagine a world where boaters actually know the boating laws.
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Old 09-27-2014, 07:33 AM   #44
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http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/093983...&robot_redir=1

It should be an absolute requirement for this book to be on all vessels! The "captain" of the vessel should be required to know these rules and that would make the water much safer!
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Old 09-27-2014, 07:45 AM   #45
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I am not a proponent of the govt protecting me from my self. And I have no illusions that requiring a license is going to keep the jerks off the water.

However the skill and knowledge to safely operate any size boat with a motor is not intuitive to most people.
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:28 AM   #46
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What about this idea y'all? What about an endorsement on your driver's license like a motorcycle endorsement? It would require, like the motorcycle test, a separate written test, and possibly including a test of driving with a trailer. There could be a speed and/or weight minimum such as boats that travel at a greater speed of 10 knots or are over 5000 lbs displacement.

The only problem I see is that the DOT doesn't have any skin in the game on the water. USCG, sheriffs, Fish & Game etc. are the predominant LEO's on the water. There may be a bit of a disconnect that may muck things up.
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:39 AM   #47
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How about this one for attiitude.......
"I'm not a boater, I'm a fisherman"
According to some instructors I have met, this is a common complaint.
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:43 AM   #48
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What about this idea y'all? What about an endorsement on your driver's license like a motorcycle endorsement? It would require, like the motorcycle test, a separate written test, and possibly including a test of driving with a trailer. There could be a speed and/or weight minimum such as boats that travel at a greater speed of 10 knots or are over 5000 lbs displacement.

The only problem I see is that the DOT doesn't have any skin in the game on the water. USCG, sheriffs, Fish & Game etc. are the predominant LEO's on the water. There may be a bit of a disconnect that may muck things up.
Actually Tom, you are spot on there. That is how they do it here in Queensland. When you pass the test it is added to your driver's licence as an endorsement, that you are qualified for a boat licence, just like motorcycle licences are added, as you mention. A PWC/Jet-ski licence requires another endorsement on top of that, because it requires specific practical instruction on one of those craft. Usually one instructor on a PWC is seen taking a group of anything up to 8-10 learners on theirs, wearing bright dayglo vests with a large L on the back. I always give them a wide berth.
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Old 09-28-2014, 07:00 AM   #49
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There is only a paper test to take passengers for hire in the USA.

No practical demonstration of any nautical skill whatsoever.
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Old 09-28-2014, 07:57 AM   #50
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Tom B.

I'm new in Alabama and am exempted by age but just for the heck of it, I just looked this up:

Boat/Vessel License Requirements

Statewide licensing of boat operators began in all Alabama counties July 17, 1997 under the Boating Safety Reform Act. You must be at least 12 years of age to operate a motorized vessel on Alabama's waterways. You also must be licensed. A written examination is required for applicants, except those who were 40 or older on April 28, 1994, or those who have successfully completed boating courses given by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the U.S. Power Squadron or the Alabama Marine Police "Boating Basics" course. The vessel class "V" must be added to your license if you intend to operate a motorized vessel. This legislation, which also provides sanctions for drunken driving and other offenses, has been hailed as the toughest boating safety act in the country.

Applicants may apply and be tested as necessary at Department of Public Safety Driver License Offices across the state.

* Under age 14, Vessel Learner License only. Must be accompanied by a Vessel Licensed driver that is 21 years old or older.

It doesn't say what your boating license will look like if you don't have a drivers license yet. I'm sure it is some other kind of document.

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Old 09-28-2014, 08:24 AM   #51
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What about this idea y'all? What about an endorsement on your driver's license like a motorcycle endorsement? It would require, like the motorcycle test, a separate written test, and possibly including a test of driving with a trailer. There could be a speed and/or weight minimum such as boats that travel at a greater speed of 10 knots or are over 5000 lbs displacement.
Spoken like a true politician. Let's take a simple idea and make it so complicated that nobody understands it and it's impossible to enforce.
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Old 09-28-2014, 08:42 AM   #52
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Navigation Rules: International - Inland:Amazon:Books

It should be an absolute requirement for this book to be on all vessels! The "captain" of the vessel should be required to know these rules and that would make the water much safer!
Although I don't necessarily agree with the above as being required on pleasure boats, I do agree with it in principle. One of the things covered in the boater safety courses, although too briefly, is the Navigation Rules and that very book. The fact that rules of the road actually do exist on the water is a shocker to most people. Prior to these courses, most people thought of a lake or river as a total free for all. Like anything else in life, whether they elect to follow the rules or not is on them. At least now they know for certain they are responsible and will be held accountable for their actions or lack there of.
Will this reduce accidents? Probably so. How much? Heck if I know.
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Old 09-28-2014, 11:02 AM   #53
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I grandfathered on the Alabama boat test by a few years. First off I took it anyway online for info's sake. What bothered me was the assumption that being older meant I had the proper experience and boat knowledge. In my case I did but a heck of a lot of older folks don't and were automatically licensed (an assumption) if they chose to be? The process is a step toward safe boating however,mand that is I guess what matters in the end.
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Old 09-28-2014, 11:25 AM   #54
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That's because "knowledge" is never as important as wisdom.

An older person taking it easy on the water is usually safer than someone who "knows the rules" but throws caution to the wind because of just plain old personality flaws.

Plus the procedure of "certifying " people is at the mercy of the "system".

For 12 years teaching the course in NJ... I saw little old guys who could barely read in danger of flunking the course...yet when I gave them oral questions that were framed in "common sense" on the water...they did stellar.
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Old 09-28-2014, 11:28 AM   #55
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I don't think any assumptions were made. I think they just calculated how much testing and licensing the system could handle in a given frame and come up with age 40 and under as of April 28, 1994. By 2034, everyone will be licensed with the exception of a few octogenarian active boaters.

BTW Kelbylinn, where are you located?
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:03 PM   #56
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I don't think any assumptions were made. I think they just calculated how much testing and licensing the system could handle in a given frame and come up with age 40 and under as of April 28, 1994. By 2034, everyone will be licensed with the exception of a few octogenarian active boaters.

BTW Kelbylinn, where are you located?
Correct...whether good or bad....implementation of any legislation is calculated.

The more politically correct...the more expedient it is passed and less effort is put into how it will be implemented and enforced.

Because there are plenty of models out there with a decade or so of experience in this very topic...and no one was going to get/or not get reelected on boating safety....I think in many states the implementation was thought out to impacts...everything from letting private entities teach it to overlapping with gov't agencies in on the fray.
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:05 PM   #57
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If there's an endorsement on the driver license, how is it complicated and not able to be enforced?
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:20 PM   #58
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If there's an endorsement on the driver license, how is it complicated and not able to be enforced?
Can't speak for all of the states but NJ did screw that one up.

In the days of NJ State Police needing funding to enforce boating on lakes...they enacted the driver's license endorsement long before the safety certification...but it's ONLY for NON-Tidal waters. Everyone now needs the safety certificate..and if boating on NON-Tidal waters they also need the driver's license endorsement.

But if just doing coastal water's you don't.

There are 2 flow charts for what you need in NJ waters...the way I look at it...if you even need ONE flow chart for permanent certification (not the 4-5 years a plan might be implemented)...the legislation is BS and needs rethinking.
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:28 PM   #59
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If there's an endorsement on the driver license, how is it complicated and not able to be enforced?
As proposed by Tom, LEO would need to determine the displacement of the boat and then verify that the proper endorsement was issued.
If you bought a boat with a larger displacement you would need to I presume show some sort of evidence by means of an on the water test to prove you are qualified for that added endorsement. And to pass such a test would be at the mercy of the person who is doing the checking.

What's wrong with a requirement to pass a qualified boating course for anyone wanting to use a boat, just like almost all states already have.

Just wondering though; how many accidents are caused by a lack of knowledge or by a lack of judgement.
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:34 PM   #60
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July 4th fatal accident in Miami. 4 died because of a collision that happened after the fire works. At night one boat traveling at high speed ran into another.

Don't know the qualifications of the capt on the high speed boat, but I doubt all the knowledge in the world would have prevented this accident. Just a tiny bit of good judgement would have.
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