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#329404 - 07/18/07 06:59 PM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: Hockey Family]  
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 Originally Posted By: Hockey Family
Safety in operating a vehicle on the road comes in Knowing the rules of the road AND in Laws for safety equipment. Seat belts, More brake lights, ABS, Airbags, Modification restrictions.

I'm not saying any of that is not good or is not needed on the road. What I'm saying is if you promote manditory safety certification, you promote more restrictions on our waterways and in our vessels, and in how we use them.

That's the way I see it. \:\)


I agree 100% with the first paragraph. Every licensed vehicle driver has taken some kind of mandatory education course and passed a test. That's how they learned about those things. So why should we not do the same with boating?

As to the second paragraph, you're right that mandatory safety certification would promote more restrictions. You're saying that's a bad thing, I'm saying it's a good thing.

I also am one generally who resists more government intervention in our daily lives. There are times when I believe it's not only necessary, but for the "good of the order" it's often crucial. Driver's license education is a good example. I believe boater certification would work much the same way. No, it won't stop all the jerks but it will reduce accidents/injuries/deaths.


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#329411 - 07/18/07 07:05 PM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: deepv]  
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Mandatory Safety Training = Common Sense?

I doubt it.


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#329417 - 07/18/07 07:14 PM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: x-ray]  
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 Originally Posted By: x-ray
Mandatory Safety Training = Common Sense?

I doubt it.


Agreed. But some people just don't know. And some of the rules of the road aren't common sense to some people, but they may be teachable.

Someone on this board has the moniker "common sense isn't common to everone" but at least some people will do better when they know what they are supposed to be doing.


72% of fatal boat accidents are caused by
boaters that haven't taken a safe boating course.

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#329427 - 07/18/07 07:35 PM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: GoFirstClass]  
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 Originally Posted By: GoFirstClass
As to the second paragraph, you're right that mandatory safety certification would promote more restrictions. You're saying that's a bad thing, I'm saying it's a good thing.


so here's where we disagree. And that's ok. \:\)


BTW... Another reason we won't see manditory certifications.
"The study also assessed boating's economic impact, determining that Great Lakes boaters spend $16 billion a year on buying and using their boats."

Actually, I don't even know if it's required in that area or not. But just seemed like something to point out that would be impacted if it's not already mandated. \:\)


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#329438 - 07/18/07 08:02 PM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: Hockey Family]  
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Maybe we should outlaw "risky" outdoor activities like boating.


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#329442 - 07/18/07 08:10 PM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: x-ray]  
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Easy. Nobody here is even suggesting that one. Just would like some educated people to join me on the water. Most of us here have learned a lot from being here and I am not talking about the members of this board, per se. There is 3647 registered members. How many registered boats are there?


72% of fatal boat accidents are caused by
boaters that haven't taken a safe boating course.

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#329449 - 07/18/07 08:56 PM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: deepv]  
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Do the people who are opposed to mandatory training/licensing feel that driving a boat well is more or less difficult then a vehicle?

I for one feel captaining a boat well is much more difficult. There isn't one person I take on my boat that I would allow to dock it. These same people would be more then welcome to borrow my car. I also feel that the rules of the road are clearly defined. There are stop signs, red and green lights, and lane dividers. The lakes I boat on have none of these.

Given all my previous thoughts there is no way I can reason that you should not need a license to captain a boat.


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#329461 - 07/18/07 10:03 PM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: Chicago4Winns]  
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CC:

If you choose not to be trained and destroy your boat docking it, that's your boat and your marina's problem. I suppose you could injure someone in your boat, but that makes me question the wisdom of someone boating with a known idiot. Sounds like a lot of Darwin awards.

Next time you're driving down the street, recognize that every single car that passes you at 50 mph could swerve in less than a second and crush your car head on, for a collision equal to 100 mph straight into a brick wall.

There are consequences for idiocy on the roads. There are far fewer consequences for idiocy on the water. In many respects, that's why you see so much idiocy on the water - the consequences aren't nearly as severe as on the road - how many times does someone die jumping a wake behind somebody's boat?

Yes, it happens, and yes, innocent people find themselves in the middle of it, but to even suggest that driving a car is easier, or safer, than a boat is something I can't agree with.

I would say this - if you find yourself fearing for your safety and your family's safety on a regular basis, it's high time to find another lake or another hobby. Turning to the government will only lead to disappointment.

A personal prejudice I have: believing that idiots/law breakers/irresponsible jerks, when asked not to be idiots, will actually see the light and change. What a foolish idea. Take guns away from the public, and the criminals are the only ones who own them. Mandate rules, restrictions, procedures, and sure enough the only ones who follow them are the ones that they don't apply to.

The belief that an unsafe boater who is drinking and driving his family all over the lake like a maniac will somehow become Mr. Safety because he was forced to attend a 1 hour lecture is a farce. Instead all of us lose our freedoms, boating becomes even more restrictive and beauracratic, and the ultimate issue isn't even addressed.

I'd rather states spent all that ridiculous money on more DNR officers to ticket those idiots.

If true safety is what you care about, this "corporate welfare" DV describes is the cheapest, most logical, and most efficient way of encouraging boater safety.


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#329477 - 07/18/07 11:17 PM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: jrh22]  
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 Originally Posted By: jrh22
CC:

If you choose not to be trained and destroy your boat docking it, that's your boat and your marina's problem. I suppose you could injure someone in your boat, but that makes me question the wisdom of someone boating with a known idiot. Sounds like a lot of Darwin awards.

I'm not sure what your point is here? I don't let anyone not trained drive my boat, but that doesn't stop the guy next to be with a brand new 31' and twins who has no idea how to drive it from destroying my boat. I've had to jump on my bow twice and stop a collision. Who knows what happens when I'm not there. If he had training and licensing on driving twins I'd feel much better. Why do you think you need a CDL to drive a truck?


Next time you're driving down the street, recognize that every single car that passes you at 50 mph could swerve in less than a second and crush your car head on, for a collision equal to 100 mph straight into a brick wall.

True but at least I know they have some training and passed a test, regardless of how tough it was. The person going 50 MPH in his GFBL could have just bought it 15 minutes ago and doesn't know a shifter from a throttle.

There are consequences for idiocy on the roads. There are far fewer consequences for idiocy on the water. In many respects, that's why you see so much idiocy on the water - the consequences aren't nearly as severe as on the road - how many times does someone die jumping a wake behind somebody's boat?

I'd hazard to guess the number of boat accidents per boater is far greater then car accidents per driver. I'm sure with some research we could find the percentage of boating deaths per boater compared to car deaths per driver

Yes, it happens, and yes, innocent people find themselves in the middle of it, but to even suggest that driving a car is easier, or safer, than a boat is something I can't agree with.

We'll need to agree to disagree here. However, I'd wager I could have someone park a car without hitting someone in the next spot a lot quicker then I could teach someone to dock my boat without hitting my neighbor

I would say this - if you find yourself fearing for your safety and your family's safety on a regular basis, it's high time to find another lake or another hobby. Turning to the government will only lead to disappointment.

I don't fear for my safety anymore then I do driving. However I also know the person next to me has some training behind the wheel.

A personal prejudice I have: believing that idiots/law breakers/irresponsible jerks, when asked not to be idiots, will actually see the light and change. What a foolish idea. Take guns away from the public, and the criminals are the only ones who own them. Mandate rules, restrictions, procedures, and sure enough the only ones who follow them are the ones that they don't apply to.

I agree with you here, I'm probably as conservative as they come. I don't want to expose my leanings here but needless to say I've never voted for a donkey and I carry a FOID card. But I do feel licensing/training boaters is a worthwhile effort

The belief that an unsafe boater who is drinking and driving his family all over the lake like a maniac will somehow become Mr. Safety because he was forced to attend a 1 hour lecture is a farce. Instead all of us lose our freedoms, boating becomes even more restrictive and beauracratic, and the ultimate issue isn't even addressed.

It won't make us any safer then a drunk driver. That's not really the point I'm making. Most idiots on the water don't know how to control their 5000lb vessel and don't know the basic rules of the water.

I'd rather states spent all that ridiculous money on more DNR officers to ticket those idiots.

So ticket the idiots after they have already endangered themselves or someone else or train them so there is nothing to ticket them for? I happen to feel it makes more sense to be proactive and force education on people rather then just throwing money at the outcome. Your want to ticket people who probably didn't know they were doing anything wrong.

If true safety is what you care about, this "corporate welfare" DV describes is the cheapest, most logical, and most efficient way of encouraging boater safety.


-Tom
2003 Four Winns 298 Vista
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#329499 - 07/19/07 01:01 AM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: Chicago4Winns]  
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This topic has taken an interesting turn. I think it's safe to say that most of us on here are, IMHO, above average in our interest in boating and probably above average in our boating skills (compared to the general boating population). I think it's also a safe bet that a higher percentage of us have taken a boater safety course than the general population of boat owners.

Another safe bet would be that most of us care about keeping boating a safe, family sport, yet at the same time we do not like government intervention when it is not necessary. The operative word here is "necessary".

jrh22 used the terms "idiots/law breakers/irresponsible jerks" to describe what many of us recognize as jerk boaters. Maybe I'm being a bit naive but I think most people in that group would like to think they are safe boaters, like we are. Most people like to think of themselves as responsible individuals who care about their fellow human beings. That's human nature.

Could it be that a lot of them break the rules (nav rules, for example) because they don't know what the rules are? For example, the lady(?) I mentioned earlier who pulled her boat right in front of mine when I was the stand-on vessel. I don't think she did it to be a jerk, I just think she didn't know any better. She probably didn't know there was such a thing as a give-way vessel or a stand-on vessel.

Let's face it, there are no painted lines on the water and few speed limit signs. So how is an untrained boater to know what the rules are unless they have taken a boater safety course? They are not going to learn the rules of safe boating through osmosis or by some mystical power bestowed on them by King Neptune.

As much as I do not like the government stepping into my private life, I am quick to back the idea of mandatory boating. No, I don't believe it will change a person from being an uncaring jerk to a caring individual. But it will change some people from not knowing the rules to knowing what they are. It also will make more boaters think about safety when they're out there....and that makes boating safer for all of us.


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#329500 - 07/19/07 01:08 AM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: Chicago4Winns]  
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 Originally Posted By: ChicagoCrownline
Do the people who are opposed to mandatory training/licensing feel that driving a boat well is more or less difficult then a vehicle?


Different, yes. More Difficult, absolutely not.
But, it could depend on the boat you're talking about.

Anything under 30' or so, I can teach any kid to physically drive and dock a boat in a matter of a couple of hours.
You cannot teach any kid to drive a car that easily.

To control a boat, you only need two hands. To drive a car, you need two hands and two feet. It gets much more confusing for someone who's NEVER done it before.

When you talk about letting people drive your car as opposed to your boat, I'm sure you're talking about people who drive and don't boat.
Would you let a 13 yr old drive off with your car?
--------------------
But I think the act of physically driving a boat isn't even related to this discussion. Would you mandate an actual boating(driving) test to get certified? It's just about learning the rules of the road/water. And there are only a few basic rules on our waterways a responcible person needs to learn to boat safely. Not so on the road.

And that's just my opinion about that. \:\) \:\)


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#329504 - 07/19/07 03:27 AM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: Hockey Family]  
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Actually,
My comment above might be a little unfair. I'm sure there are some boats that are more difficult to control than others. Especially around the docks. Like multiple drives and jets.
I was speaking in general.


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#329538 - 07/19/07 08:57 AM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: Hockey Family]  
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HF, you ignored the presumptions/assumptions I made above about us (BABC members) vs the general boat owner. What do you think about my comments that one needs to learn the rules of the road and safe boating concepts through a boater safety course?

After all, safe boating involves much more than how to run a boat down the lake or bring it to a dock.



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#329543 - 07/19/07 09:21 AM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: GoFirstClass]  
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GFC, I agee with you 100%. My comments started to go on a bit of a tangent.

I can sum up my thoughts on this topic in a few sentences. It makes no sense trying to enforce rules people don't know exist. What is the best way to educate them? Either by required training/licensing or by economic incentives or IMO a combination of both.

Last edited by ChicagoCrownline; 07/19/07 09:39 AM.

-Tom
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#329546 - 07/19/07 09:33 AM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: Chicago4Winns]  
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While a dissenter, I completely agree with the notion of improving education and safety on the waterways, for absolutely everyone. Incenting people to do it is the best way, in my estimation.

My primary objection is the fact that government rarely (if ever) gives back freedoms and loosens restrictions. Once they take it, it's gone. Hence my aversion to solving a problem with an institution (the gov't) that may very well create other problems.

Just imagine a very plausible scenario:

- We mandate training for all boaters
- It is determined that the cost per boater for this training, after all expenses are considered, to be $xx. Let's say it's $200/boater (just a random number)
- Every political group under the sun will fight tooth and nail about the lack of fairness toward their groups, specifically lower income households that can't afford to pay that fee
- As a result, each boater is charged $20 for the training
- Where does the rest come from? Non-boating tax payers? Good luck!
- Your registration fees and launch fees dramatically increase to pay for the deficit in this mandatory funding

This is a scenario that repeats itself without end across federal, state, and local governments every single day. That's what I want to avoid.

Can we address this issue? Should it be addressed? Absolutely. I just know that if the government is the answer, you can be assured that we'll have a couple hundred posts on this board complaining about what a joke the program is, how much it's driving up the cost of boating, how frustrating it is that people still are idiots, etc.

Instead, there are some free market ideas that would cost a fraction of the amount that the state would charge all of us, and I guarantee be far more comprehensive and worthwhile toward the ultimate aim of educating boaters.

Think about it...option 1 (above), your fees go up. Option 2 (free market), says to actually cut your fees and costs if you go out and educate yourself.

Why spend all that money, infuriate boaters, create a massive beauracracy, when with the power of the dime you can accomplish more at a far more amendable cost to boaters?

So while I disagree in a practical manner, I do absolutely agree with the philosophy - there are a lot of unsafe boaters out there. Either through ignorance, idiocy, or blatant disregard of common sense.

Last edited by jrh22; 07/19/07 09:37 AM.

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#329580 - 07/19/07 11:44 AM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: jrh22]  
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With driver's education, there are several ways to teach learners. Some expensive and most cheap. And that is practical application based training.

The state is not going to be concerned with the how they get trained, but what exam questions to use. Ideally, all of the states would go with one of the major groups, like USPS, or CGA, to establish a group of tests. There would be levels of tests, to cover the range of boats. For example, you could have a basics section that all must be passed, with certificates for jets, single engine (levels of HP?weight?), multiple engines, and multi-hulls (pontoons).

The existing testing facilities for car licensing would be used, and I would have the license as an endorsement on the driver's license. I would also like to see it made a part of the law that any boat sold must include a minimum amount of orientation time on the water. The dealer will have to sign and have the customer sign that the orientation had been completed before the tag office will process the boat license.

Other than the initial setup, the licensing would not add any major cost to the process. The boater will be able to complete the course any way they want. The dealer will have protection against lawsuits due to failure to explain something to the customer, and the customer gets a proper orientation. The dealer would also have to have someone that is licensed in that type of boat, to give the orientation, so you are not stuck with some idiot salesman that does not know squat.


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#329605 - 07/19/07 01:01 PM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: Chicago4Winns]  
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 Originally Posted By: ChicagoCrownline
Do the people who are opposed to mandatory training/licensing feel that driving a boat well is more or less difficult then a vehicle?

I for one feel captaining a boat well is much more difficult. There isn't one person I take on my boat that I would allow to dock it. These same people would be more then welcome to borrow my car. I also feel that the rules of the road are clearly defined. There are stop signs, red and green lights, and lane dividers. The lakes I boat on have none of these.

Given all my previous thoughts there is no way I can reason that you should not need a license to captain a boat.



I let my 14 yo son dock and load it on the trailer.

On Lake Silverwood, there actually is a lane divider (row of bouys about 200yds apart) in the main channel from the ramp to the skiing area as it is only about 150yds across. The info given out at the gate states to stay to the right of the row of bouys in this channel. Still there are about 5% of the people out there that are on the wrong side of the channel on any Sunday.

That same info handed out at the gate (and on their website and map) states to boat in a counter-clockwise rotation/direction in the lake as it is not that large. By doing this, you are forced into the proper crossing position of stand on and give way by default. Still there are that same 5% that are going every which way.

Last edited by deepv; 07/19/07 01:02 PM. Reason: added link

72% of fatal boat accidents are caused by
boaters that haven't taken a safe boating course.

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#329610 - 07/19/07 01:09 PM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: GoFirstClass]  
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 Originally Posted By: GoFirstClass
HF, you ignored the presumptions/assumptions I made above about us (BABC members) vs the general boat owner. What do you think about my comments that one needs to learn the rules of the road and safe boating concepts through a boater safety course?

After all, safe boating involves much more than how to run a boat down the lake or bring it to a dock.



GFC
I am in total agreement with your comments in post #329499.
For instance, I have not taken a course. I HAVE tried to learn as much as I can on safe navigation in order to be a safe and responsible boater. I'm sure there are some rules I don't know, but I continue to learn.
Maybe that makes me a 'jerk boater', I don't know.

I do agree taking a course would be benificial, but necessary to the point of making it manditory(?), that's where I do not agree.

I have told my son that I will NOT hand him the keys to the boat until he takes the time to learn, from me, enough information to make him a safe boater. But I would not force him to take a course.
I understand that I'm setting my own guidlines on what is or is not safe. I feel a reasonable person can do this in order to safely enjoy the activity of boating.

When on the water, I never assume other boaters know the rules, but I do assume most are reasonable and sane people.
....Oh, And in certain areas, I assume they're all drunk!

Last edited by Hockey Family; 07/19/07 01:11 PM. Reason: missed thought

HF
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#329614 - 07/19/07 01:27 PM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: Hockey Family]  
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Does one need to take the class to know the rules? I don't think so. A simple on-line test like at Boat US or USCG-Aux would do the trick. I re-read the rules at the begining of each season because I don't captain my boat as often as I drive my truck. So I need a refresher. This year I took the on-line test a few weeks after reading the rules and passed with a decent percentage correct. This is self decipline, but some people don't have it.

How about mandatory insurance, like in a car (where 25% don't even have it in CA)? The companies could be required to provide a larger discount as previously suggested, but with the cost bourne by those that don't have training certificates or haven't passed the on-line test. Then there's a check of insurance cards at the gate or launch ramp. If you don't have it, you don't launch. Renters would be required to view the film or have previously obtained the proper documentation.

Last edited by deepv; 07/19/07 02:13 PM. Reason: grammer

72% of fatal boat accidents are caused by
boaters that haven't taken a safe boating course.

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#329647 - 07/19/07 03:36 PM Re: Should boater education be mandatory. [Re: deepv]  
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I love all of you guys, love boating, and hate tragedies that are so easily avoidable...but my goodness, we're turning into a police state because it involves our hobbies?

I can't imagine we would be too hip on all of this legislation and inevitable burden on everyone (even non-boaters) if it involved a random activity that we had nothing to do with.

I know it's the third time I've gone to guns, but I don't freak out knowing that probably 20% of my fellow Hoosiers carry guns, and 75% of them have them in their homes. I don't demand training for them, despite the inevitable tragedies, because it just isn't that big of a problem. And ultimately, compared to the risks we take every day, I don't know how many drunk boaters are going to stop being drunk boaters because they were required to pass some sort of examination. After all, they keep lowering the BAC level for autos, and people keep dying on the roads at the hands of drunk drivers. Is the message getting through?


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