> > >>there are way too many newbies on
> > PWC's with no clue on boating safety.<<
> > Mandatory licensing with a safe boating course requirement. And a grandfather
> > clause for those who have already taken a course and can prove it.
> > You boating old-timers might not like this, but (1) it's bound to happen
> > someday, and (2) you will like it after you're hit by a PWC, and that's just a
> > matter of time, IMO.
> I have to agree w/ you here. Except I'll go out on that branch further
> and make _everyone_ who dosen't have a current commercial license to
> take at least a proficiency test on both paper and the water.
> I also think that we should have to re-take them every 10 years or so.
> There's just too much stupidity hapening out on the water these days.
While I am in favor of licensing, I don't see it as a panacea for stupidity
on the water, unless the examination required for licensing includes a
rigorous on-the-water test. It's just too easy to memorize the answers to 20
or 30 questions without having the vaguest understanding of what any of it
I've seen any number of boaters with little USPS flags (word chosen
deliberately) flying who had absolutely no idea of how to handle a boat, who
know nothing about the physics of handling a boat and who are oblivious to
the danger to which they expose others.
Of course, an on the water test wouldn't provide the assurance we need, but
it might eliminate some of the waterborne idiots.
I'd opt for a serious written exam, followed by a 30 day period of water
practice, followed by an on the water exam for which the boater paid $100 or
so. Such exam to include docking in various wind and current conditions,
demonstrated knowledge of rules of the road, behavior, anchoring and, just
for fine, rope splicing.
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