The California Senate Bill 545 "Operation of Vessels", has just been
In my opinion, the latest amendment is an improvement, and makes it
something I can live with. It still misses the mark, however.
The major change in the bill was to replace the word "motorboat" with
the phrase "vessel powered by a motor of greater than 10 horsepower".
So now the kids can still put around in the dinghy.
Another improvement is the following phrase:
"One of these exceptions would authorize any person who is at
least 12 years of age, but less than 16 years of age, to operate
this type of vessel, provided the person has been issued a
boating safety identification card or a temporary boating safety
identification card and is accompanied in the vessel by a
person who meets specified requirements. "
At least now you can start instructing a minor on boat handling at a
reasonable age. I still don't like the fact that, even under
supervision, anyone under the age of 21 needs to have the "boating
safety identification card".
What I still object to is the exemption for rented vessels. Here is
the exact text of the bill:
(d) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a person who meets
any of the following conditions:
<reasonable exemptions 1-4 snipped>
(5) A person using a rented or leased vessel if all of the
following conditions are met:
(A) The person rents or leases the vessel from a boat
business licensed by a city or county.
(B) The rental or lease contract specifies that the renter or
lessee has been instructed by the owner of the business or the
authorized agent of the owner in the safe operation of the
vessel and the hazards of unsafe operation of the vessel.
(C) The owner of the business has complied with the terms of
the rental or lease contract, and all parties sign the contract.
So, fellow Californians, if you like this, do nothing. If you don't
like this, write your congress person!