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Old 23 August 2002, 03:25   #21
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Hi folks,

Badbaws says "I thnik anyone who drives a powerboat of more than 6/7 knots should do a planing craft compulsory training course. A 2.2m inflatable with a 2 hp outboard is less likely to damage property or persons than a 20ft hard chine or RIB

Yes, here is just another of the problems of COMPULSION. Which boats would come under the regulations? In many respects it would be far more dangerous to be out in the Moray Firth in a 2.2m sib with a 2.5hp engine than in a 9m rib. So what do we do here? Perhaps we should have a law against taking small boats out in the open sea?

Wavehumper: Would you be in favour of me popping into a bike shop and buying a Kwacker 1100 (green of course) and taking it out on the road with no trainig or ticket I can answer that easily - NO. However this takes the discussion on another tack (note how I keep introducing these nautical metaphors). I could ask, are you in favour of compulsory training for hill walkers? What tread pattern should they have on their shoes? How much Kendal Mint Cake should they carry for any specified journey? My point about compulsory motorcycle training was the extra expence and problems it caused. We already have compulsory motorcycle training, we DON'T have compulsory boat training - let's keep it that way.

The fact is that law has a ratchet effect. One little law gets added to another, then another, then another. Legislation creeps in and grows. Always MORE, never LESS. Just look at the difference in opinions on this forum, and WE are all enthusiastic ribers and sibers. Can you imagine what a cock-up the faceless men in whitehall would make of trying to regulate LEISURE boating.

Seen in 'New Scientist' last week: The government are looking at a system of national video facial identification. Cameras all over the UK would be scanning people's faces and software would be identifying individuals. Details would be passed to a central police computer. No this is not a joke. This all began with speed cameras. From the speed camaras came ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognotion). ANPR is in operation NOW. As you drive about major cities in the UK, your car number plate and owner details are recorded. You see. Just one little step at a time. And we damned well accept it. After all it's in our interests!!! So THEY say.

Do you feel it's ok to run a boat without it being insured - that is up to the individual. Bear in mind that if insurance was compulsory the premiums would rocket. This alone would scupper many would-be boaters (another nautical metaphor)

Do you see a difference in requirements between say a 4 metre boat and an 8 metre boat in terms of trainig, safety equipment and driver knowledge See first paragraph.

The small ripple of regulation all too easily becomes the tsunami of compulsion.

Keith (nautical metaphors) Hart

PS. I have not lost my sense of humor - honest
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Old 23 August 2002, 05:07   #22
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This is good,

I've been waiting to get into a proper discussion for some time now, I am in work right now so I can't answer in detail.

However, presuming I've just bought my Kwacker, and I have forgone training do you think I should have a licence to drive this green thrill machine

Also should we change channels and keep this discussion going on your Mori poll thread

Cheers
Stuart
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Old 23 August 2002, 06:25   #23
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Hi Wavehumper

Yes, good isn't it.

Quote:
However, presuming I've just bought my Kwacker, and I have forgone training do you think I should have a licence to drive this green thrill machine
This is a distraction. My points about CBT (I was also involved in the 2 Part Motorcycle Test before it), were the complications, expense, and problems caused by COMPULSION. I am in favour of training, I am against extra regulation and COMPULSION.

You can either live in a society that allows people to be different, allows people the choice to live their lives as they please, allows people to do some dangerous things and as a result some people get killed or injured. Or you can live in a society where we are all monitored (closer than you think), completely regulated and there is zero tollerance. If you think the latter then life in Tehran under the Taleban was a good example of what that is like.

Under the former, Allan Priddy and persons of his ilk, are allowed to be adventurers. Under the latter they would not.

I want to live in the former society.

This week I have been at Crown Court in a murder case. An old lady was raped and murdered 7 years ago. The defendant is in court now because of DNA evidence I found at the scene all those years ago. I am very much in favour of the national criminal dna database. However I am not in favour of compulsory DNA testing for all UK citizens.

My arguments are on the principles of government interference in boating (and in anything for that matter).

I have over the past few years become more and more concerned about the lack of privacy we have as a society, and the amount of petty regulations (many stemming from the EU) that squash us down like a gigantic depression (first nautical mataphor this posting). So the thought of compulsory training, compulsory licencing, compulsory anything to upset my new found freedom in my little sib strikes a raw nerve.

I would never go out in my boat without a lifejacket. Some people do - their choice. I do not want lifejackets to be made compulsory. Who would enforce it anyway?

If the slipway you are about to use is slimy and very slippery you do not go down it because you know your 4x4 will slide all the way down into the water. (How's that for a nautical metaphor)

Compulsion is the top of an extremely slimy slope!

Keith (not an anarchist - honest) Hart
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Old 23 August 2002, 08:24   #24
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Couldn't resist getting involved in this one .....

I have read the various comments with interest, and would like to add my point of view

I have been involved in boating for around 35 years now - and have witnessed as many idiot things on water as I have witnessed on land - on motorways, and various other roads.

Just because the 'scooter driver' as Keith puts it wizzes past you like an idiot, and many more road users drive in the same way, doesnt mean we say let's forgt driver training because a mad few ignore it anyway.

I am FULLY in favour f having to have some form of basic traning and / or license before you can operate a boat.

As or who would police this - the various places for launching in this country often have a Harbourmaster or Beach Warden close by - they could quite easily do it in the majority of cases.

Jet Ski's have required to be registered before launch in many places, and this has worked well. Insurance companies coud play heir part - checking licenses before issuing certifcates - and most of us who invest copious amounts in a boat would not forego insurance. I know there will always be the odd ones - but there are those who dont even pay road tax - and that has to be on your car windscreen!

I say lets go for a COMPULSORY (for the protection of the majority of us) system - like the ICC - for once the French may have just got it right.
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Old 23 August 2002, 09:37   #25
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I say don't bother putting regulations on safety stuff for INSIDE the boat, if the people in their don't want to wear lifejackets, let em drown. However, there is no reason to say NO to requiring licenses for being able to control a boat. Poor driving skill puts others at risk, and it's this that should be tackled. Chances are if someone nearly knocks you off the motorway and then speeds off, you'll take their registration and call the police. Currently with recreational boating you can't always do that. And it's all too easy for someone with no training to loose control of a powerboat.

As for the comments from Keith about such things bringing an end to epics like the SoC round the world attemp, I don't see how it would. Unless of course these regulations prevent boats from leaving UK waters, and that would be just downright stupid on the governments part.

So, to sum up, regulations should be brought in to make sure that people are capable of driving a powerboat before they can go out in one. As for enforcing these laws, yeah, not easy. But some ideas could be retailers could make sure that people have the required license before selling them a boat. Whoever collects the launching free at slips could check. Harbourmasters could check.

Matt (keeping the debate alive) Brown
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Old 23 August 2002, 10:13   #26
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Whether you like regulations/licensing or not, I think it is inevitable that it will be a reality before too long. Without deviating too much from the original thread, put some thoughts together on how you would forsee any impending regulatory procedures.

Some food for thought comes from Victoria, Australia:

"In Victoria alone over the last 12 months there have been more than 850 reported boating incidents, which resulted in 10 fatalities and 22 serious injuries. These accidents are usually the result of poor boat handling skills, inadequate knowledge of waterways and weather conditions, and a lack of understanding of vital safety practices and procedures"

Licensing of all craft (25000) will commence in January 2003.
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Old 23 August 2002, 16:30   #27
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I live in deepest darkest Cornwall. Never see a policeman from week to week. Probabaly because there are not enough criminals around here to be bothering with.

But if something happened round these parts that needed law enforcement it seems unlikely that there would be any law enforcers to enforce the law. They just don't exist.

I also, from time to time, stay up in London - in E14. Police everywhere you look but still not enough to keep the law breakers under control. E14 has probabaly the worst crime figures in Britain.

So, pray tell me, all you who desire legislation and enforcement of new laws in British territorial waters, where are all the waterborne policemen in their squadboats going to be found to enforce your new laws?

We aint got enough to sort out those that flout the laws on land. We sure are not going to find a whole bunch of new ones to stop your boating yobs for dangerous driving off the Lizard on a wet Monday in January. Or, come to that, in the Solent on August Bank holiday Monday.

Get real. Only the police can enforce the law. Not harbour masters or retailers. It's not their job. Thank Gawd.

And there seems to be little money or recruits available for extra police patrols on the Roseland Peninsular in Cornwall - let alone on the beat in the Solent.

Unenforceable law is BAD law. If was possible to enforce it we would almost certainly have it. We don't. An in this respect we are fortunate.

You all behave responsibly on the water without law enforcement agencies breathing down your neck. Be grateful. Once the law enforcers are there it will only be wishful thinking to remember the good old days before you were regulated in yet another area of your lives of far less freedom than your parents enjoyed.

Me? I want freedom. Not more bloody rules.
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Old 23 August 2002, 17:19   #28
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Well, what a subject this is turning out to be.

As I said before, ths is not an easy law to enforce - but obviously neither is the Vehicle Tax law if you believe the Treasury figures.

Mike, you say:

You all behave responsibly on the water without law enforcement agencies breathing down your neck.

Unfortunately that is not always the case - but it is not just a case of upholding the law - it is the safety and security of other boat users.

If the rules were made that to get insurance you had to submit your ICC that would go a long way.

A few years ago they brought in new rules on the canals re safety of boats - and everyone said it was bound to fail, but it hasnt, and the inland waterways are a safer place.

This is similar - and with at least some form of basic training we can all enjoy our sport / recreation in a safer environment.

We are not looking for Big Brother here - just some common sense.
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Old 23 August 2002, 17:33   #29
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Graeme. You say that if you had to produce your ICC to get insurance that would go a long way.

Why?

Presumably it would make some people get their ICC. Not me. In 25 years and 75,000 sea miles I have never, because it has not been mandatory, before bothered with insurance. Given that there is no law to enforce me taking out insurance, I prefer to underwrite my own risks.

So, you would have to make insurance mandatory to catch guys like me. Who is going to pull me over onto the hard shoulder and check Ive paid my dues? The Solent Panda car patrol?
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Old 23 August 2002, 17:42   #30
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Well it seems a few of you are saying that if it's not possible to enforce laws, then they shouldnt be brought in. How many serious crimes go unsolved? Loads. They can't all be enforced, but that doesn't mean we should make em legal.

All I'm saying is that licenses should be checked whenever POSSIBLE. Hopefully this will be at the majority of popular boating areas, and so the majority of people there will be qualified, and so other water users should be safe. I'm not saying have police patrol boats driving around everywhere checking licenses.

Matt
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