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California passed a new boating license law

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Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
http://www.havasunews.com/news/auth...cle_f8cce01c-8aec-11e7-9e65-03230d2282fb.html

Authorities prepare for California boating license laws
  • By CHELSEA CURTIS TODAY’S NEWS-HERALD

California residents launch their boats from Lake Havasu Marina Saturday afternoon.

Beginning next year, California residents 20 years old and younger will need to have a California Boater Card while operating a motorized vessel in the state’s waterways, including Lake Havasu.

The cards are issued when a boater passes a California state boater safety education exam.

In preparation for the change, law enforcement agencies patrolling Lake Havasu and the Colorado River are taking the time to inform California boaters of the change.


“We actually give them a book that’s put out by California’s Division of Boating and Waterways, that way they can educate themselves on the topic and learn about how they can take the safety course,” said Cpl. Jeffrey Cross of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Marine Enforcement Unit.

The law will not apply to Arizona residents boating in California waterways, Cross said. So the department’s “plan of attack” is to determine where each boater resides to ensure proper enforcement.

He explained that the law’s age requirement will increase each year so that by 2025 all Californians will be required to have a valid boater card, which is, “good for life, can’t be revoked and doesn’t expire,” he said.

According to Sgt. Kyler Cox, a Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Waterways deputy, since the law is not an Arizona law, Arizona’s law enforcement agencies are not able to enforce it. However, he added, they could call for assistance if they come across a California boater operating in California waterways without a boater card.

“I’m not saying that it would [happen] but it’s definitely a possibility,” he said. “We would like to get together in-house with our fellow agencies…to get an exact run down of how they’re going to enforce it, that way were on the same page and, if people have questions, we can give them the right answers.”


Arizona Game and Fish Department Boating Law Administrator Tim Baumgarten said, since California has “taken that big step” toward safer boating practices, Arizona could have some success in a program of its own.

“In past years, we knew that if 100 percent of Arizona boaters had taken a boating safety class, we would still not be successful because that would only be 60 percent of the boating population because 40 percent of the population was from California,” he said. “I think if Arizona is really going to be serious about boating safety and recreational safety…then educating the public is key and how we do that still remains to be seen.”

He added that Arizona is one of four states with no boating safety requirements.
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
Sounds like Arizona is drinking the kool-aid. And the cancer spreads.


Not certain what the purpose of your post even is. Did you bother to read the article or just decided it was an opportunity for an ad hominem comment?

Since it appears you either didn't read the article, or don't know anything about this end of the Colorado River.

A large section of the river from a few miles below Davis Dam [near Laughlin] all the way to the Gulf of California. There is a huge number of California boaters who boat the section of the river all the way from Davis Dam and below Havasu down toward Yuma and many of those are very young boaters who come here for Spring Break, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and in between.....not to mention people who own homes on the Arizona side of the river and lake and down in Parker, etc.

Many of the holiday Spring Breakers rent boats - yes you have to be a certain age, but quite often younger members of the group drive those boats and because they don't own boats may not even be aware California has passed this law for boaters under the age of 20 - much less that it is going to be increased to cover all California boaters.

Frankly, the odds of such a law passing in Arizona is likely slim to none, we have a huge number of lakes in Arizona and the State is loathe to discourage boaters - good or bad is all a matter of personal opinion, but we are a red state and take more of a hands-off approach to passing law after law after law to control every aspect of a person's life [unlike CA which many of us escaped for that very reason]. The purpose of this article was to inform boaters who may have homes locally and live in CA if you let your 20 and under child drive your boat or a jetski on Havasu and you are on the California side of the lake and are stopped by the San Bernardino authorities and do not possess a California boating license you are going to be cited. If you are on the AZ side you probably won't.

So not certain what this has to do with either "koolaid" or a "cancer" spreading..... thus your comment was clearly an opportunity to just say anything and not add anything positive to the site.

As for why posting the article, there has been a LOT of discussion on WWs over the year on licensing boaters....... other than the jet ski license requirement in Utah, this is a first along most of the Colorado River - of which Lake Powell is located.
 

Leardriver

Well-Known Member
WB,

what do you think about the provision that the card can't be revoked? Doesn't that sort of take the teeth out of any potential enforcement action?
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
WB,

what do you think about the provision that the card can't be revoked? Doesn't that sort of take the teeth out of any potential enforcement action?


Yes. I found that unsettling. I can think of a lot of reasons why such a license should be revoked.

One thing I do think in regards to this subject, is there is so many people who are not aware of boating rules, don't know what a wakeless buoy is, and don't seem to know you are required to have the Coast Guard lighting on their boats. It has been so bad this summer on Havasu they actually had an article in the paper leading up to Labor Day reminding people they are required to have the red/green lights on the bow and the white light - visable 360 degrees on the stern. I think this is due to a fatal accident we had a few weeks ago - when a boat coming back to our side of the lake from the Casino in Havasu Landing [the lights from the Casino shine across the entire section of lake between the Casino and the Windsor launch] was rammed by a 28-foot Eliminator open-bow boat. The Eliminator didnt have any lights on the boat, all his passengers were thrown into the water as were the people on the other boat - which luckily didn't sink as was able to pull all injured aboard and take them to Windsor for the ambulances [one was evacuated to Vegas]. The driver of the Eliminator was killed. Paper said "alcohol might be involved."... one thing the paper pointed out was last weekend they stopped multiple boats w/o the red/green and white light, they were running with the boat "headlights" - which is illegal.

I do think we need some mechanism to get people who will own and drive a boat to know the basic rules of boating. Especially a problem here with so many people renting boats, and no clue about other than turn on the key and go - and this applies to people renting boats at Lake Powell, too.
 

Dale

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately, the personal responsibility we "golden agers" learned "way back then", is no longer taught, and regulation must take its place! I'm not familiar with Havasu, but the "blue tops" at Powell are bad enough! Maybe, to rent a boat, an online course could be developed, and required? for those that don't have the card.
 

Regal95

Active Member
I personally don't have a problem with any new boater taking a basic safety course and getting a card. It should not be too hard for Game and Fish to create a database of names of people who have registered a boat in the past. No previous boat under your name, you need to get/show a card. The rest of us are grandfathered. I also don't think that's much of a hindrance to buying a boat. So many people out on the water have absolutely no idea what they are doing. This would at least help some.

The idea that it can't be revoked is illogical to me. The idea that if someone gets into a major accident and is at fault, or gets a DUI while boating and their card can't be suspended, kind of defeats part of the purpose of holding the card.

I have also always found it a bit crazy that anyone can rent a massive RV without some sort of test or certification, when they have no practical experience driving anything larger than a ford mustang.
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
I'm sure this will be a good way to increase revenue to a state that needs (and spends) every dollar it can get.

I'm not optimistic that it will have a significant impact on increasing safety.
 

Cookie

Well-Known Member
I live on a private lake, and all boat owners have to take a safety test, and our boats must have a safety inspection every two years or you can't be registered on the lake.

I see no problem with this at all, this has been needed for a long time, you don't even need a drivers license to operate a boat. Of course most of us grew up around boats so common sense and a lifetime of practical lessons have taught us, but go hang at one of the local lakes near a metropolitan area, and you will see clearly how bad some people are operating a boat or jet ski.
 

Leardriver

Well-Known Member
I totally agree. The law sounds toothless as far as enforcement and revocation of certificates, but if there are at least some fundamentals passed along during the brief training process, then something positive has been accomplished. The suspicious side of me sees big government and fee collection as a primary objective.
 

capt.catfish

Well-Known Member
I'm not opposed to education or, I suppose, licensing. However, every program like this one I've dealt with has been mostly, if not completely, ineffective. While I'm sure those that champion these programs have noble intentions and it's hard to argue with the need for more training and education for recreational boaters, I think these programs end up being little more than a revenue generation mechanism for the state and private training companies. These are boater's education cards, not licenses, which is why they can't be revoked. The cards only serve to certify that you have completed the state's required training, not that you are licensed or qualified to operate a vessel. For the most part, I don't believe that they are transferable, which means if you get the Washington State card and then move to California, you will likely have to go through training again to get the California card. I assume an actual licensing system would be quite difficult and cumbersome to implement (you'd need practical examinations, reciprocity between states, etc.), but would likely be more effective.

I live in Washington State, which now requires a boaters education card, which sounds identical to the proposed California program. What surprised me was that despite having been a professional mariner for 10 years and holding a USCG master's license, I was still required to pay the fee and go through the training to obtain a card. By Washington State law, a USCG license does not satisfy the boater's education requirement, unless you are sailing on that license in a commercial capacity. So, I went through about 4-hours of online training videos, took their online quiz, and paid a $50 fee; presto, I got my card in the mail.

Sitting through the course videos, I grew more and more irate at the waste of my money and time. The course had several instances where information was misrepresented, presented in a confusing manner, or just plain incorrect. They clearly had mandated times that had to be met on specific topics, and the course met those requirements often by running a video for a little over a minute and keeping you on the topic with a black screen for the required 3-mins. Clearly the state is not auditing these courses sufficiently; likely their employees don't want to sit through the entire 4 hour course like I did.

Even with a good online course, such a system is ripe for abuse; those that don't really care to invest time into learning the information, won't. The sad fact of the matter is, irresponsible boaters will still be irresponsible.
 
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birdsnest

Well-Known Member
I'm not opposed to education or, I suppose, licensing. However, every program like this one I've dealt with has been mostly, if not completely, ineffective. While I'm sure those that champion these programs have noble intentions and it's hard to argue with the need for more training and education for recreational boaters, I think these programs end up being little more than a revenue generation mechanism for the state and private training companies. These are boater's education cards, not licenses, which is why they can't be revoked. The cards only serve to certify that you have completed the state's required training, not that you are licensed or qualified to operate a vessel. For the most part, I don't believe that they are transferable, which means if you get the Washington State card and then move to California, you will likely have to go through training again to get a the California card. I assume an actual licensing system would be quite difficult and cumbersome to implement (you'd need practical examinations, reciprocity between states, etc.), but would likely be more effective.

I live in Washington State, which now requires a boaters education card, which sounds identical to the proposed California program. What surprised me was that despite having been a professional mariner for 10 years and holding a USCG master's license, I was still required to pay the fee and go through the training to obtain a card. By Washington State law, a USCG license does not satisfy the boater's education requirement, unless you are sailing on that license in a commercial capacity. So, I went through about 4-hours of online training videos, took their online quiz, and paid a $50 fee; presto, I got my card in the mail.

Sitting through the course videos, I grew more and more irate at the waste of my money and time. The course had several instances where information was misrepresented, presented in a confusing manner, or just plain incorrect. They clearly had mandated times that had to be met on specific topics, and the course met those requirements often by running a video for a little over a minute and keeping you on the topic with a black screen for the required 3-mins. Clearly the state is not auditing these courses sufficiently; likely their employees don't want to sit through the entire 4 hour course like I did.

Even with a good online course, such a system is ripe for abuse; those that don't really care to invest time into learning the information, won't. The sad fact of the matter is, irresponsible boaters will still be irresponsible.
That sounds insane. How can it be that a uscg master license holder has to take a dummy test? Oh, do you think it might be about the money... shocker!!
 

Bill Sampson

Well-Known Member
Something that kept me out of boating for about 10 years was that I had a friend run over and killed at Puddingstone Lake in California by a boater that had no idea what a red flag was. To this date I still go to Lake Mead or Lake Powell for my boating. The local lakes here have the same bad drivers as our freeways.
 

Dungee Fishing

Well-Known Member
13 Year old kid, second time ever on a Jet Ski. This is just one of thousands of videos like this. For some reason a lot of people have an unsafe comfort level on the water compared to roads. Mix that in with kids driving, inexperience, alcohol, super loud music, an insane amount of people on board, bad weather, heavy traffic, unaware of rules etc. etc.. I'm actually surprised/impressed more people aren't killed at Powell each year.
 

Dale

Well-Known Member
Guess I am getting old, but these spoiled little rich kids, and their NEGLIGENT RICH PARENTS need to be fined big time when they do not operate their vessels in an appropriate manner! And they are like insects all over Lake Powell! We have had these little privileged losers spray the back of our beached boat! And this was 10 years ago! I do not want to know how bad it is now! The losers parents are probably the losers that pollute the beaches and shoot illegal fireworks! Since NPS seems to be newly active in enforcing the law, they should be able to totally fund lake operations by citing these arrogant A**holes!
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
Guess I am getting old, but these spoiled little rich kids, and their NEGLIGENT RICH PARENTS need to be fined big time when they do not operate their vessels in an appropriate manner! And they are like insects all over Lake Powell! We have had these little privileged losers spray the back of our beached boat! And this was 10 years ago! I do not want to know how bad it is now! The losers parents are probably the losers that pollute the beaches and shoot illegal fireworks! Since NPS seems to be newly active in enforcing the law, they should be able to totally fund lake operations by citing these arrogant A**holes!
Wow. You might want to eat a Snickers.
 
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