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Are there boating laws and regulations at all?

Discussion in 'Motorcycles & Boats' started by 11506apollo, Aug 15, 2020.

  1. 11506apollo

    11506apollo Formula 3
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    Oct 16, 2008
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    In view of what I see on the water, both fresh and ocean, it seems to me there arent any regulations out there.
    Compared to automobiles, boating is a free for all activity with little to none regulations, let alone enforcement.
    - alcohool on 95% of boats I see
    - over capacity is common place
    - reckless driving? Everywhere...
    - boat inspections? Non existent...
    - mandatory trainning and licensing to operate one? Non existing zero

    Compare the above to cars and motorcycles and tell me there isnt something very very rotten with this system....
     
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  3. GuyIncognito

    GuyIncognito Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    where are you boating?
     
  4. BoulderFCar

    BoulderFCar F1 Veteran
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    Lots of rules. No wake, BUI, safety equip requirements, passports, a stack of registrations and on and on. Add insurance above a certain weight, length or horsepower and that can bring it's down set of requirements. Take a person out on the water for a fee and that brings an additional set of requirements. The radios are registered. The flares are dated.

    People are stupid and enforcement is spotty. The water is a big place with no roads. We probably got boarded 2-4 times per year in international waters. Full search of everything. This one was from last season. Took almost an hour.

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  5. boxerman

    boxerman F1 World Champ
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    People are idiots.

    Sadly a fun day on the water can and does turn tragic too often due to stupidity.
     
  6. 11506apollo

    11506apollo Formula 3
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    I boat in the Gulf of Mex off of TX coast with vast majority being fishing boats and they tend to be responsible, but lakes (Travis, Conroe,...) are a different story...
    I just find it puzzling that one doesn't need any special training or test, like we do to drive a motorcycle, in order to tow a trailer with a 10,000 lbs boat on it, and operate it on the water....
     
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  8. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Boat sales to novices are exploding, with Covid.
    Discussed it with a boating dealer recently.

    I would disagree on the enforcement, as Boulder Fcar states, I have a huge respect for any County Sheriff enforcement in Texas.
    Louisiana if anything is even more diligent.

    And Fish and Game of both states I have the highest regard.
    Not sure in Texas but Louisiana DOES offer a Safety Course and I for one would be proud to take it ..

    I have had a lot of Power Squadron instruction on power boating, and took all of the Red Cross sailing instruction as a child.

    Know weather and water.
    Know your knots.
    DWI and drug enforcement is huge compared to when I started boating, in the early '70s.

    To run an ocean racer with TOPPS you need a cool $1M in Liability Insurance...I have seen nightmares of blood and gasoline in Florida that probably used that much $$ to clean up....I used to really enjoy being out at night, using Q beam and night stars to navigate. I would hesitate to do that in the current environment.
     
  9. NYC Fred

    NYC Fred Formula 3
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    ((People are stupid and enforcement is spotty. The water is a big place with no roads. We probably got boarded 2-4 times per year in international waters. Full search of everything. This one was from last season. Took almost an hour.)))

    The USCG has the authority to board you in international waters?

    B/c you're a US registered vessel??
     
  10. INRange

    INRange F1 Rookie
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    Maritime Law is unique. Consider this:

    https://www.uscg.mil/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=luZU9g1tNsc%3D&portalid=0

    The USCG can board any US Flagged ship in any waters. It needs the permission of the Flag country to board a ship in International Waters unless the Flag country is under sanctions. In that case USCG can stop the ship and inspect it for contraband and seize it. The attached reference explains why the basic rights of due process do not apply to the Maritime world.
     
  11. INRange

    INRange F1 Rookie
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    Just to add a little more...the USCG also works the waters around DC. We get stopped once or twice a year usually by a new batch of recently assigned recruits. The senior officer guides them through the inspection process and makes sure they ask the required questions:

    1) Do you have any weapons on board? If so, are they loaded and where are they?
    2) Do you have paying passengers on board?
    3) Do you have enough life jackets for your passengers?

    Then they will check the boat to ensure the waste systems are secure, flares are current, the horn works, the hull numbers/documented numbers have not been tampered with and a host of other things.

    Beyond the basic inconvenience of being stopped......it isn't a big deal unless the have someone manning the SAW on the front/back of the boat.:eek:

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  13. NYC Fred

    NYC Fred Formula 3
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    ((The senior officer guides them through the inspection process and makes sure they ask the required questions:

    1) Do you have any weapons on board? If so, are they loaded and where are they?
    2) Do you have paying passengers on board?
    3) Do you have enough life jackets for your passengers?))

    Interesting.
    So AFA the USCG is concerned, the 4th amendment is toast. Does that extend to the 5th?
    Do I have to admit to having weapons on board?

    (Ex Hobie 16 + catboat sailor that never got out of the bay...)

    (And I'd feel MUCH better if the guy on the SAW practiced trigger discipline...)
     
  14. INRange

    INRange F1 Rookie
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    Exactly why they can make me nervous especially if the boat is bouncing around.

    In regards to the weapon question.....it is always a matter of venue. For example in DC Waters we have multiple venues. South of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge the water is mostly claimed by the State of Maryland. North of that bridge, it is the jurisdiction of DC until you get to Chain Bridge. In between, the USCG and DC Harbor usually police the river under DC laws which prohibit firearms. Having a gun on board in a jurisdiction that doesn't allow it is legally problematic regardless of the permits you might have for a concealed permit such as Virginia.

    I would think that if you answer that you have weapons on board with a yes.....they would probably call their friends at DC Harbor Police to also join in to resolve if a law had been broken. Lying about it and them finding it .....would probably have the same remedy.
     
  15. Innovativethinker

    Innovativethinker F1 Veteran
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    Lol. We got boarded by the Mexican navy once.

    I had a guy standing next by me pointing an UZI the whole time. His uniform was filthy, he was missing half his teeth, and he was wearing slip on Mickey Mouse tennis shoes.

    there wasn’t another boat around and these guys were pissed and tearing the boat apart.

    all I could think of was: great, I’m going to die from a guy wearing Mickey Mouse tennis shoes.

    the captain worked out a deal and they left but that memory is burned into my brain forever
     
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  16. BoulderFCar

    BoulderFCar F1 Veteran
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    There are lot's of nuances to it but the net is the USCG can do about anything they want in any waters. In my case my boat is Documented which is different than titled. In theory the US Gov can come to protect you, almost like a sovereign piece of property and you have to surrender your boat if requested in time of war or if needed. Doubtful the Army is going to need a sport fish. I'm paraphrasing the above.

    I've never had an issue with weapons. I'm always proactive and tell them what I have and where it is.

    I've had more of a problem with their boat handling skills and weapons safety. Kids with guns.
     
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