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My 0.02 on the soap box

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Old 07-18-2002, 10:42 AM
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Default My 0.02 on the soap box

With all of the accidents so far this year I've been thinking very seriously about the state of speed in the Offshore Pleasure market. The increase in speeds over the last few years has been incredible, and I think left us with a bad legacy. It seems that now any boat that can't run 100 mph is "Slow". I even find myself saying when people ask how fast the Formula is that "it's not that fast, only runs 60". In it's day that was fast for a big pleasure boat. At this years Powerboat magazine cat test only one manufacturer had the courage (and I use that word on purpose) to bring a sub-100 mph model.

I used to ride motorcycles quite a bit, including some canyon ridding in California. I would never think about ridding the bike without at least a heavy jacket, jeans and my helmet. I've never even thought of running the boat wearing a helmet, and must admit I don't always wear my life jacket ... unless it's just me and my daughter out and she "reminds" me about it. In reality the opportunity to get hurt is probably comparable when running the boat fast as riding the motorcycle was.

I quit ridding the canyons when one time coming out of a turn there was a pickup in my lane passing a camper and I had to drop over onto the gravel sholder (on my TZ) at 100+. It had gotten just to serious to be fun, so I tempered my ridding to more leasurly but still nice 60-80 mph canyon rides. Since reading of all the accidents of late I find myself keeping the throttles on the boat pulled back much more when taking friends for a first ride, and especially when my daughter is on board.

I've started mulling the ideas of "at what speed in a "pleasure" boat should you be wearing a helmet?" Seems like even 60-70 mph speeds are enough to be worth considering. Certainly 100+ speeds should wear a helmet, and probably a full canopy with full-time air system and ...". Just when does it stop being a pleasure boat and become a race boat. It's a lot of fun to impress friends with the thrill of a fast run in a boat, especially in rough water, but do they really appreciate the risks, and are we being responsible by taking them with us into that realm?

I don't have answers, just a lot more questions than I did just a year ago. I hope the sport can come to grip with the situation somehow before the government/insurance regulators do it for us.

-Greg
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Old 07-18-2002, 10:49 AM
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Good timing on this post Greg. I posted this on Kook's thread a few minutes ago:

Originally posted by MIdnightRider
It was an accident, 75mph isn't anything that would be considered dangerous in todays speed driven boating market.
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I must respectfully disagree...75mph is fast. Things happen very quick at that speed. We all get caught up in this speed thing and try to eek every last mph out of our rigs, but I think most of us spend our time at cruising speeds and when we hang it out on the ragged edge, we don't have the experience that racers do and can get in trouble if we're not careful. I'm sure some of you will take exception to that, but I'm speaking about the general HP boating population, not those with tons of high speed seat time. I know that the whopper HP boats (Cigs, Outerlimits, skater, etc.) go much faster, but it is still fast on the WATER. My boat doesn't do 75, but when I'm running WOT, you need to be paying careful attention or you can get hurt. I think Kook's experience shows that.
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:02 AM
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The AMAZING thing is, there are members here, some just still kids (recently turning 21) that have wealthy parents or grandparents that have purchased them a boat and they are not fully aware of these risks. In fact, just recently there was a thread started about what type of drink you prefer on your boat. How ABSOLUTELY REDICULOUS IS THAT? When you are going to be getting behind the controls of any boat, let alone a high peformance boat, you should have NO ALCOHOL in your system WHATSOEVER! If you choose to drink, let someone else drive! Those who think that just a few are okay, really are putting themselves, their families and friends, and even worse, inncent unexpecting others at risk! I have often times been made fun of for wearing helmets and life jackets when running my Skater, but I would MUCH rather be safe than sorry!
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:03 AM
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I think its more of knowing when and where to be running at those speeds. My boat will only do about 65mph and I may see those speeds maybe 4 to 5 times a year because alot of times I have my children, family, guests...etc and I just cruise. Speed is relavant to the craft your in.....65 in my boat is fast but in a 30' foot cat its just gettin fired up I guess my point is a little common sense and fear are needed to be truely "safe"
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:18 AM
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I don't know if you follow local NJ news, but K. Hovnanian's son, ALton, died Monday night. Here's a kid that had everything to live for. He plugged a, lighted, moored sailboat in the side at speed on a jet ski. It passed right into the cabin and was still stuck inside when it was raised. The kid was 15 years old and in the paper the quote was he was an "experienced" boater. It was done in the evening I understand and I know the sailboat, it's been mooring in the same place for 25 years, by the Ocean Point Bridge on the Navisink.

How can a 15 year old be experienced in anything, much less operation of machinery?

Let's face it, we need a boaters license - a real one, I got an endoresement on my NJ license. Only had to pay 10 bucks I think and now I'm "licensed" - you don't even need that. I can't tell you how many fools are "red, right, recking" in my local waters.

Self policing has never and will not ever work.
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:32 AM
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i've said it here, in mags, i've said it on TV interviews, and to my students...IT's NOT HOW FAST YOU GO....IT'S HOW WELL YOU GO FAST! THIS MEANS WITH IN YOUR ABILITES AND your equipments!!!! it kills me to see people dump BIG $$$ to get a few more mph's and overlook things that don't really cost that much.... truth be known....kook's boat is as fast, smaller, and wieghs less that a race boat that has proper seating, rigging, balance, TWO persons running it! safty equipment??.....the list goes on....
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:33 AM
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Boat licens will not work either. what are they going to do sit you down in a class. The *******s that are causing the trouble still will not know how to operate the boat. Are they going to do a water test? What are they going to test in? If you pass can you only drive that boat? Just because you can drive a single screw center console says nothing about your ability to drive a large twin engine monster. The state of NH had mandated Licenses and you take the test on the internet as I understand. What good is this going to do? NOTHING!!! I think that it is not going to help at all. Infractions in MA go on your drivers license that is a good idea as there is not accountability that will cost you if you mess up. Go to fast in a no wake zone and your insurance on your boat and car will go up.

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Old 07-18-2002, 11:52 AM
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At least a written test would weed out the bottom feeders. Water test - too difficult. At least a written test would make people at least read the ruls of the road once in their lives...

Make at least some of populace not drive a boat is not licensed - it's completely fair game now.
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:52 AM
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At least a written test would weed out the bottom feeders. Water test - too difficult. At least a written test would make people at least read the ruls of the road once in their lives...

Make at least some of populace not drive a boat is not licensed - it's completely fair game now.
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:52 AM
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At least a written test would weed out the bottom feeders. Water test - too difficult. At least a written test would make people at least read the ruls of the road once in their lives...

Make at least some of populace not drive a boat is not licensed - it's completely fair game now.
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