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Boaters may have to pass test

READ MORE: Boaters may have to pass test
Some state legislators are trying to make it a requirement that all boaters pass a safety exam. Two separate bills, one in the House and one in the Senate would make it mandatory for people behind the wheel of a motor boat to pass the safety test and carry the certification to prove it. "I think it should be required. People don't understand what the rules are of boating,” said Tom Conely of Wilmington. However, not everyone in Raleigh is in agreement. Representative Bonner Stiller has voted against the boating safety education bill. "It’s ridiculous. Now none of us are against safety, but um, to tell folks that its mandatory, is just another example of big government getting here on top of us when we don't need it.” Here are a few of the bills guidelines: Visitors can operate a motorboat up to 90 days without having to pass a safety course. Commercial fishermen do not have to take the test. Teenagers from 14 to 16 must be supervised by someone 18 or older, who has a certification. If the bill is approved, it will become law immediately, however depending on age, boaters have at minimum two years to pass the test and get certified.

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Just like those driving on

Just like those driving on the roadways have to pass certain tests, so should those on the waterways. There are safety concerns and issues that boaters need to be aware of. If they aren't made to take these courses, some may never learn what is required of them thus causing problems for all boaters. It's a good idea

A boater's safety course is

A boater's safety course is long overdue for being a requirement to operate a vessel in public waters. I've just about been swamped before by these larger boats passing dangerously close to my smaller skiff. I've also seen boaters ignore channel markers and no wake zones. Most of this activity is due to ignorance; ignorance that those markers aren't just for your safety, but for everyone else. The safety course should be done the same way the hunter's safety course is managed. The funding for the course should come from boat registrations and fishing license, not a separate fee. The course should be required for anyone operating a boat and anyone under the age of 17 should have a licensed adult supervising. Make the safety course a 1-time requirement, except if someone is cited for a safety violation, make them retake the course before they're allowed back behind the wheel. If done right, a boater's safety course would make everyone safer on the water without providing additional money for the people in Raleigh to waste. We wouldn't have a deficit if they'd stop wasting money on ridiculous programs.

Another way for the State to make money!

I'm all for more safety, especially in the waterways, but all this is is a way for the State to make more money. They have to make up the money they lost by not taxing boats of a certain length. They have to support the Wildlife agents and State Troopers somehow. First it was saltwater fishing licenses, now it's this. They charge you to take the class, they charge you if you don't have it. Come on. Make it mandatory, but make it free and easy to acquire. Make a first time warning instead of an immediate ticket.



it won't change a thing

Rude, inconsiderate people who think they can do what they want will continue even if this becomes a law. The coast guard does not enforce the rules now when they see a large boat almost swamp a smaller one. These operators are too ignorant and uncaring to slow down. They are most likely the same ignorant, uncaring, inconsiderate drivers of motor vehicles in the Wilmington area causing our large amounts of car accidents.

Not just small boats. Boaters in Wrightsville Beach - No Respect

You are correct. People on or waterway are complete idiots whith no right to be in a vessel. They do NOT care about anyone other than themselves. I have seen small boats that were amost swamped, but it is not just small boats. They have no care for sailboats or any other boat for that manner. The people complaining wither are boat owners that don't care about abyone other than themselves or don't own a boat and have to put their 2 cents into everything. Boaters license! BRING IT ON!!


it's just ANOTHER thing I have to remember to have when I am on the boat....just ANOTHER thing I could get a ticket for if I don't have it on my person or SIGNED...this ISN'T about SAFETY...its about TAXES...plain and simple.

If you don't like it

If you don't like it and are afraid of a ticket sell your boat moron.. You are most likely one of those Wrightsville Beach Intracoastal idiots who only respect themselves anyway! I am lucky. I do have a large boat. I DO SLOW DOWN for smaller boats, especially Jon Boats... Think about this... You are driving at a higher speed.. You swamp a boat killing a small child onboard fishing with his father because you were inconsiderate/wreckless. Most likely because it is not required, you do not have liability insurance. Even if you are not charged with manslaughter, which you most likely will be as your reckless activity killed a human being, you will most certainly end up in civil court. You will loose because you were not following the rules of the water. You will loose your boat, maybe your house and 401.. Life insurance policies.. Everything. What about if you just swamo a little boat? You won't loose your house but if you are brought to civil court,, you will most likely be buying a new boat for the boat you ruined and paying a few thousand dollars of damages on top of it... Think about that the next time you almost swamp a family in a Jon Boat out fishing becausw YOU DON'T CARE.


and I DON'T live on snotty Wrightsville Beach...I wouldn't be caught DEAD at that zoo they call a boat ramp!...I'm just an average middle class citizen that doesn't want a fun tax slapped on every nit pickin thing I do.


NO..I am just a RESPONSIBLE boater that doesn't need GOVERNMENT breathing down my neck for SOMETHING ELSE! Again, this ISN'T ABOUT safety...its another tax base. The drunks will CONTINUE to be both on the water AND on the road DESPITE laws and rules. The only people that are PUNISHED are those who ARE responsible...the irresponsible will STILL remain just that...IRRESPONSIBLE. Whats next....I have to have a safety license to ride my lawn bicycle...I do care...I have been on boats ALL MY LIFE and am on the water A LOT all year long...they are EXCLUDING the individuals that actually NEED to learn some respect!


THIS IS STUPID...PLUS I LOVE THIS PART.. "Commercial fishermen do not have to take the test." WHY NOT..they are some of the most inconsiderate RUDE boaters on the water! Just ANOTHER TAX to get money...

Pass the Law

This is one of the best laws to pass! You get people out there who dont know what the heck they are doing. Not only putting their own lives in danger but everyone else out on the water! I fully support this law 110%. If you can't pass the test no driving a boat. I also think that if you can't pass the test or show proper paper work you should not be able to buy a boat. People may think that is a little overboard but you can never be too safe at all. Passing a law like this can make a huge difference and save many of lives!


AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!!!!!! Boats have to yiled for smaller craft, or slow down to make sure that yhe do not capsize the craft. When we take our 15' skiff out at Wrightsville Beach, and it is Wrightsville Beach where this happens the most... Idiot weekend warriors who have no business operating a motorboat are rude, selfish and have no care or concern to the safety to themselves or others. It is apparent that Ms. Stiller has never almost lost herself and her children's lives by being in a smaller boat. Besides rudeness, I believe firmly that if boaters know the laws of the water and proper seamanship the Intracoastal would be a much safer and more fun place to be. The waterway is for everyone to enjoy. It is not just for individuals who have spent a minumum of $20k on a boat.

Boat Exam

This is just another fee for the state to get money. The water ways do not have the same issues that highways do. Most have learned basic seaman ship before ever using a water craft. They do not want to go out and destroy there new toy. If the state wants to make people safer, they should require a licence for mopeds and bikes. These riders are clearly in need of a safety course in highway etiquette.


look 10,15,20 years ago boating was not as big as it is now. then you were lucky to see 15 boats during the weekends,now you will see 150 + boats on a non holiday weekend and during a holiday weekend we put in at least 180 boats and thats just our marina and theres six marinas just in this area. my point is i have worked 11 years in the boating industry and have seen poeple buy and ride without any boaters safty courses and as they leave the lift wells they are bouncing off other customers boats causing damage. some dont even know how to use their boat. in my 11 years i have seen a person lose his leg people have lost their fingers, crush their leg or arms gash their head you name it and it could have been avoided if they knew what to do under pressure if they took a safty course. people have no clue what the channel markers mean and they are just as important as a stop sign or ttraffic signal or they dont know what side to be on when passing a boat or to slow down when passing an officer or coast guard with their blue lights on. boats do not have brakes they dont stop on a dime. and kids, lord parents should be ashamed letting their kids use the boat without adult supervision. I deal with 300 boating customers and 300 of my customers should take the boaters safty course i think that boats are like motorcycles their fun, cool to ride but can be very dangerous if you dont know what your doing. anyway i beleave kids under 18 should take the course once a year and cannot opperate any boat without adult supervision and 18 and over should take the course every two or three years

Just another tax

Politicians are busy coming up with more and more ways to get deeper into everyone's wallet.'s for your health, safety, schools, roads and the children. BALONEY! It's more about YOUR money going to THEM to spend as they damn well please!

I will have to agree. Once

I will have to agree. Once again the aristocrat elite have thought of a way to get your money. And truth being known, the money they collect from you will be diverted to some home project that is putting money into their pockets. If a safety tests would help...why doesnt the drivers education programs prevent crashes, speeders, and drunks.In a time when the working man is at his last nickle...we dont need another....TAX.

Yea, just another tax

It's just another way to extort cash from the people that worked hard to buy those boats. They have already paid sales tax on them, insured them and paid to register them. This will be like the car Inspection Sticker program which is another tax on cars. Between Washington and Raleigh, the powers that be are determined to steal every cent that we make. They should scrap the food stamp and welfare programs for the deadbeats in our society and let everyone pull their own weight for a change. Maybe it's time for another Revolution.


PRAY every day a Revolution will happen to toss these NITWITS out on their rear ends...however, enough people aren't outraged enough and by the time the numbers get to where they need to be to have a successful Revolution in this country..our rights will have been so watered down they will just shoot us on the streets and nobody will even think twice about it. I'm probably on some FBI terrorist list for the paragraph I just wrote!