A year ago I took ABS, the About Boating Safety course. This is mandatory in New Jersey. I have mixed feelings about it. I am glad that aquamorons can no longer go out and buy a jet ski or speedboat, get drunk and then buzz around recklessly. They have to learn the basics and pass the test of boating safely. The downside is that people like me who have been sailing and operating boats for 25 years, have taken a bunch of certifications, still had to take the course. I missed the waive-in period (that was my fault) but after that no exceptions. It was a full-day of my life that I will never get back and I knew more operating a sailboat than the instructor.
Here's my question. Do they have mandatory boater safety where you live and is it making a difference?
It is mandatory in New Jersey. I can't find any stats saying that it's making a difference other than a general stat that 75% of boating fatalities had operators with no boating instruction. Reason enough to make it mandatory but no evidence yet that it's decreasing accidents as far as I know.
It's mandatory in Canada and if you don't take a test you can get a $250 fine. You can take the test online too here at Boaterexam.com. I think you can take the test online too in NJ.
What's been your experience?
Note: I did receive a contribution to the Turinas Boat Restoration Fund for mentioning Boaterexam.com but they asked nicely.