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#286434 - 03/08/17 02:31 PM No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida?  
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Dear US Sailing Members,

Over the past several days we have received numerous communications from our members and other sailors concerned about potential legislation in Maryland and Florida that would impact sailing and boating in those states. Thank you for sharing your concerns and perspective on these developments.

In Maryland, bills have been introduced in the state senate and house that would prohibit operation of a vessel while a person aboard is riding on, or suspended from, the bow, gunwale or transom of the vessel. HB 1609 and SB 1147 were introduced by Republican Delegate Mary Ann Carozza (R-38C- Ocean City) in the Maryland House of Delegates on February 23, 2017, and by Democratic Senator James Mathias (D-38) in the Maryland Senate on February 24, 2017. These bills were cross-filed, with Delegate Carozza filing first, followed by Senator Mathias. This legislation would have a negative impact on sailing and US Sailing is strongly opposed to any legislation that would limit sailors' abilities to operate boats in a manner consistent with normal operational methods and practices for any type of sailboats, from sailboards and kites to dinghies, keelboats and multihulls, inshore and offshore.

In Florida, bills have also been introduced in the state house and senate to limit the rights of minors to operate small powerboats (10 hp or greater) and sailboats (10 or longer) in salt water without direct supervision of an adult over the age of 21. Florida SB 1262 and Florida HB 1227 Boating in Salt Water were proposed by Senator Gary Farmer (D-34 Broward County shoreline Fort Lauderdale area) on Monday, February 27, 2017, and Representative Kristin Jacobs (D-96 Broward County Coconut Creek) on Friday, May 3, 2017. These bills were cross-filed with Senator Farmer filing first, followed by Representative Jacobs. In the state of Florida, there already exists education and certification requirements for youth boaters and boaters in training. This proposed legislation could have damaging effects on youth sailing in one of the most impactful states to the sport of sailing in the US. We all understand and accept, like many youth sports and activities, that safety is an important consideration, and the well-being of our young sailors is of utmost concern for US Sailing and all involved in youth sailing programs. That is why as a community and official Olympic sport we are all committed to and provide the highest standards in training and safety. However, US Sailing is strongly opposed to any legislation that would restrict the rights of sailors of any age from participation in the sport by mandating over reaching supervision, when in reality US Sailing provides effective safety and education to all of our sailing youth.

We understand and respect the goals of our government leaders to encourage and promote boating safety. With this, we believe both of these proposed pieces of legislation in both of their states respective houses have been drafted by well-intended state elected officials without complete information on their implications, as well as the true factors that provide for a safer boating environment: education, practice, mentoring and experience. These ideas are what truly develop competency and safe boating practices. Sailing has the strongest safety track record in the boating community, and we take pride that our sailors take this into account. With this, the US Coast Guard has relied on the sailing community and has designated US Sailing to lead the development of on-water boating education standards because of its first class education, safety standards and protocols, all of which which have been practiced for 50 plus years.

US Sailings Government Relations Committee, whose members have extensive experience and contacts at the federal and state levels, has been in contact with leaders in both Maryland and Florida to express our objections to the pending bills as is, and offer assistance to accomplish the goals of the state leaders through alternative approaches. We are also in contact with fellow boating organizations that have a presence in Maryland and Florida to coordinate messages and pressure on state officials to amend these pieces of legislation to exclude sailing. We will continue to work through our channels to amend these bills and protect the rights of our members, sailors and boaters across the country.

For our members in Maryland and Florida, we encourage you to contact the state representatives and senators proposing these bills to voice your concern on the detrimental impact these bills will have on the sailing and boating communities and industry in these states.

Maryland:

Delegate Mary Ann Carozza (R-District 38 Ocean City)
203 House Office Building
6 Bladen Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-841-3356
marybeth.carozza@house.state.md.us

Senator James Mathias (D-District 38 Somerset, Worcester, Wicomico Counties)
216 James Senate Office Building
11 Bladen Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-841-3645
james.mathias@senate.state.md.us

Florida:

Representative Kristin Jacobs (D-District 96 - Broward County Coconut Creek)
200 House Office Building
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-717-5096
Kristin.Jacobs@myfloridahouse.gov

Senator Gary Farmer (D-District 34 Fort Lauderdale)
216 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850-487-5034
farmer.gary.web@flsenate.gov

We will keep you updated on developments in both Maryland and Florida. Our goals remain to ensure that these bills do not pass in their current forms, and the safety concerns and objectives presented are addressed through other, non-regulatory means.

Thank you again for your communications, concerns and encouragement.

Sincerely,

Bruce Burton, President of US Sailing
Jack Gierhart, Chief Executive Officer of US Sailing


US Sail Level 2 Instructor
US Sail Level 3 Coach

Psssst! Muni bonds.
--- Hobie1616
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#286436 - 03/08/17 03:37 PM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: hobie1616]  
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fl
I have not read any bills (yet) but let me tell you that the FL laws that are in place don't seem to have any impact on non-power boats

Quote
. In the state of Florida, there already exists education and certification requirements for youth boaters and boaters in training. This proposed legislation could have damaging effects on youth sailing in one of the most impactful states to the sport of sailing in the US


Quote
http://myfwc.com/boating/safety-education/faqs/#21 Effective Jan. 1, 2010, boat operators who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, must have a Florida Boating Safety Education Identification Card to operate a motorboat with 10 horsepower or more. The requirement to take an approved boating safety course and to obtain an FWC-issued identification card did not change, but the age threshold for the educational requirements is now be based on whether or not you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1988.


I see young kids (and adults) on boats (presumably parents or other) completely disregard safety and common sense often in my area.

I have NO problems with requiring minors adult supervision. We have several youth programs around here - the ALWAYS have adults in powerboats around... i see no problem with that. As a matter of fact: i wish and support licence requirements on adults too. In Fl, we have no requirements for adult boaters... want to rent a million gigawatt powerboat... $ure, as long as you can pay.. we don't care if you know how to safely drive, navigate, etc. And don't worry about your wake... they will never catch you! (it's pretty bad here)

I personally don't want 14 year olds sailing around me solo. they are show offs, foolish and take risks adults wouldn't (i know, i was one of them).

Last edited by Mn3Again; 03/08/17 03:40 PM.

Mn3
#286437 - 03/08/17 06:23 PM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: Mn3Again]  
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MN3, aren't you the "I won't wear a PDF and you can't make me guy"?


David Ingram
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"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda
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#286442 - 03/09/17 08:00 AM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: David Ingram]  
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fl
I don't have the best memory these days so i wont say "unequivocally, that wasn't me", but I don't think so.

I wear a pfd about 95% of the time (these days)

I do recall being called out after posting a video or pictures for not wearing one. IF i recall correctly (and since this is fact, even if i don't: it's the truth) - the only time i don't wear one is in uber light winds where this is little chance of a capsize, or boom taking me out

Originally Posted by David Ingram
MN3, aren't you the "I won't wear a PDF and you can't make me guy"?


Mn3
#286446 - 03/09/17 01:55 PM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: Mn3Again]  
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Originally Posted by Mn3Again



I have NO problems with requiring minors adult supervision. We have several youth programs around here - the ALWAYS have adults in powerboats around... i see no problem with that.


From what I understand regarding the adult supervision, the intent is to require the adult to be IN THE SAME VESSEL as the minor operator.

This kind of pokes youth sailing in the eye. So the 17 year old pair of sailors in an F-18 would have to be supervised by an adult.

I haven't observed that much "showing off" by yoots on sailboats. It's not exactly like they're hauling butt in a powerboat or (worse) jet-ski...


Jay

#286451 - 03/09/17 03:53 PM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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fl
Originally Posted by waterbug_wpb
From what I understand regarding the adult supervision, the intent is to require the adult to be IN THE SAME VESSEL as the minor operator.

This kind of pokes youth sailing in the eye. So the 17 year old pair of sailors in an F-18 would have to be supervised by an adult.



please read this bill....
http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/1227/BillText/Filed/PDF

It is targeting use in salt water
children under 16
and it does not require anything more than (sober) supervision (you don't have to sit in the hobie bravo with your 15 year old)

Last edited by Mn3Again; 03/09/17 04:11 PM.

Mn3
#286456 - 03/10/17 12:41 PM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: Mn3Again]  
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pretty vague, even for a bill. Define "supervision" as it pertains to how many people can the adult supervise at one time? An Opti fleet? 2 vessels?

And what proximity constitutes "supervision"? A coach boat? From shore?

So since the Steeplechase is not put on by a "school", my 17 year old can't sail it without me following?

I honestly didn't think this (minors sailing without supervision) was such a problem. The jet-ski group, on the other hand, seems relatively rife with minors doing dumb things... but my evidence is only anecdotal and possibly jaded a bit.


Jay

#286457 - 03/10/17 12:55 PM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: hobie1616]  
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I'm figuring that the MD bill is related to the 420 sailor who died a few years ago?

Mike

#286460 - 03/10/17 01:33 PM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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Mn3Again Offline
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fl

Originally Posted by waterbug_wpb
pretty vague, even for a bill. Define "supervision" as it pertains to how many people can the adult supervise at one time? An Opti fleet? 2 vessels?

And what proximity constitutes "supervision"? A coach boat? From shore?

So since the Steeplechase is not put on by a "school", my 17 year old can't sail it without me following?

I honestly didn't think this (minors sailing without supervision) was such a problem. The jet-ski group, on the other hand, seems relatively rife with minors doing dumb things... but my evidence is only anecdotal and possibly jaded a bit.

Agreed- vague and ripe for argument

Opti's are under 10' - they are not covered by this bill

your "proximity" question is ripe for argument. Yes i think you can supervise from land if your within eye sight? at least you could argue it in court.

Your example of your son is a tough one... you may need to be on board or on a chase boat in that case.

Jet ski's are not allowed to be operated by anyone under the age of 14 and can't be rented by anyone under 18 (not this changes anything with them)
http://myfwc.com/boating/regulations/

as much as a pita pwc can be at times, they stop and help boats in distress (ME) a whole lot more often than regular power boats in my experience (i.e. when i demasted 2 weeks ago, when i capsized by the spider buoy and couldn't self right my mystere a few years back - he jumped off and helped me - and a few other times)
So i try not to bitch about them too much


PS i learned the FL bill was in responce to the 2 teenagers who went missing a few years back .

Also the maryland bill doesn't sound like it pertains to catamaran's nor wearing a harness

"AN INDIVIDUAL MAY NOT OPERATE A VESSEL ON THE WATERS OF THE
STATE WHILE ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL IS RIDING ON OR SUSPENDED FROM THE
VESSELS BOW, GUNWALE, OR TRANSOM IN A DANGEROUS MANNER."

again ripe for arguments: wearing a harness negates any "danger"
and define "riding on" ..


Last edited by Mn3Again; 03/10/17 01:38 PM.

Mn3
#286464 - 03/10/17 01:55 PM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: hobie1616]  
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Thanks for the reminder about the accident in FL. These things almost never come out of left field, there's usually an incident or tragedy that precedes them.

Mike

#286465 - 03/10/17 02:41 PM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: brucat]  
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Yes, I was wondering what triggered the FL bill.

I'm foggy on the two kids who were lost. Were they out fishing on the east coast in a small open motorboat?


Jay

#286469 - 03/10/17 03:20 PM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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Jay,

Two Teen Boys Go Missing During Fishing Trip Off Florida Coast
by ELISHA FIELDSTADT
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Two 14-year-old boys reported lost at sea 1:38
Coast Guard crews continued the search Saturday for two teenage boys and their fishing boat after they went missing a day earlier off the coast of southern Florida, officials said.

Search and rescue vessels have covered more than 6,200-square nautical miles in an effort to find Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, after they were last seen around 1:30 p.m. Friday near the town of Jupiter, about 90 miles north of Miami.

The pair had bought $110 worth of fuel for their 19-foot white single-engine boat, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Officials received a report that the boys had disappeared at about 5 p.m. after they didn't return to shore at the expected time.

The Coast Guard said Stephanos and Cohen were thought to be headed southeast, toward the Bahamas, but U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney said the teens were not likely trying to make it all the way to the Bahamas. Their families told the Coast Guard that the young fishermen would not try to travel to the Bahamas alone and without permission.

Barney said the Coast Guard believes the boys don't have many supplies or a communication device on board because they were not planning to be out on the water overnight. He told NBC News that crews had shifted their search area to Melbourne, about 100 miles up the coast from Jupiter, because they believe the boat is disabled and drifting north.

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#BreakingNews: @USCG has now covered 6200+ sq.NM looking for missing 14Y/Os. Crews searching 30E of Ft. Pierce, FL
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#286481 - 03/11/17 05:56 PM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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Originally Posted by waterbug_wpb
Yes, I was wondering what triggered the FL bill.

I'm foggy on the two kids who were lost. Were they out fishing on the east coast in a small open motorboat?


Short story: The kids were expected to stay in the back waters/intracoastal fishing on smallish, something like 18', skiff to go fishing. They actually went offshore and their boat was found upside down months later when it finally washed ashore. No bodies ever recovered that I remember.


Jake Kohl
#286486 - 03/11/17 11:17 PM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: Jake]  
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They weren't expected to do anything. No parental guidance and not properly equipped...ever. They have made numerous trips offshore with parents permission and without proper emergency equipment.

Now the parents are pushing their lack of guidance on everyone else to relieve them of their inadequacies.

Last edited by cyberspeed; 03/11/17 11:17 PM.

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#286495 - 03/13/17 07:38 AM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: hobie1616]  
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spoke with a friend on the beach yesterday. He is very involved in youth sailing in our area. He said that they have a lawyer fighting this and would get me some info asap. He said they looked into the specifics and the adult supervision DOES require onboard monitoring.

So basically if you want to put your 7 year old in a pram in the ocean, no supervision is needed... but your 15 year old can't be in a sunfish - seems like someone hasn't put much thought into this.

My friend said he doesn't see this bill passing but we shall see.


Mn3
#286498 - 03/13/17 08:07 AM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: Mn3Again]  
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Yes, that could hurt with the onboard supervision thing...

Laser, sunfish, butterfly & M-scow, VX-one, club/college 420, pretty much any multihull (wave on up).

They exclude sailboards, and kitesailors are under 10' so they're good.

I guess my sticking point is the sailing part of it. I understand the powerboating part, as that appears (at least to me) to carry the higher risk of injury/damage because they have higher speeds and range. But I see the argument could be made that I could sail a Wave to the Bahamas... if I had a deathwish.


Jay

#286502 - 03/13/17 08:53 AM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: hobie1616]  
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I continue to feel some regulation is appropriate
Perhaps licencing for ALL power-boaters ?
perhaps some some education requirements for youth sailors (much like the current requirements for under 21 year old who use a motor boat/pwc - Florida Boating Safety Education class)

But the limit of 10' sailboat for 16 is just not needed
Hell, i sailed a laser at camp (age 12-15), solo - with no adult within a few miles (on a lake)


Mn3
#286511 - 03/13/17 06:45 PM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: waterbug_wpb]  
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Originally Posted by waterbug_wpb
Yes, that could hurt with the onboard supervision thing...

Laser, sunfish, butterfly & M-scow, VX-one, club/college 420, pretty much any multihull (wave on up).

They exclude sailboards, and kitesailors are under 10' so they're good.

I guess my sticking point is the sailing part of it. I understand the powerboating part, as that appears (at least to me) to carry the higher risk of injury/damage because they have higher speeds and range. But I see the argument could be made that I could sail a Wave to the Bahamas... if I had a deathwish.


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Jake Kohl
#286513 - 03/13/17 10:00 PM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: Mn3Again]  
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Originally Posted by Mn3Again
I continue to feel some regulation is appropriate
Perhaps licencing for ALL power-boaters ?
perhaps some some education requirements for youth sailors (much like the current requirements for under 21 year old who use a motor boat/pwc - Florida Boating Safety Education class)

But the limit of 10' sailboat for 16 is just not needed
Hell, i sailed a laser at camp (age 12-15), solo - with no adult within a few miles (on a lake)


Like this? https://www.boat-ed.com/rhodeisland/studyGuide/Who-May-Operate-a-Vessel/101041_700086941/


Originally Posted by
Who May Operate a Vessel

All those born on or after January 1, 1986, are required to pass an approved boater education course before they legally may operate any vessel powered by a motor of more than 10 horsepower.

Anyone operating a personal watercraft, regardless of age, must have passed an approved boater education course.

The boater education course must be one that is approved by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Operators who are required to have passed a boater education course must carry on board their certificate of completion. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management will issue certificates of completion to boaters passing approved courses.

Operators of vessels other than personal watercraft are exempt from the requirements above for any of the following reasons.
They are supervised on board by a person 18 years of age or older who has met the education requirements or...
They hold a valid commercial vessel operators license or...
They are not a resident of Rhode Island and meet the requirements of their state of residence or...
They have been a resident of Rhode Island for 60 days or less or...
They are operating a rented vessel and have successfully completed the requirements for renters (renters of vessels powered by a motor of more than 10 horsepower must watch an instructional video and pass a written examination prior to operation).

There are no exemptions for personal watercraft operators. All PWC operators must have passed an approved boating safety course in Rhode Island or their state of residence.



Even with this in place, there are a lot of folks who think you only need a (car) driver's license to operate a power boat in RI. I think that may have been the law at one time. The PWC thing is pretty surprising.

Mike

#286515 - 03/14/17 07:15 AM Re: No Trapezing In Maryland Or Florida? [Re: brucat]  
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No not really



Florida already has a similar law
http://myfwc.com/boating/safety-education/faqs/
In order to operate a motorboat of ten (10) horsepower or greater, Florida law requires anyone who was born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 to successfully complete an approved boating safety course and obtain a Boating Safety Education Identification Card issued by the FWC.
Florida does not have a "boating license." The Boating Safety Education Identification Card is proof of successful completion of the educational requirements and is valid for life.


I live in a state where any tourist (of age - currently 29) can rent a boat without any knowledge. We live in a world where powerboaters don't give 2 ****s about non powerboats, and have no clue how to safely navigate around lots of small boat traffic in a confined area ( especially Hurricane pass with tons of small boats, and kayaks) and don't care about their wake. I will not be shocked if someone gets killed.

I would be in favor of a licence requirement for all powerboaters and a minimum training for all small boat renters (including kayak, SUP's, and dingy's)

and what's this 10 hp limiter? I have a 3.5 hp that i bet could get me killed if i tried, or failed to use responsibly...

Last edited by Mn3Again; 03/14/17 07:15 AM.

Mn3
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