Not the Great Lakes but it is still a cool way to share marine and national history.
by Adriana Noton
You may choose to take your boat exam and get a boating license before you actually get a boat, or you may seek out your boating license because you have a new boat. Either way, if you're going to own a boat you'll have to shop around and find one that's right for you. There are many different types and styles of boats to choose from, so the process can sometimes get fairly involved. Your standard pleasure craft boat exam will prepare you for most styles of pleasure craft, but it's always wise to check if you need anything more than a regular boating license to operate your style of boat in Canadian waters.
Before you begin looking for the right boat, it's probably a good idea to set a budget. Boats can range from the price of a used car to the price of a house, so determining how much you're able to spend will help you narrow down your selections as you go along. As with many things in life, the potential for upselling exists in the boat world, and if you don't know exactly what you want to spend, you may end up walking out having shelled out a lot more than you'd intended.
Figuring out what you want to use your boat for is another way to narrow down your search for the perfect boat. Do you want to use it primarily for fishing? Is towing water skiers your idea of having fun on the water? Did you take your boat exam and get a boating license, so you could just cruise through the waterways and take in the sights? Maybe your intention is to have a traveling cottage that you can spend days or weeks on at a time.
Once you figure out what you're going to use the boat for, you'll be able to eliminate many types from the discussion. You don't need to look at houseboats if you're into freshwater fishing, or if you want to speed along the surface towing water skiers. Just take your time and let your needs and your budget guide you to the boat that's going to work best.
Before you make your ultimate decision, ask to take the boat out for a test drive. Just like when you're buying a car, the real test is how the boat handles when in use. It may look great on a showroom floor, but if it doesn't perform how you want in the water, it's a bad purchase on your part. Of course, you'll need to take a boat exam and get your boating license before you take it for a test drive if you haven't already. With your boat license in hand, schedule a time and take the boat out. Once you find one that meets all of your parameters and handles how you like on the water, you may have found your new boat.
Fun and safety go hand in hand. Get your pcoc the easy and safe way.
Last year, I wrote an editorial in reference to the United States Power Squadron endorsing a resolution by the National Boating Safety Advisory Council (Resolution 2011-87-01) recommending that ALL occupants (yep, even adults) of any vessel under 18’ be REQUIRED to wear a life vest at all times. I shared my disgust at even the contemplation by the boating insiders and our government to save us from ourselves once again. This issue is still in legislative committee in at least one state and at the federal level. You can also be assured that if organizations like the USPS and NBSAC gave them their blessing this isn’t going away easily.
The full endorsement by the USPS, along with my response can be seen at :
Pennsylvania recently passed a law similar to this recommendation and Maryland has a similar law in committee. The Maryland Bill is sponsored by House Rep. Viriato Manuel deMacedo who can be contacted by email at Vinny.deMacedo@mahouse.gov. Granted, Maryland is outside of the Great Lakes region, but these over-reaching, nanny state, laws tend to spread like a cancer and we have many readers outside of the Great Lakes region, so if you can, let Rep.deMacedo know how you feel.
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