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  1. #1
    Administrator Steph WCSS's Avatar
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    New law makes waves for young boaters, jet-skiers

    GRAND HAVEN -- Jacob Vanderlee wants to drive his family's jet boatby himself.
    At 12, the Fruitport boy thought he was just two years away from being able to take the wheel alone.
    But a bill signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm last week known as Ashleigh Iserman's Law, will raise the minimum age to operate a boat or jet ski without supervision from age 14 to 16.
    It also requires anyone born after Dec. 31, 1978, to get a boating-safety certificate before operating a personal watercraft.
    The law comes after Iserman, a 17-year-old Rochester Hills resident, died in 2004 when she crashed a jet ski into a boat on Walled Lake. She did not have a boating-safety certificate.
    Lawmakers raised the minimum age to operate a boat or jet ski in hopes of instilling responsible boating at an earlier age and to bring it in line with the minimum age for driving a car.
    Because Jacob will turn 14 before the law takes effect in 2011, he will be briefly eligible to pilot a personal watercraft. But after the law takes effect, Jacob -- who has his safety certificate -- will have to wait to drive again until he turns 16.
    Matt Vanderlee, Jacob's father, said while he understands why the law was created, it "hurts responsible boaters."
    "I took the course with (Jacob) as a refresher," Vanderlee said. "I still learn stuff. New stuff comes out every year. We see some pretty odd things on the water -- new boaters who don't know the right of way, things like that."
    There's a fine line between a family's discretion as to whether or not the teen is responsible enough versus politicians stepping in, Vanderlee added.
    But Sgt. Keith Koeman, of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Marine Division, agrees with lawmakers.
    "You're dealing with a person who can make better choices," Koeman said. "You're dealing with these vessels, some of which can go 90 mph. Raising the age and still making the 14- to 16-year-old have to have an older person on board is a great decision. It can't hurt anybody."
    Jacob and his friend, 10-year-old C.J. Anastor, of Spring Lake, frequent the Grand Haven channel in an inflatable Zodiac dinghy.
    "I guess it's for a good cause," C.J. said. "But it's not going to be really fun. I've been waiting forever to be able to go out on my boat. But, this way, I won't get in a lot of trouble."
    Those caught allowing youngsters to operate personal watercraft underage face a misdemeanor penalty punishable by 90 days in jail or up to a $100 fine.
    E-mail Kristi Jourdan: kjourdan@grpress.com
    http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/0...for_young.html
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  2. #2
    Top Dog dav_dman's Avatar
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    Re: New law makes waves for young boaters, jet-skiers

    i wish all states did that. Esp the boater education part.. I think it's high time for everybody no matter what age to get their boaters license endorsement at the bmv just like with motorcyles and CDL's/limo's.
    lots of ski's over the yrs..

  3. #3
    resident guru kraqus's Avatar
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    Re: New law makes waves for young boaters, jet-skiers

    I agree with this 100%.
    I wish they did something like that in California.




    ...
    "I've got my own life to live, I'm the one that's gonna die, when its time for me to die, So let me live my life the way I want to.."....Jimi Hendrix.


    96 B1..SOLD !!!__|___95 SN...Freestyle___|___99 RN....Freestyle


  4. #4
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    Re: New law makes waves for young boaters, jet-skiers

    14 YRS OLD AND HES *****ING??

    go ride a fugin ten speed u spoiled kid u can wait 2 yrs

  5. #5
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    Re: New law makes waves for young boaters, jet-skiers

    If there is a race class for 10 year olds, how are they supposed to learn to ride if they legally can't? There are plenty of kids who are responsible and if taught right and monitored by their parents can safely operate a pwc. Put limits on the size of craft they can ride, don't penalize the entire population. It's the same with anything, learn the right way to ride and you are fine. I know plenty of adults who are complete idiots on pwc, motorcycles, boats, cars, snowmobiles, etc.

  6. #6
    PWCToday Regular ryin's Avatar
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    Re: New law makes waves for young boaters, jet-skiers

    I think everybody should have to get education, just like a car. Anybody can get a boat and just drive it without knowing anything about the water and safety. When I was 13 I took a boat education course so I could operate a boat alone. and I was boating before that, hell I would like to get my captains license someday. A lot of people dont know what they are doing.

  7. #7
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home DK1Designs's Avatar
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    Re: New law makes waves for young boaters, jet-skiers

    If they passed that law in each state, it would hurt sport in competitions becasue jr's wouldnt be allowed to ride, and we would forget how fun riding is. I'm only 15, but i'm competing in freestyle, and i'm all ready getting in trouble for it because it's "reckless boating". If i wasn't allowed to compete, even for just a year, i would be done. I'd sell my ski and start ping-pong, lol
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  8. #8
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home
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    Re: New law makes waves for young boaters, jet-skiers

    It doesn't bother me, maybe some kind of exception could be made for racing like a special license where they really have to prove they know what they're doing. Otherwise making them take safety courses and wait 'til they're 16 is okay I think (to ride unsupervised). But I would like to ask Sgt. Koeman which model ski he knows of that does 90!

    richforman

  9. #9
    resident guru kraqus's Avatar
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    Re: New law makes waves for young boaters, jet-skiers

    Quote Originally Posted by ski clinic kid 2007
    If they passed that law in each state, it would hurt sport in competitions becasue jr's wouldnt be allowed to ride, and we would forget how fun riding is. I'm only 15, but i'm competing in freestyle, and i'm all ready getting in trouble for it because it's "reckless boating". If i wasn't allowed to compete, even for just a year, i would be done. I'd sell my ski and start ping-pong, lol
    I understand you.
    If they passed the a law like that in Cali and I was your age I would be pissed.
    But it's the same old story again, because of a few rotten apples, everyone else pays the price.
    You seem to know what you are doing and I am pretty sure you respect your jet ski as you know it can hurt you and others.

    What do you (as a 15 yo) think would be a win/win solution?


    ...
    Last edited by kraqus; 07-16-2008 at 05:37 PM.
    "I've got my own life to live, I'm the one that's gonna die, when its time for me to die, So let me live my life the way I want to.."....Jimi Hendrix.


    96 B1..SOLD !!!__|___95 SN...Freestyle___|___99 RN....Freestyle


  10. #10
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    Re: New law makes waves for young boaters, jet-skiers

    Seat time with responsible operator as backup teaching rules and regs. can't be beat. My 10 year old son can operate our waverunners as well as any young adult, but the rules and regs need to be taught and reinforced. Each time we go out i make sure he gets plenty of operating time. Some times he is a hog,,, Cant' wait until he is old enough to ride on his own.

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