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What is the right solution to rental boats and PWC?

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What is the right solution to rental boats and PWC?

Old 09-01-2020, 02:55 PM
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Default What is the right solution to rental boats and PWC?

We have had numerous deaths and accidents on the water locally this year. Mostly from rental pontoons and PWC. This is one example where a rental PWC hit a local father and daughter. Daughter may lose leg, Father broke pelvis and both were badly hurt. https://www.nwfdailynews.com/story/n...ue/3387091001/

That accident was a guided rental tour that runs each day out of Destin and comes by my house at the very far end of the bay up a bayou near where this accident happened. Typically itís 8-15 PWC that are running full tilt weaving in and out among themselves and anyone else on the water. Watched the other day as several slowed to watch dolphin while others screamed repeatedly right through them. Very courteous of their fellow riders.

The pontoon boats are a mess as well. One ran over a PWC killing the college student on board. Every time I go through the pass I have to hold an air horn in my hand to get their attention to avoid getting hit. I have literally had to put the boat in reverse in the channel to avoid them colliding with me.

Things that could be done:

1) Make rentals illegal.
2) Limit the number of rentals permitted.
3) Require a more comprehensive training program for renters.
4) Make the rental companies strictly liable for actions of renters and mandate $5mm per occurrence insurance.
5) Require rentals to be operated by a licensed captain (tough on a PWC)
6) Min. Rental Age?
7) Make hunting them legal.

What say you? Any of those options workable? Any better solutions?
Old 09-01-2020, 03:08 PM
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All PWC riders should have a vest with a bullseye on the front and back. All real boaters are issued a paint ball gun. When any LEO see a rider with a hit in the bullseye they give them a $100 ticket, erase the mark and send them on their way.
Old 09-01-2020, 03:09 PM
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The only solution for you personally is

#8 Move.


You could remove PWC and insert all kinds of dangerous legal activities that are legal and going nowhere:
Motorcycles, mopeds, bicycles (anything with 2 wheels, parasailing, paragliding, sky diving, planes, (anything in the air)...... you get the idea.

If the justification for making something illegal is that ďitís dangerous and X number of people have died,Ē then cars, boats, and even taking a bath would be illegal (know how many people die each year in the bath tub?!?)
Old 09-01-2020, 03:14 PM
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Ok I looked it up. 40 people die per year on jet skis.

https://www.jetdrift.com/jet-ski-death-statistics/

And for bath tubs? Almost 1 person per day drowns in one.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sea...in-1201018.php

Outlaw baths! (My sons would be thrilled to eliminate bath time).
Old 09-01-2020, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DestinBillMe View Post
We have had numerous deaths and accidents on the water locally this year. Mostly from rental pontoons and PWC. This is one example where a rental PWC hit a local father and daughter. Daughter may lose leg, Father broke pelvis and both were badly hurt. https://www.nwfdailynews.com/story/n...ue/3387091001/

That accident was a guided rental tour that runs each day out of Destin and comes by my house at the very far end of the bay up a bayou near where this accident happened. Typically itís 8-15 PWC that are running full tilt weaving in and out among themselves and anyone else on the water. Watched the other day as several slowed to watch dolphin while others screamed repeatedly right through them. Very courteous of their fellow riders.

The pontoon boats are a mess as well. One ran over a PWC killing the college student on board. Every time I go through the pass I have to hold an air horn in my hand to get their attention to avoid getting hit. I have literally had to put the boat in reverse in the channel to avoid them colliding with me.

Things that could be done:

1) Make rentals illegal.
2) Limit the number of rentals permitted.
3) Require a more comprehensive training program for renters.
4) Make the rental companies strictly liable for actions of renters and mandate $5mm per occurrence insurance.
5) Require rentals to be operated by a licensed captain (tough on a PWC)
6) Min. Rental Age?
7) Make hunting them legal.

What say you? Any of those options workable? Any better solutions?
3&6 only viable options
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Old 09-01-2020, 03:18 PM
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I donít really care if the people on the Rental PWCís or rental pontoons die. I care that they kill and injure others.

I also, did not advocate making them illegal. I asked what could be done to mitigate the challenges those rentals seem to present. Any suggestions?
Old 09-01-2020, 03:19 PM
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Stricter license requirements. Everyone should have a license if they are going to operate a vessel. Shouldnít matter how old you are or if you have a captain on a PWC somewhere in your group. If you are driving, you should need a license. I would actually support a practical test for the license. There are just too many people out there who clearly have no clue what they are doing. Itís scary.
Old 09-01-2020, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Yacht Huckleberry View Post
Stricter license requirements. Everyone should have a license if they are going to operate a vessel. Shouldnít matter how old you are or if you have a captain on a PWC somewhere in your group. If you are driving, you should need a license. I would actually support a practical test for the license. There are just too many people out there who clearly have no clue what they are doing. Itís scary.
I tend to think this is the only real way and agree, a book course isnít enough. More like scuba cert.
Old 09-01-2020, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by DestinBillMe View Post
I donít really care if the people on the Rental PWCís or rental pontoons die. I care that they kill and injure others.

I also, did not advocate making them illegal. I asked what could be done to mitigate the challenges those rentals seem to present. Any suggestions?
Youíre not advocating making them illegal?

Itís #1 on your list of solutions.

If thatís not what youíre suggesting you made a very confusing list.

If your goal is to lower the amount of jet ski injuries to bystanders...... thereís not really any practical solution to that. Not in the ďland of the free.Ē

Motorcycle licenses donít seem to result in safe drivers.
Old 09-01-2020, 03:31 PM
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"...Not in the 'land of the free from intelligent thought.'"

FTFY!
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Old 09-01-2020, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 69Mach390 View Post
Youíre not advocating making them illegal?

Itís #1 on your list of solutions.

If thatís not what youíre suggesting you made a very confusing list.

If your goal is to lower the amount of jet ski injuries to bystanders...... thereís not really any practical solution to that. Not in the ďland of the free.Ē

Motorcycle licenses donít seem to result in safe drivers.

Go back and re-read my post. I made a list of possible responses. I did not advocate any of them. I asked what the THT brain trust thought.

I disagree that there is no practical solution in the ďland of the free.Ē Being the land of the free does not mean anyone can do anything they wish regardless of the consequences to others. Even with the second amendment you canít shoot your gun off in a crowded restaurant just to see what happens. There are limits.

Have you ever been to crab island in Destin? Itís pretty wacked out there on a good weekend. It amazes me that they typically have four law enforcement boats there every weekend and they all are busy full time.
Old 09-01-2020, 03:41 PM
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I don’t have an answer for this that would work. I just wanted to pop in and say that I feel your frustration. Destin used to be one of my favorite places on earth to stay. I always loved renting in the harbor, bringing my boat down for a week or two, fishing and hanging out at Crab Island. My last trip there was terrible. I never got hit but only because I dodged I don’t know how many rental pontoons. Crab Island has 3 times the boats on it as it did 5 years ago and over 50% of them are rentals.

One of the days we were there a pontoon with 8-10 Asians, I only point out that they were Asians as in they were not from the US and definitely had never operated a boat. They pulled in to the side closer to the bridge, bounced off two boats then killed the engine. The current was ripping, I think they bounced off 12-15 more boats before clearing the island and floating off into the bay. They missed us only because I was able to pul a paddle on the bow and spin them away. They just sat in their seats and smiled while bouncing off several very nice boats.

In Alabama you have to take and pass a boaters safety corse and get a V endorsement on your license, not sure if that’s the case in Florida. As dangerous as boating can be there is no reason rental companies should be renting these machines to people with no kill or training.
Old 09-01-2020, 03:52 PM
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It is literally like bumper cars out there and at least 50% are entirely clueless. Itís a no wake zone and at any given moment there will be a half dozen boats running well above no wake speed (all rentals). PWCís seem to think they are not subject to speed restrictions at all. I see pontoon rentals driving around with the engine tilted up and no clue why they canít seem to steer. I think I have merely been hit by at least five PWC in the last two to three years. I have to blow the air horn and they still donít look up. There is a complete lack of competence and common sense.
Old 09-01-2020, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DestinBillMe View Post
It is literally like bumper cars out there and at least 50% are entirely clueless. Itís a no wake zone and at any given moment there will be a half dozen boats running well above no wake speed (all rentals). PWCís seem to think they are not subject to speed restrictions at all. I see pontoon rentals driving around with the engine tilted up and no clue why they canít seem to steer. I think I have merely been hit by at least five PWC in the last two to three years. I have to blow the air horn and they still donít look up. There is a complete lack of competence and common sense.
I see tons of LEO and costies in that area when I am there. Wonder why they are not ticketing left and right. The same trip I am talking about I got pulled over and boarded by FWC 9 miles out on the way in from the ledge. He said that he pulled me over because on radar I adjusted my heading to be directly at him from a couple miles out. I explained that my heading was exactly on the pass. The youngster then proceeded to argue with my about being over on kingís. I ended up getting my book out and showing him the difference between a king and a wahoo. Not beating up on our Leoís too much but my thoughts were he would have been better served in the pass writing tickets instead of hassling me over my heading miles away from him and not knowing how to identify a fish.
Old 09-01-2020, 04:23 PM
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So in New Jersey you can not rent a boat with more than 9.9HP. To cross the 10 HP threshold you need to take a boater safety course. PWC rentals are excluded from this but seem to need to operated in a specific area, not totally sure on the PWC.
Old 09-01-2020, 04:24 PM
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Seems like they are giving a lot of tickets at Crab Island but there is an endless supply of ignorant people
Old 09-01-2020, 04:24 PM
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i think they skirt the insurance and liability issue by calling it a tour instead of a rental
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Old 09-01-2020, 04:25 PM
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I too live Destin as well. The op is not kidding about the airhorn and having to slam I'm reverse to go through the pass. I've done that a few times this year. It's gotten way out of hand. I don't know what the answer is. But you better have your head on a swivel.
Old 09-01-2020, 04:35 PM
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Perhaps having folks be required to watch actual footage of the resulting carnage will instill the sense that while water activities are fun, fun can turn devastatingly lethal quickly,
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Old 09-01-2020, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Chham57 View Post
So in New Jersey you can not rent a boat with more than 9.9HP. To cross the 10 HP threshold you need to take a boater safety course. PWC rentals are excluded from this but seem to need to operated in a specific area, not totally sure on the PWC.
True, but the boater safety course is a joke - no failures, no real learning for most.
Lets not forget the drinking involved at the sandbar... any of them weather Destin, Jersey shore or Miami. The cocktail of stupid, inexperienced, under the influence, perceived openness of water, and congestion is nothing but disastrous.

Thanks god for spring, fall, early mornings and week days.

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