to pass a state test

Operators of vessels propelled by engines would be required to pass a one-time, state-approved test and have a card with them, under a bill that was recently introduced by State Assemblyman Mike Duvall of Brea.

Duvall introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 2110 at the request of the boater advocacy organization Recreational Boaters of California. The effort carries forward the momentum initiated by Duvall with Assembly Bill 1458, a similar proposal that was also requested by the Recreational Boaters.

“The intent of AB 2110 is to ensure that individuals have the necessary knowledge on the laws and regulations that apply to the operation of vessels, through certification, in order to reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities,” Recreational Boaters president Walt Kadyk said. “It became clear in discussions that involved many stakeholders throughout 2007, that the majority of California boaters support certification — provided that it will provide a measure of assurance that the other person on the waterways will have a knowledge of the laws and regulations that apply to the operation of a vessel.”

As proposed by AB 2110, the vessel operator card would be valid for the lifetime of the individual, as opposed to a license that can be taken away.

Certification courses would be available through various agencies, including BoatUS, Coast Guard Auxiliary and US Power Squadron, and the test would be available on-line. The state Department of Boating and Waterways would oversee the certification of boat operators.

Certification would be required for operators of vessels propelled by an engine, regardless of whether the engine is the principal source of propulsion, according to Recreational Boaters of California.