Why It Might Be Good to Get a Captain’s License
Raritan Engineering Company your TruDesign specialists would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how time spent on the water doesn’t always translate into safe boating.
Your TruDesign professionals discuss how as a professional sailor, coach and instructor of captain’s courses, I work with sailors of all levels of experience. I have come to notice that many of them have no professional certifications from recognized organizations like the US Coast Guard or Royal Yachting Association.
Reasons range from “I don’t have time” to “I don’t see the point, I already have the job,” and even “I already know everything in those courses, I have sailed 50,000 miles since I was a kid.”
Time on the water does not necessarily translate into safe boating behavior. That is why I believe that all coaches and professional sailors, that is, hired mariners, should obtain a captain’s license for a multitude of reasons that go beyond the title of obtaining your “ticket.”
It propagates safety.
Getting a license does not make you perfect by any means. What it does is make you better than you were before you started the process. Isn’t that the goal of a great professional? Many sailors do not even have a basic understanding of the Rules of the Road outside of the racing rules.
Other Great Reasons to Get Your Captain’s License
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Furthermore, with our modern reliance on technology, I have come across professionals who do not use paper charts. The carrying of paper charts, for example, is just one way that all boaters can be safe in the event of a loss of GPS or power.
Leading by example.
We all look to our coaches to be the leader of the program. But often in the states, we see kids go straight from the junior sailing program to the coach boat without proper training in powerboat safety.
Is it Legal?
“Why is it that yacht clubs require their launch drivers have a Coast Guard license, but don’t enforce the same requirement of their sailing instructors ferrying children back and forth on various powerboats?”
Coaches and pro-sailors are hired professionals. At Confident Captain we are of the opinion that the most far reaching compliance with U.S. law is that all hired professional mariners must have a license.
There is always something to learn.
The best sailors I’ve met have made it a point to keep learning for their entire career. There is more to formalized training than the pencil and the chart. The interaction between professional mariners at Confident Captain during any of our courses has always brought the most valuable lessons and insight to the table.
It is better to be proactive towards answering difficult questions.
It won’t sit well with anybody involved in the investigation. Take a proactive step toward fortifying your career ahead of time by getting a license and engaging in different types of formalized professional development. If your good name is called into question, you will be glad you did.
So don’t forget these great reasons to consider getting your captain’s license. 1) Doing so propagates safety; 2) you can set a good example for our younger sailors; and 3) remember that there is always something to learn.
Staying With The Boat And Other Safety Myths
I’m amazed at how long bad advice perpetuates when it’s given in a catchy phrase. An example: Don’t leave the boat until the boat leaves you. This might be the most misguided advice ever to cross the lips of otherwise sensible men and women. Another example: Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.
These stick around not because they are always true, but because they sound good. Don’t be fooled. The ocean is no place for absolutes, even when they rhyme.
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