CBYCA is for quality boating education,
such as provided by the USPS and the USCGA, and the active promotion of
same. Also, the consumer should have choices and be motivated to learn
by education that best meets their particular needs and interests.
Lately, our membership has shown increased interest in mandatory
education because of numerous incidents involving PWC operators.
Historically opposed to mandatory boating education because there is no
evidence that education run by the public sector and imposed by
arbitrary legislation can result in any significant improvement in
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Flotation Devices (PFD's)
For use of PFD's that
are U.S. Coast Guard approved.
For promotion of voluntary
quality boating safety education which the CBYCA believes
would be a better solution to PFD use problems.
and approval of new options such as the recently approved
inflatable PFD's and looking for development and approval of
a safe reliable auto inflation feature.
National Safe Boating Week.
Opposed to mandatory wearing of
PFD's by adults but for fair and reasonable regulations
requiring use by children 12 and under aboard a vessel
underway and when the children are on deck or otherwise
outside a safe enclosed cabin or cockpit area.
the CBYCA has opposed attempts at legislation/regulation
because the proposed language, understandably, falls short
of fair and reasonable because of the wide variation of
behaviors it seeks to control (e.g. what about vessels at
anchor?, what is a safe cabin area?, what persons/boats are
The CBYCA was strongly opposed to the recent Coast
Guard trial balloon suggesting mandatory PFD wearing by all
boaters all the time.
The Coast Guard primary argument was
there might not be enough time to don them in an emergency.
The CBYCA feels that any experienced safe boater knows that
most boaters and captains have enough sense about when to
break out and when to don PFD's. Also, the accident
statistics do not show problems with operators of larger
boats. Obviously, making the responsible 99 percent of
boaters suffer for the few that are not responsible is not
the right approach.
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For paying our fair
and reasonable share to support recreational boating and
We want to take care of what we use and want to
ensure a legacy of clean and beautiful waterways for future
Strongly for ensuring that money collected
from boaters goes back to support facilities,
infrastructure, and waterways that boaters use and not to
general funds or budget deficits (e.g. The annual fight to
ensure Wallops-Breaux money goes back to the states for
boating safety and education).
The CBYCA considers it very
important that widespread understanding exists that most
recreational boaters are not under taxed "fat cats" but
typical middle class citizens of modest means whose hobby
involves hard work and investment in a type of property that
is all too easy to tax and over regulate.
to taxes and fees which single out boaters where the funds
collected benefit others that do not contribute (e.g. boat
taxes to support roads or education). For instance, in
several of our member states, the gas taxes collected on
marine fuel are not returned to fishing, boating, or the
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The CBYCA strongly feels that, in our
region, current local and national regulations, if supported
by the necessary public or commercially available equipment
and facilities, are fair and reasonable and that boaters do
perform their fair share and more.
strongly support current regulations and believe increased
enforcement, where the facts support that boaters are a
problem, is the answer . The real problem is to get other
polluters (e.g. agriculture, municipal sewage, leaking
septic tanks) to come to the table. In our region, the
facts show recreational boaters to be a very small
contributor to waterway pollution.
We are for boaters having
options such as installing Type I and II MSD's which treat
raw sewage to allow legal discharge.
In fact, a lot of
boaters have gone to considerable expense to install these
systems and now seek to preserve their investment. A
number of our member boaters have reported installing these
systems in direct response to recent changes in MD Laws
prohibiting discharge of raw sewage.
We are for industry to
continue to supply and improve Type I and II MSD's and to
develop innovative approaches such as floating as pump out
services which come to the boat.
Strongly for citizen
activism and for boaters to get involved with commercial
trades, fishermen, marinas, government agencies, and others
with common interest in cleaner waterways.
We are strongly opposed to the
EPA "No Discharge Zone" designation because it is a
meaningless gesture and unnecessary burden to boaters while
the major polluters go untouched!
(All the "No Discharge
Zone" designation does is to prohibit boaters < it does
not affect any other polluters> from discharging treated
waste <oil, plastic, raw sewage, etc., discharges are
As an alternative to the
imposition of broadly applied over regulation, we are for
locally developed and tailored initiatives such as the MD
Clean Marina Program which closely team citizens,
businesses, and government agencies to increase awareness,
enthusiasm, and commitment to protecting and improving the
environment. Such initiatives, properly lead and managed,
invariably result in direct, significant, and measurable
improvements while being responsive to the needs and
concerns of the region or locality.
The Environmental Impact of Dredging
The CBYCA supports actions to
minimize the environmental impact of dredging, provided
these actions are supported by objective scientific evidence
and result in significant measurable effects. Recognizing
such actions rarely are without cost, the CBYCA supports
fair and reasonable solutions arrived at by consensus of the
affected parties. The CBYCA will consider opposition to
dredging projects when the preponderance of clear scientific
evidence shows that severe negative consequences to the
environment will result &endash; in such cases the CBYCA
will support viable alternatives.
Dredge Spoil Deposit
Where feasible, the CBYCA
supports and prefers dredge spoil uses, such as recreational
island reclamation, which enhance the quality and benefit of
waterways. The CBYCA supports actions to minimize the
environmental impact of dredge spoil deposit, provided these
actions are supported by objective scientific evidence and
result in significant measurable effects. The CBYCA will
consider opposition to dredge spoil deposit plans when the
preponderance of clear scientific evidence shows that severe
negative consequences to the environment will result
&endash; in such cases the CBYCA will support viable
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For disciplined use of
this critical boating safety device. Although the CBYCA
member clubs were not happy with licensing fees and
bureaucracy, they continue to be concerned about VHF radio
becoming like CB radio. It is felt that the call sign and
license created an increased sense of responsibility in the
users and more control which could be used to aid
enforcement of radio discipline. Boaters want the VHF radio
lifeline to be there in an emergency. In our region, on a
busy summer weekend, this does not seem to be the case with
Channel 16 being held hostage by kids and others who are
ignorant or don't care. Would consider modest fees to
support licensing, education, and enforcement . Would
consider innovations in methods (personal VHF license
available at same places as for fishing licenses) and
technology (unique ID embedded in radio signal) to create
more VHF discipline. Support continued
improvement/enhancement of VHF radio (e.g., DSC). Strongly
support and actively promote the use of VHF 9 as a non
emergency hailing channel in order to free VHF 16 to be a
dedicated emergency channel. Advocate dual monitoring of VHF
16 and VHF 9. Support radio equipment upgrades by boat
owners and equipment manufacturers including multiple
channel monitoring, more ship to ship channels, and channel
use identification (e.g. ship to ship) included in VHF radio
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For funding for dredging of non-commercial
waterways and creative ways to obtain such finding. The CBYCA believes
boaters would be willing to kick in if it helps keep open some favorite
channels and fishing areas. In many areas, commercial and private
interests seem willing to tackle dredging except for frustration with
government red tape. Opposed to restrictions on speed, wake, bridge
openings, boating activities, etc. which are not based on consideration
of the needs and interests of all affected parties (i.e. for consensus
solutions). For example, the CBYCA and several member clubs were
recently involved in a vigorous dialogue on speed limits for the often
congested Middle River. Several parties wanted speed limits set at 6
kts for safety. A major objection came from businesses upriver
concerned about a potential severe drop in customer boat traffic as
well as upriver yacht clubs and boaters concerned about tripled and
worse transit times to and from the Chesapeake Bay. When it was
realized that the primary safety hazard was from boats and PWC's
capable of extreme speeds, consensus agreement was reached on 35 kt day
and 25 kt night limits. Another regional success story for boaters,
with the support of Sen. Mikulski, involves continued limited openings
of the very low Bush River railroad bridge, heavily used and critical
to rail traffic. Trouble areas include the Delaware River and its
tributaries where waterfront property owners and boaters are often in
opposition and Delaware Bay which lacks much in way of support and
safety for the recreational boater.
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Maintenance and Improvement of Recreational
For keeping multiple independent
navigational aids available. This is fundamental to safe navigation. In
this regard, the CBYCA supports keeping the LORAN C system in operation
as a complement to GPS. Many consider LORAN C and GPS to each have each
have strengths and weaknesses which are compensated by the other system
and note that each system can be used to verify proper on board
operation of the other. For funding non-commercial charting and
surveying including by innovative non-traditional means. As with
dredging, we are aware that tax dollars must go to where the US gets
the biggest economic bang for the buck., but would note that
recreational boating has large economic impacts of its own.
We strongly support dredging of
recreational waterways including efforts to obtain funding for such
efforts. It is critical to increase congressional awareness beyond
commercial shipping lanes to the realization that recreational
waterways also have significant economic impacts (including effects on
interstate commerce that fall under the current Army Corps of Engineers
Charter). The CBYCA considers it fair and proper that a portion of the
fuel taxes and other moneys collected from recreational boaters be used
for recreational waterway dredging.
Because the present system is slow and gets
relatively little done for recreational boaters unless commercial
shipping is also involved, we believe there is a need and opportunity
for creative approaches to maintain public waterways and facilities
such private sector teaming with public sector bodies such as the Army
Corps of Engineers. Private sector demand and funding are there if
public sector officials and legislators will clear the red tape.
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Foster recognition among legislators that
most yacht clubs are not commercial marinas, although some yacht clubs
may be resident at a commercial marina. Most yacht clubs are private
non-profit corporations formed and operated by private individuals for
the mutual benefit of the members of the club. Many yacht clubs in our
region have no paid staff. The CBYCA by-laws prohibit membership in the
Association by commercial for-profit operations. Our concern is that
laws, regulations, taxes, and fees appropriate for a commercial marina
or other enterprise often make no sense when applied to a yacht club.
Physically, many full facility yacht clubs look like marinas. The CBYCA
will oppose certain legislation until the language of the bill
clarifies applicability and sets different requirements as appropriate
for private non-profit yacht clubs.
status of the
Yacht Club from the City of Alexandria is a current topic.
Legislative Director of Virginia.
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For protection of the rights and interests
of recreational boaters in the course of commercial interactions. The
CBYCA will Support reasonable legislation to protect boating consumers
from unfair trade and business practices. Seek active dialogue with
marine trade associations and commercial interests to resolve consumer
issues without resorting to excessive regulation.