Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Quit picking on the Little Guy - Boating publisher speaks out

by Nancy S Michelmas/Sail-World on 27 Jul 2011
"Quit picking on the little guy" BoatU.S. publisher pleads .. .
Like many sailing and boating grounds in the world, the sailors in the waterways of the USA are feeling an increasing load of regulations and less and less 'freedom of the sea.' This has led Nancy Michelmas, publisher of BoatU.S, to write of the subject and what can be done about it in the United States. Readers from other countries might sympathize!

For several years BoatU.S. has been concerned about the 'hassle factors', increasingly impinging on our ability to go boating. We've written about the myriad access issues around the country as it gets harder to get to the water, on the water, and as we face continued changes in where and what we can fish.

Most disturbing are some recent legislative developments that unfairly single out boaters. For example, if a state is going to ban the use of copper antifouling bottom paints, as Washington state just did, why should the ban apply only to recreational vessels? Certainly commercial and military vessels use far more paint than we do and represent a far greater impact to the environment. The answer is simple: A larger ban wouldn't have passed. We understand why many people would like to get rid of copper in bottom paint. However, on this issue, it looks like the little guy is bearing the brunt of this ban alone.

Recreational boaters are also being unfairly singled out with proposed federal legislation called the 'Ending Taxpayer Subsidies for Yachts Act' that would eliminate the existing second-home mortgage-interest deduction for boats with galleys, heads, and bunks, but not for second homes and RVs.
Applying a new law to all second 'homes' would be more equitable. That this legislation is even on the table illustrates a continued need to better inform Congress about who boaters really are.

As we've been reporting, the Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers continue to push mandatory life jacket wear for adults. While BoatU.S. strongly supports boating safely, when we recently asked members, they overwhelmingly opposed (9 to 1) mandatory life jacket wear for adults.

We actively support the development of comfortable jackets that don't inhibit movement, the acceptance of alternate jackets already used and approved in Europe, and streamlining the USCG approval process. We believe that safety education works. In fact the U.S. Coast Guard just reported in the 2010 Recreational Boating Statistics that total boating fatalities have fallen to the lowest number on record.

Contrary to the Holly wood image, the majority of boaters are not rich, fat cats. Three out of four boat-owning households have an annual income under $100,000.

In fact, 95% of powerboats on the water today are 26 feet or less: 42 percent are actually less than 16 feet. BoatU.S. was started 45 years ago to defend the rights of the little guy, so if you're as disturbed as I am by all the impediments to boating that we face today, talk to your boating buddies about joining BoatU.S. We're more than an insurance company, more than a towing service, more than a provider of boating new and information - we're your voice on Capitol Hill and we're actively fighting every day for recreational boaters' rights.

The more members we have, the louder our voice, the more we'll accomplish. Thanks for being aboard!


About Nancy S Michelman:

Hooked on sailing at summer camp in Maine at the tender age of 10, Nancy’s boating adventures have taken her from the Pacific Ocean off Southern California to the Caribbean and the Greek Islands. She now cruises the Chesapeake Bay in her 20-foot Grady White. She was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2003, and in 2006 became the Association’s President. Additionally, she was appointed BoatU.S. Magazine publisher in 2008. With a forte for marketing, she is largely responsible for the Association’s growth to over half a million members today. She authors the 'At The Helm' column in the magazine.

Protector - 660 x 82Wildwind 2016 660x82Mackay Boats

Related Articles

Coast Guard Foundation receives donation from Ice Hockey Team
Coast Guard Foundation announced today that it received a donation from the Guilford High School Ice Hockey Booster Club The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that it has received a donation from the Guilford High School Ice Hockey Booster Club for $2,568, to benefit the Coast Guard Foundation’s Fallen Heroes Fund and Scholarship Fund.
Posted on 25 Feb
Bavaria Yachts to introduce Cruiser 34 and Nautitech 46
The Cruiser 34 will be on show at the Bavaria Yachts display at the Strictly Sail boat show at Bayside’s Miamarina The Cruiser 34 will be on show at the Bavaria Yachts display at the Strictly Sail boat show at Bayside’s Miamarina, from February 16th to 20th.
Posted on 13 Feb
Unique Transatlantic Sailing Event - Building friendship across oceans
Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, organised to celebrate Canada 150, 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. Sailing in the wake of the great explorers, international friendship and understanding is at the core of this once in a lifetime adventure - The Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, organised to celebrate Canada 150, the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation.
Posted on 10 Feb
Frigid flying – Coast Guard aircrews take on New England Winter
Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. At Air Station Cape Cod, aviation maintenance and electronic technicians work around the clock to ensure the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters are prepared and ready to launch. There is one thing the maintenance crews and pilots cannot control: winter weather.
Posted on 9 Feb
On board interview with Lisa Blair - solo Antartica circumnavigation
So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. After the setbacks of a delayed departure due to gremlins in the electronics, we are delighted to have these answers from her on board. She is well and enjoying her time. Climate Action Now, her Hick 50, left Albany in Western Australia on January 22, 2017.
Posted on 8 Feb
Yachting cartoonist Mike Peyton dies at 96
“The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist” died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. Mike Peyton, dubbed “The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist”, died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. A modest, shy man, he eschewed the spotlight and seemed unaware of the esteem which in sailors all around the world held him.
Posted on 27 Jan
Zhik Xeflex® - your shield against cold environments
This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. How do you make a water resistant garment that really breathes, yet reflects your own body heat back to you? Where do you find a compression resistant and extremely insulating filling that is nowhere near as bulky as the Michelin Man, yet gives you that kind of warmth and comfort?
Posted on 17 Jan
Sounds like a boat - Lisa Blair's departure delayed due to electronics
Final preparations of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue Final preparations and safety checks of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue.
Posted on 15 Jan
Lisa Blair starts Solo Circumnavigation of Antarctica
Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, over 500 have rowed across the various oceans and 12 people have landed on the moon. Only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Sydney-based Lisa Blair, 32, intends to become the first woman, the fastest and the third person in history to conquer such a challenge.
Posted on 14 Jan
When whales meet sails
CAMPER helmsman Roberto ‘Chuny’ Bermudez found himself nearly face to face with whale in middle of North Atlantic Ocean. Currently the database for marine mammal strikes is very sparse. We are requesting sailors and boaters help to submit information on current and past incidents, however long ago that may be. By giving a location, date, identification if possible, and any other relevant information you can help scientists better understand where marine mammals are at risk for strikes
Posted on 8 Jan