VOLUME XVI, No. 4, AUG/SEPT 2011
Quit Picking On The Little Guy
or 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
Contrary to the Hollywood 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 percent of powerboats on the water today are 26 feet or
less in length; 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 news 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!
See you on the water.
CHAIRMAN & FOUNDER Richard Schwartz
PRESIDENT & PUBLISHER
Nancy S. Michelman
boaters are not
rich, fat cats
EXECU TIVE EDITOR Michael Vatalaro
MANAGING EDITOR Ann Dermody
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Ryck Lydecker
CONSUMER EDITOR Caroline Ajootian
ELECTRONICS EDITOR Lenny Rudow
John Adey, Bob Adriance, Don Casey,
Elaine Dickinson, Chris Landers, Tom Neale
PUBLIC AFFAIRS ASSOCIATE
PROOFREADER Regina Cruz
AR T DIRECTOR Carla Shamblen
Rick Kelvington, Marcus Floro
DIREC TOR OF ADVER TISING
ADVER TISING SALES
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William J. McVey, Jr.
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President & Publisher
©BoatU. S. Magazine (ISSN 1090-1272) Published bimonthly by Boat Owners
Association of The United States, 880 South Pickett St., Alexandria, VA
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