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Old     (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-03-2005, 9:47 AM Reply   
My (twin) daughters just turned sixteen a couple of weekends ago and one of the gifts they asked for was the ability to take the boat to the lake by themselves this summer. Although Idaho has no age laws for boat operation, I am hesitant. Not with them and their abilities but the thought of them, our boat and their safety with the many "tools" that flail around our lake! Do you guys think sixteen is too young for them to "get their feet wet"?
Old     (litlone873)      Join Date: Jan 2005       05-03-2005, 9:55 AM Reply   
If you feel they have been out enough to have learned the rules of the water and are comfortable with them operating the boat, I would suggest a test run with you in the boat and doing absolutely NOTHING. This will give them the chance to show you that they can do it on their own without your guidence. Dependng on how they handle themselves you will know whether or not they are ready.

Another option is to find a friend with a boat and follow them around for a while. Have some walkie talkies on board so they can reach you if needed.

I would also limit the number of friends they take with them. Too many distractions is a bad thing!

Good luck!
Old     (bdehaan)      Join Date: Jul 2003       05-03-2005, 10:02 AM Reply   
It depends. Just like driving a car, I would not let them go "solo" unless there is no question they could handle it on their own. I don't think it's an age issue, I think it depends on how safe/responsible/capable they are. If there not up to speed yet, go out with them and teach them. I believe they can be 16 and handle it if they have the experience.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-03-2005, 10:03 AM Reply   
Have them take the coast guard approved courses & CPR at minimum.
Old     (97response)      Join Date: Oct 2004       05-03-2005, 10:04 AM Reply   
Rennee's idea is exactly what I was thinking of. To add to that, I suggest taking "points" away from them everytime they say "Dad, am I doing this right?" If they want to take it out on their own, they should know if they are doing it right.

Also, if they do something wrong, don't help them fix it unless your boat/person is in danger.

Perhaps leaving the gas tank empty in the boat on the way there and see if they fill up. Of course if you're OK with filling up, then disregard this comment.

My thought is to make them think of everything you would have to think of every time you take the boat to the lake. My personal feeling is 16 is borderline old enough. This test should prove it one way or another.
Old     (ripr)      Join Date: Mar 2002       05-03-2005, 10:17 AM Reply   
We don't have kids. But if your daughters are the ones in your profile, I wouldn't let them out of my site for minute, much less on my SANTE! lol

Seriously, have them take the coast gaurd test and cpr training, as well as 2 trips with you. Good Luck!
Old     (bummerkit)      Join Date: Apr 2003       05-03-2005, 10:35 AM Reply   
they can come on my boat and drive all they want.
Old    natlchamp2k4            05-03-2005, 10:43 AM Reply   
I was 19 before I got to take my boat out by myself. We dont live on a lake so that involves towing and all that good stuff. I was capacble far before that but my parents side was that insurance did not cover anything unless there was someone over 21 in the boat. So, anyway, It sucked cause the only time we got to go before that was when my mom or dad felt like sitting in the boat, I did everything, load, unload, drive, everything, they were there for insurance purposes. But now its on homeowners so it doesnt matter.

But, I agree, you go and just sit there and dont correct anything just observe, then make your decision.
Old     (bigshow)      Join Date: Feb 2005       05-03-2005, 10:44 AM Reply   
I was driving boats on my own when I was maybe 12. It probably depends a lot on your girls how you think they will handle the responsibility. I’d say that it’s better to make a few mistakes when your leaving at home with your parents than after you move out.

I just put the entire family through a boater safety class, required in Ohio for boaters born before 1981. I got one exam question wrong but my wife got a perfect score and embarrassed me. The kids protested a bit, but I think they got something out of it.

On the other hand my son is sixteen and we're just now buying him a beater car to drive around partly so he's got something to make mistakes with and partly to spare my wife car from what I expect a teenager might do (I would have done).

The whole idea of giving them a little responsibility with more if they do well sounds good to me. Add boater safety and you've probably got a good start.

Oh, and you have some nice looking kids, I'm sure your proud.
Old     (wiltok)      Join Date: Feb 2003       05-03-2005, 10:51 AM Reply   
I wouldn't - just think if the potential libality. Sixteen is too young in my opinion - but it's just that - my opinion.
Old     (themann39)      Join Date: Feb 2001       05-03-2005, 10:53 AM Reply   
My parents taught me how to drive our boat when I was about 10. They would let me drive when they were in it so i got the feel of driving the boat. When i turned 12 i had to take the boaters saftey class then after that class they taught me how to pull people on kneeboards. By the time I was 14 I could take the boat out by myself. I guess it just depends on how much experiance that your daughters have driving a boat and how much trust you have in them. If they were taught well they should know that you need to always be on the lookout for people on the lake that dont have the best control of there boats.
Old     (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-03-2005, 10:57 AM Reply   
good input guys, thanks! they attended our local coast guard auxillary training program last summer (cpr, safety, local laws, trailering and right of way navigation) in order to qualify for the insurance but it is still gonna cost us an arm and a leg to add them to policy. being twins however, we only need to put one on there, cuz the authorities aren't going to know the difference... i like the two way radio idea and maybe go "stealth" with some buddies to get the low down on their lake activities. suprising to me is that how young some of you were when you got started. they have always driven as kids on my lap or back to the ramp after a long session but the whole letting them go alone thing kind of erks me... either way, i do not want take away a privilege i feel that they have a right to earn by showing responsibility of this magnitude. growing up in new zealand, jet boating was a way of life and transportation and my pop had me running rivers at 10 years of age and i couldn't be more scared. i hope they will appreciate how fortunate they are... thanks again for all your input!
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       05-03-2005, 10:58 AM Reply   
I agree with a lot of the ideas posted here. I was sixteen when my dad first let me take the boat out on my own. Remember, once you allow it you'll never be able to revoke the privilige. I'd agree with Renee: I'd go out on the boat with them and do nothing for a day, just to make sure they can handle all of the duties. You know your daughters better than anyone and should have an idea of their responsibility and capability levels.

By the time I took my boat out I'd been on the water for 14 years (that's right, I was 2 when we got our first boat), so I had been around and had alot of experience. That said, I'm sure my dad was still very worried the whole time we were gone.

Anyway, good luck with it. Just so you know.... When I was sixteen I met my future wife on one of those boat trips. Ha, ha, hope you're ready.
Old    cool_arrow            05-03-2005, 11:05 AM Reply   
i live on a lake and my kids are still kinda young but i know that if my kids were to take the boat out during the week, they'd be going wakeboarding, but on a weekend, there's no wakeboarding going on on out there, and as a responsible parent, there's no way my kids will go out there unsupervised around all those "tools" on a weekend. on a week day, no problem, go all they want as long as they have proven that they can handle themselves in a safe and responsible manner with reguards to the operation of the boat (ie, coast guard classes, test runs with you in boat, etc), but no way in hell on a weekend. my girls mean to much to me.
Old     (maestro)      Join Date: Jun 2001       05-03-2005, 11:14 AM Reply   
NAW expressed my thoughts perfectly. You sir have raised two gorgeous young women. If my kids look like that I'm not gonna let them do anything on their until until they're 25! (JK of course).

In all honesty, I think 16 would be an ok age, especially since they've gone through training. Just make sure they have a cell phone or two-way radios in case a problem arises.

(Message edited by maestro on May 03, 2005)
Old     (mastercraft1995)      Join Date: Nov 2002       05-03-2005, 11:15 AM Reply   
How long have they been around the boat? Are they wanting to fill the boat with friends and go riding?

Last year at Shasta we let some of the teenagers take out the boats. All of the the kids had been around boats for years. At first all let them do was cruise around not towing anyone. After a day we let them start pulling people. We let them go out and then followed them in another boat. They decided to pull someone in a tube, while one teak surfed while one played on the boom. Needless to say as soon as we caught up to them the boating privladges where revoked and they all got a good butt chewing.

It's not that they can't do it's that they can be pressured into doing stuff that is stupid. I wouldn't let them take friends because it's a safety issue. If was just them I would let them take it.
Old     (fatsac)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-03-2005, 11:25 AM Reply   
Tough call. I was more comfortable driving a boat than a car at 16, however, 8 years of experience had a lot to do with it. The toughest part is determining their reaction to other boats, extreme situations, etc. At the end of the day, there is only one way to find out... And ummm, yeah, an '04 SAN would make me that much more nervous.
Old     (nuckledragger)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-03-2005, 11:26 AM Reply   
Ryan, I don't envy your position or the decision you have to make.
One of the biggest reason kids get into trouble is peer pressure. When they are by themselves or with you, they behave a certain way but when they get around their friends, there is always the pressure of "showing off" or giving into doing something they shouldn't do.
It sounds as though they have enough training and experience to go out alone but take a close look at the people they want to go out with. Do you think these friends will present any unneeded pressures that your daughters will give into???

I was out on my own with the boat at age 18 but my father put me through many weekends of sitting back and watching me do everything to make sure I could handle it.
Old     (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-03-2005, 11:27 AM Reply   
the girls are very responsible and have been pulling me and my wife for the last 3 years or so. they are both very proficient with perfect pass, our lake and boat operation and even drive pretty decent double ups. but you guys are right, when there are a boat load of girls and then the guys show up, all hell breaks loose. we are thinking about limiting(at first)to 2 friends each for a total of 6 on board.
towing has never been a problem. we took them to an empty parking lot back when they got their license and let them practice backing with our then tige 22v, which was a pig to tow! they mastered that and the sante seems to be a breeze, they even have changed a spare or two on the trailer from their dad driving too fast on the rocky roads...
Old     (whit)      Join Date: Feb 2001       05-03-2005, 11:28 AM Reply   
One of my first jobs was as a dishwasher when the summer I was 14/15. My parents got sick of picking me up from work at 3AM. So they me got my first boat. It was only an 18.5', 165hp, ugly as hell I/O. Of course I did learn a little more about life when I got the boat. Instead of driving home after work--sometimes I'd take off for beach bonfire parties. Got to learn about drinking, women, and sneaking into bed at daybreak before anyone else work up. (Influnced by the resturant personell more than the boat--but it provided the means...)

With all that said we have a young lady on our local lakes that take out an X-2 all the time. She is fifteen. She is known as being rude around the lake for simple reason she doesn't return waves. The girl is very nice and very responsible. The reason she doesn't return waves is simply because of her age--she thinks it is wierd for a boat full of young people to return waves to a boat full of older guys. Can't say that I blame her. Anyhow--her parents have no problem dropping her and her friends into the lake for a day of fun.

Overall I have met lots of younger folks (18 to 21) that have possesion of really nice wakeboard boats. Wakeboarders tend to be fairly responsible. Boats and tow rigs are gonna cost upwards of $50K--guess they have to be or they won't be wakeboarding too much!
Old    leggester            05-03-2005, 11:40 AM Reply   
Well, I'd be concerned, as you are.

As a safety factor and a feel good measure, how about a couple picnics?

That way, the gals couild take the boat out and run around... ... for awhile while mom and dad BBQ on the beach or whatever. If they run into a bit of trouble, they can call on the cell or walkie talkie.

The gals do everything though. Drive out there, load the boat, drive the boat to the beach to drop you off. Load it up in the afternoon and drive home.

Basically just a couple practice gigs to get both comfort levels up? let 'em bring friends too?

Or, if you are like me, the gals take the boat out and you go out with a friend to the same lake. NOT SPYING! Just there "in case".
Old     (sordave)      Join Date: May 2002       05-03-2005, 1:00 PM Reply   
Ryan - I feel your pain! I have 15 year old twin daughters who are already talking about going to the lake with the boat. Both can drive the boat on and off the trailer, are great around docks, taken CPR, First Aid, Life Guarding, 4.0 students, and very responsible. They want trailer backing lessons this summer.

But... I can't imagine them taking the boat alone with friends. Once the music starts, friends messing around, and any guys around, girls (and guys for that matter) lose their concentration.

Again - I can't imagine, but I am sure that day will come for me.
Old     (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-03-2005, 1:13 PM Reply   
the day is coming mate.

brace yourself...
Old    wakeking933            05-03-2005, 1:36 PM Reply   
dude you had them change the spare thats what dads are for

I started driving our boat at 11 and i never had any trouble.
Old     (mjfan23)      Join Date: Nov 2003       05-03-2005, 2:10 PM Reply   
Ive taken MY jetski out since i was 16, im gettin ready to turn 17, and have had no injuries, or any problems with the jetski.... Yes i kno a jetski is a bit different from a boat but its sorta the same idea...
Old     (hyperlitenrd)      Join Date: Jan 2003       05-03-2005, 2:43 PM Reply   
I have been driving our boat since I was 4 when we got our first one, of course sitting on a parents lap, but at 12 I was taking it on and off the trailer, docking all that. I am a very good boat driver.

I wouldnt be too woried about your girls, I would be worried about their friends. That is a big reason why I dont take our boat out by myself. I can tow it there, back it in, dock it drive all of that, but none of my friends can do any of that, and seem uninterested in doing so, since hey I can drive. Well what happens when I get knocked out trying my double half cab roll then what do they do. So what I am saying is, know the people going out on the boat, make sure everyone knows how to be safe.
Old     (wakeme884)      Join Date: Jul 2004       05-03-2005, 2:50 PM Reply   
Last summer my daughter asked if she could take the boat with a couple of her friends...As I cringed with the fear of what could possibly happen, my wife said I turned white as a ghost (fear does strange things). Needles to say, I said no until she had a whole lot more experience with towing and boat driving/safety. IMO it depends on the individual not the age (my daughter was 25 then). BTW, you have a pair of georgeous daughters-I would not let them out of my sight, period!!
Old     (mike_schwenne)      Join Date: Nov 2002       05-03-2005, 3:29 PM Reply   
Dang Buff, CPR and coast guard coarses! i'm glad your not my Pop'sI didn't have to take those 'till I started running the camps.

sounds like your girls are ready to go. The one thing I'd suggust that hasn't been mentioned yet is to make them responsible for any and all damages to the boat. I know this made a difference for me at 16.

Mike Schwenne

Old     (nuckledragger)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-03-2005, 3:37 PM Reply   
Ditto what Mike said....if they are financially responsible for any damage, they will be more careful (even if it takes 10 years to pay it off). This was the agreement in my family also.
Old     (jklein)      Join Date: May 2001       05-03-2005, 3:39 PM Reply   
Hey Mike:

How's it going? Are you guys up and running yet this year? A friend of mine and his son (Mark and Jake) from Granite Bay are going to attend your camp this year.

However, watersports is a dangerous sport and anything can happen. Your girls just need to be prepared. Basic First Aid and even a CPR course are not a bad idea actually.

Mike: you remember when Jerrod was laying in the walk through of your boat last year at camp after what looked like a "not so bad fall" on what was a simple toe-side w2w jump. Jerrod is an expert rider too.

It was a freightening event (at least for me), and later Mike and Bucky took him to the eRoom. Luckily, everything turned out ok for Jerrod.

I'd start her out slow like on a weekday when there's not too many other crazy boaters around, and preferably you can be close by if she needs you for any reason.
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-03-2005, 3:42 PM Reply   
Good boat insurance and 1 Million dollar umbrella policy.
Old    bambamski            05-03-2005, 3:55 PM Reply   
Don't have twin daughters but my daughter is 15 and she's not ready to take the boat by herself. She's going to drive a lot more this year but it takes a couple of years to really know what you're doing on the water.

My worry would not be as much about the boat as it would be about the kids driving it. You have to remember the boat can be replaced, you're kids can't be. If anything happens to someone elses kids while your girls are in charge of the boat then you would still be liable I'm thinking.

Start small, let them take it out in the bay or something. As long as you can still see them and work from there.
Old     (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-03-2005, 4:07 PM Reply   
the coast guard auxillary courses were requested by our insurance carrier, as they promised it would promote a discount?? they have both been life guarding for 2 years and both have been active on swim team at our neighborhood pool since they were 10.

as for damages, well they know the routine on that one. if it is broke, nobody gets to use it! their mom spoils them rotten but i tolerate very little. as you can imagine, being the only male in a female run household, i get squashed when it comes to voting on anything! they have offered to fully detail/wax the boat after every time they use it and keep some gas in it..... we'll see how long that one lasts? as for gas money, they both have picked up more hours with their summer jobs to offset their existing cell phone bills and car insurance. and don't get me started on their cell phone bills---outrageous! how much can one kid talk to another? i am certain they would get it surgically attached if it was possible! unbelievable...
Old     (jrad)      Join Date: Mar 2004       05-03-2005, 5:03 PM Reply   
Hey ryan m,
my folks let me start takeing the boat out when i was 18. i first had to show them my skills, and prove i could do it. im only 19, and if i was the girls father, i dont think id let them out of my sight either; but id sure like to meet them.

An John K, thanks for bringing that point up. a simple manuever no matter your skill can bring you down. hope you guys come back to westcoastcamps this year. I had fun coaching you guys.

Old     (p_e_ski)      Join Date: Jul 2004       05-03-2005, 6:33 PM Reply   
Ryan...You gotta trust your instincts. If the instincts are causin you to hem/haw, then something ain't right. Your instincts are correct about 99.9% of the time. Be certain that you are 100% comfortable before you cut them loose. My oldest son is 15 and looks forward to the day he can go without supervision. Every kid is different, some can handle it and some can't. It sounds to me like you have covered all your bases, especially if they already have demonstrated proficiency and skills. It sounds like it is a matter of DADDY just wantin to hang on to that last little bit of innocense. After seein your beauties, makes me glad I got sons. Good luck and TRUST your instincts.
Old     (p_e_ski)      Join Date: Jul 2004       05-03-2005, 6:38 PM Reply   
Oh yeah, boating without parents is a privelage that can be revoked at any time if they don't continuously prove themselves
Old     (98_searay)      Join Date: May 2004       05-03-2005, 6:43 PM Reply   
like one other person said let them take it out with some friends and you in the boat just sitting and not telling them what to do unless it has to do with the safty of the boat/crew! that should work. and the coast guard and CRP is a good idea!
Old     (habcaw_creek)      Join Date: Mar 2005       05-03-2005, 6:52 PM Reply   
my friend is allowed to take out his 03 x-2 and he got it when he was 11 now hes 13,but he was allowed to take it out whenever he wants to.his dad lets him drive it to the landingwith there new 05 sounds crazy but its not cuz were responsible and we took it out all last summer everyday and nothing happened.
Old     (maestro)      Join Date: Jun 2001       05-03-2005, 7:33 PM Reply   
Actually, letting a 13 year old drive an SUV pulling a boat is not responsible IMO. His parents are crazy and are putting other people in danger. 13 is way too young to be doing that on your own - I don't care how responsible and mature you are.
Old    byerly137pro            05-03-2005, 7:41 PM Reply   
How far do you live from the dock, and whats the driving age where you live, for cars and boats?
Old     (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       05-03-2005, 8:45 PM Reply   
two words, hell no. dont let them take the boat out. they may be responsible but their boyfriends, that will ultimately be driving the boat, arent. not a chance in hell id ever let a 16 yo take the boat out without an adult also on the boat.

(Message edited by alanp on May 03, 2005)
Old     (msasser)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-03-2005, 9:59 PM Reply   
i think ive heard the extremes here, one kids goes at 13, one guy would not let a 16 year old go out if he got paid... big bucks. so i think you would be doing the right thing in letting them out on their own, with all the precautions. in my opinion, this is a way for them to get experiance, i didnt have much experiance doing things on my own before i went to college, so i experiances lots of things for the first time, not like drinkin and stuff, but like handling my slef on my own, what to do if i got lost, stuff like that that i never had a chance to learn before i had no one to ask. so i suggest letting them out to play, being on the lake is fine, but if you ride in the boat with them and their friends, it will be uncomfortable for everyone, and probably make them want to let loose big time when your gone, so i think you should let them get experiance under their belt and make sure they do it in a safe manner, good luck on your decision, let every one know, im sure we all want to.
Old    swass            05-03-2005, 10:13 PM Reply   
Dude, you are out of your mind. Every boy on the lake would be boardin' that boat like Black Beard on the Barbary Coast.
Old     (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-03-2005, 10:26 PM Reply   
nice swass! thanks for the visual... you will be happy to know that the girls learned to board at cherry creek reservoir about 10 years ago. we lived in denver for awhile down near washington park, off emerson. miss that place and the days of poaching waterski runs down on city park lake off colfax. at least that it was i think they use to call it? anyway, made for a nice lunch break.
Old     (jrad)      Join Date: Mar 2004       05-03-2005, 11:52 PM Reply   
so whats the call ryan, are you gonna let them take it out. did you let them read all the posts. i do think mike sasser brought up a good point about you being in the boat with them. but then again, swass brought up an excellent point aswell.
Old    leggester            05-04-2005, 8:17 AM Reply   
While I don't believe Teach was active at the Barbary Coast, I'll bet Ryan's daughters can take care of themselves.

I had to have a talk with my 8 year old. She put a nerve pinch on a boy that was 'bothering' her. Nerve Pinch? WTF? I didn't even know that was possible!

Let 'em out Ryan! Better let them get used to the hound dogs now. That way, it won't be such a shock in college.
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       05-04-2005, 8:32 AM Reply   
They look like responsible young adults. I would let them if they have the experience you mentioned. Make sure you are current on your premiums!
Old    swass            05-04-2005, 8:51 AM Reply   
Artistic license. It made for a more colorful metaphor.

Washington Park is a nice area. There are some really cool houses around there.
Old     (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-04-2005, 8:53 AM Reply   
you guys make it sound like i have these girls tied up in a basement somewhere. i hardly ever see them, these two are "thelma and louise" in fact, i posted this thread so i could make an informed decision, so when we do talk, i don't get slayed by the girls and their mother, "the three amigos"... it sucks the dog can't vote, because she is the only one whoever sides with me?
either way, i am grateful for all your insights and it looks like were gonna give it a go and just let them take it themselves, as long as things don't get too roudy... their mom and i travel extensively for work during the summer season and we don't want them to go without wakeboarding. i hope we are doing the right thing? if not, well i'll just post pictures of the damage...
Old    leggester            05-04-2005, 9:10 AM Reply   
It was a quite colorful metaphor.

Take the hit Ryan. Can't keep 'em locked up, not that you'd want to.

Expect the worst, then they'll amaze you with better!
Old     (bbeach)      Join Date: Jul 2002       05-04-2005, 9:20 AM Reply   
Ryan -

Have you ever thought of buying them a small inexpensive boat for their own to learn on... This might not be the most financially best decision. But hear me out. Growing up my Dad had new high $$$ bass boats and wasn't too excited about me learning the ins and outs of operating a boat by myself in his. Therefore my cousin and I got an old 68 Mark Twain that had already seen it fair share of bumping into docks, being crashed into trailers, etc... And we spent 2 summers using that baby... By the time I bought my Mastercraft at age 21 I was more than knowledgeable about boats and could handle things very well.

Just a suggestion. I think the Mark Twain was worth about $1200... Which isn't too bad when you think about what it would cost to repair the fiberglass or gel coat on an 04 SANTE...

Good luck in your decision. Just think about this. Having my parents teach me a ton about boating at a young age was the best thing I ever learned and sure do appreciate it every day today, even more as I get older.
Old    utskier            05-04-2005, 9:21 AM Reply   
For most of us, the lake is good for two things, wakeboarding and partying. If you have a wakeboard-focused group on the boat, you shouldn't have a problem. If friends are along that don't really care about boarding, chances are they will be looking to get "roudy". I would want to know who was going on the boat and everyone's interests at the lake were. Also, I would want them to be on a lake without a party cove. When I was 16, you couldn't keep me away from Devil's Cove when I was on Lake Travis. Looking back, I was real lucky to never have any problems. When I was on Lake Austin, where there was no such party cove, we wakeboarded all day with no problems. Basically, if wakeboarding is more fun than partying to your girls and their friends, you shouldn't have a problem.
Old    robertt            05-04-2005, 9:29 AM Reply   
I can add, not to scare you at all, but you might want to have them take a high quality first responder course. They will learn what to do if something goes really bad, and maybe just as important learning how to deal with a person that got whipped against a dock at 30mp with severe trauma for the 30 minutes it will take the ambulance to get there is a wakeup call. It lets you know that you are mortal, and that¡¦s a stretch for a kid. Once a year I take at least an 8 hour medical course. Last week it was wilderness first responder. I always take a step back after the course and think about how careful I need to be especially with others under my care in my boat.

To me, there are two completely opposing issues here.

The first is risk to life and limb, and a lot of expensive property. That is protected by sound judgment, HARD rules (you have two girls, nobody else should ever have to drive the boat....ever), and education. Sounds like you have that under control. They will constantly be bombarded with people wanting to drive the boat¡KI would make sure that doesn¡¦t happen. Tell them to tell people that insurance wont cover any other drivers or something.

The second worry (I have a daughter by the way) is that two twin very cute girls on the water is an A-hole magnet. Well, that¡¦s just life. They are probably safest out on the water when it comes to that. Unless you are willing to lock them into a closet, they have already been bombarded with every cheesy thing that the guys can throw at them already.

Based on those ideas, I would recommend that you base all of your judgments on the first issue only; thinking about the second issue will only make you nuts.

Seriously, a solid advanced first aid course is never a bad idea for kids. I have been taking my 11 year old to swiftwater rescue courses that I help with for a few years. You can see the difference between him and his friends. They rush right into situations, while my son is analyzing everything. Basically, in my opinion, a bit of education will make up for three or four years of maturity. At least it helps.

I am sure they will have a blast this summer. How cool is it that they can go out and do that¡K.they are very fortunate. Good job.

Just my .02.

Oh, and I liked the blackbeard thing. He is right thoughļ

Old     (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-04-2005, 9:36 AM Reply   
we discussed the idea of them having their own boat... in fact, when the wife brought it to me that the girls want to use the boat, after a few expletives, i offered to buy them an early nautique 2001 or early supreme. however, the missus made a good point that they leave to college in less than two years and that investment would sit. you know what they say: the two happiest days of your life are when you "first" get your boat and then when you "finally" sell your boat. already own the nautique, wouldn't mind two but the whole 3 girls, 1 guy thing doesn't make for good leverage when it comes to decisions... good idea though!
Old     (salmon_tacos)      Join Date: Jan 2003       05-04-2005, 10:58 AM Reply   
The issue is not one of ability. You know how they handle a boat. The issue is one of responsibility and of courage--the responsibility to act only in ways that will not endanger life or property and the courage to stand up to those who would do otherwise. I think the former is fairly common while the latter is quite rare. Regardless of what parents want to think of their children, I think the teenager who can take the role of a responsible adult when confronted with friends who want to party and "have a good time" is so rare that I don't think I'd ever let teenagers use a boat for "hanging out." The beer will show up (maybe the tequila...maybe the pot...who knows?), you'll get 15 kids in your Nautique, someone will do something stupid, and someone might die. All of this might be nearly impossible for your daughters to control.

With that said, I think that under the right circumstances, I would let 16-year-old kids take a boat out for wakeboarding only. I'd have rules like:

- Only allowed to take the boat out at wakeboarding times (not weekend afternoons).
- The number of people on the boat would be limited (you can only support so many riders in one outing)
- Only wakeboarders would be allowed (except for a close friend here and there)
- Only kids whose parents I know (and who have given their approval)
- Maybe require that all of their guests provide gas money to help keep it to serious wakeboarding.

In short, I'd do everything I could to keep the unsupervised partying to places where it is unlikely that anyone will drown, get run over, or ram into anything at high speeds.

If you do decide to let them loose, you might want to at least try to make them understand that THEY are the captains of the boat and that THEY are in charge. They're not just hanging around with friends where everything is up for negotiation and nobody should tell anyone what to do. Tell them that they are responsible for everyone's behavior and that if someone is behaving in a way that they feel is inappropriate, they MUST stand up to that person instead of ignoring the problem and saying, "Well, it will probably be OK."
Old     (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-04-2005, 11:39 AM Reply   
good points!
i have relayed the "captain" thing to them in the past and they like that analogy. i also made it very clear that they are not only responsible for themselves but any passengers, bystanders, anything having to do with their outing. the girls are pretty hard-core when it comes to riding and i know all the people they hang with are too, so it should be pretty mellow. should be...

as for the beer, tequila and pot, well that will be at home with me...
Old    erlingiii            05-04-2005, 1:18 PM Reply   
I have been around and driving boats for 8 years, i am now 18 and i still can't take the boat out myself. My dad says it isn't the drive to the lake or that he doesn't trust me, it is he doesn't trust me with all my friends. I want to work out some deal because i could go out 3 times as often if i didn't have to go with him plus i am paying for the gas.
Old    pate            05-04-2005, 1:25 PM Reply   
Trust can go along ways with teenagers. Like mentioned earlier, my concern would be who the passengers were more than how your daughters would do. I am sure they have been watching dad all these years and will do fine. Just take the earlier advice and do a trial run.
Old     (salmon_tacos)      Join Date: Jan 2003       05-04-2005, 1:49 PM Reply   

What do you want to do out there, wakeboarding only? If so, perhaps your dad would agree to the sort of stipulations that I listed above.

If you want to go out there, hang out, show off to the girls, etc.; you should ask yourself whether you are truly ready to stand up to your friends (and act like their parents) when they want to act like idiots. I know I would have loved to take a boat out with my friends all day when I was a teen. If all went well, that could have been a great experience. The problem is that things don't always go as planned and it's the ability of teenagers to control other teenagers' stupidity, in those situations, that is what I'd worry about. Kids (no offense) don't want to tell their friends what to do and their friends don't want to listen when they do. Hell, many 30-year-olds still have this problem.

So anyway, if it's just more wakeboarding you are after, maybe you should ask your dad if it would be alright to take the boat out for only a few hours in the early morning and maybe weekdays(the only times Travis is any good), and limit the passengers to maybe two friends at a time, all of whom your dad has met. Assuming that your dad sees you as an honest and responsible person, he might go for it.
Old     (midwestrider)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-04-2005, 2:21 PM Reply   
If it were me, I don't think I would allow it, at least not on the weekend. I have been around boats all my life. My parents have had a boat since I was old enough to remember, but I remember my mentality at 16-18 and I would not have trusted myself. Sure I was a good kid and fairly responsible for my age, but when kids are around other kids in a situation like that, the temptation to do something stupid is just too great. Girls may be a little better about that sort of thing, but I know if I had of taken out a boat full of guys all alone, it probably wouldn't have been a good outcome.

I know I will probably one day face this same dilemma, but there would have to be a long training period before I would even entertain the idea. Plenty of observer ride alongs and then probably a few secondary boat observations. It is all up to you and how comfortable you are with your daughters' level of maturity, but boating can be very dangerous if you are not paying close attention at all times to what you are doing. My parents always taught me those lessons, but it took years of experience and alot of maturing before I really understood the consequences.

Old     (cdm)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-04-2005, 8:42 PM Reply   
I think my parents let me take out the boat, then 89' MC prostar 190 by myself when I was a soph. in high school. That was in 93'. I was 15 or 16. We lived on the lake, and the boat was just tied up on the dock. The first day I took out the boat, by myself, I was stopped engine off just hanging out between sets. All of a sudden a friend, whom I didn't know was on the lake at the time, tried to show off and did a power slide on his sea doo too close and hit the boat. This caused a major stress fracture and needed fixed. I couldn't believe it. What were my parents going to say? Anyway, it all worked out and I still was able to use the boat. My friends in the boat at the time confirmed we were stopped and I was not at fault. I had been around boats all my life, we were on our third at the time. This just goes to say things happen and you cannot do anything about it. When you start to add different dynamics like friends, towing the boat to the lake, fun in the sun etc. even the most responsible person can get into trouble. I guess all I can say is you may trust your daughters, you cannot trust anyone else. What happens when the beer shows up. oh it will. will your daughters say not on our boat. I guess my point is its a huge difference when you are on the boat and they are driving. people act differently when the parents are away. The children will play. You know whats best. I agree with the above, ride along, picnic, CPR class (I didn't take it however), and they pay for the gas. Got to pay to play. Good luck. limit the # of friends for sure.
Old    norcalbrdrydr            05-05-2005, 4:09 AM Reply   
Alright, this post is comming from the one person the insurance companies absolutely hate. The 18 year old male. Yup that's me. You give me a truck or a motorcycle or anything on land and the tires will be half gone and most the gas will be evaporated by the time I get back. Within a year I had 3 tickets. Fortunately none are on my record (driving school, pleading with the judge, and one was no seatbelt which was a $135.27 mistake). BUT, when I get on the water there is no messsing around. Its strickly business. My boat is not new but its no piece. I could never afford to buy a new one and I know that if I wrecked my boat there is absolutely no way my parents would buy a new one. My dad would just go out with his other friends and ski behind their boats and I would be sitting on the dock. The point is that from a teenager's point of view, being able to take that boat out whenever you want ALONE is the most freedom you could ever have. Believe me, they will keep their friends in line because they know if they mess up they are toast. Haha I have to tell you all about something that happend about a year ago. We were packing up the houseboat for a week on Malones and I was rushing to put the boat in the water and transfer a TON of stuff onto the housboat and my friends were pissin me off buggin me about boardin ASAP. So I wasn't thinking and I just launched the boat. I didn't even think about the fact that my dad took the plug out because he was the last one to drive (I always put it back in when I get home so I can just launch when I get to the lake). I'm cruisin thru the 5 mph zone towards the boat and I feel wet carpet on my feet. Immediately I realize.... I just pinned it and headed towards shore... my wake was no joke 3 foot tall. I almost lost my baby. I think of that almost every day I think about boardin. Yea that was a good story wasn't it. I know you all got a good laugh out of that one. Anyways, the point is, from what I've read, your girls are far more qualified than I was when I first took out the boat and they will keep everything under control. That privelege will be worth more than anything else in the world to them. You also might want to warn them that they will never realize how many friends they have until people find out that they can take out the boat on their own. O yea, we got our boat when I was 16 and my dad would make me trailer the boat to and from the lake or the delta (if you can drive in the delta you can drive anywhere in the world) and then pull everyone, including him skiing constantly. I took the boat out a year later when I was 17. I've never had an accident and I've learned more responsibilty than anything else has ever taught me. O yea, I'm no longer a menace to society just a slight neusance. I've calmed down from when I was just a kid pfft. haha
Old     (nocoast)      Join Date: May 2005       05-05-2005, 5:06 AM Reply   
I was able to take our ski boat out (a 23' supra saltare) at 14. I received my Minnesota operators permit, and then my dad made me take his test. First he made me prove to him that i could turn the boat 360 degrees on a dime by using forward and reverse and the wheel. then he had me do some docking, both in calm and in wind. and he also taught me how to drive for skiers. Also, and this proved to be important...he showed me the basic engine stuff. Most importantly, the water hosing for cooling. Through all the boats i've driven over the years this has proven itself to be important. there have been several occasions where boats have started to overheat just because a cooling hose fell off, i've always known how to fix it and save the engine. After i'd proven myself to him i knew what to do in the common situations i knew i could manage the boat. teaching your daughters enough so that they can be confident in everything they do when they're dealing with the boat alone is key.
Old     (bluesman)      Join Date: Oct 2002       05-05-2005, 8:56 AM Reply   
Check your insurance policy. I paid extra for insurance so our teens could drive the boat. The insurance company stipulated we had to have an adult supervising while they drove. If your policy has a clause like that. . . . .


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