In order to operate a motorboat in Maine, you may soon need to take a boating safety course.
It's a bill that has been repeatedly proposed in Maine, and it's back again. LD 1663 "An Act To Improve Boating Safety on Maine Waters" would make passing a boating safety course mandatory in Maine.
According to the wording of the bill, individuals born after January 1, 2002 will be required to pass a boating safety course in order to operate a motorboat propelled by machinery over 10 horsepower. It also creates a minimum age of 16 to operate a motorboat.
The summary of the bill reads:
This bill creates a mandatory boating safety course requirement for individuals born after January 1, 2002 for the operation of motorboats propelled by machinery over 10 horsepower on Maine waters beginning January 1, 2023. The bill establishes a minimum age of 16 for operation of a motorboat propelled by machinery over 10 horsepower and requires the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to establish a program for boating safety education certification. This bill also requires a mandatory boating safety course for an individual born after January 1, 2002 who operates a personal watercraft.
If passed, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will need to establish a program for boating safety education certification. The course would also be required for individuals born after January 1, 2002 who operate a personal watercraft.
The Sportsman's Alliance of Maine recently spoke out in opposition to the bill.
Executive Director David Trahan said on a Facebook live session, the bill is being rushed through to the legislature without a proper public hearing. Trahan said, "my objection to this is, all the exemptions in the world is great. But why in the world is this bill getting a unanimous committee report, without any, virtually zero, public input?" He continues "we're encouraging people to reach out to their legislator and ask them to vote no. We ask them to create a stakeholders group through a resolve, carry the bill over until next year, and allow groups to come in and participate in the process." Hear his full remarks beginning at 16:45.
LD 1663 still has more legislative hurdles before it can be passed into law.