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Old 08-19-2010, 06:11 PM   #1
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Default Temporary Safe Boater Education Certificate

What specifically does someone who wants to rent a boat have to do to get a boating license?

Do they have to take the class then pass a test as we all do now to have a boating license or are they allowed to with some type of rental license?

I see rental boats out there all the time but always wondered how it was done.

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Old 08-19-2010, 08:51 PM   #2
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You can get a temporary 14-day certificate for renting after passing a test that's administered by approved rental agencies. From the Dept of Safety website:

http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/s.../14dayrev.html
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by OCDACTIVE View Post
What specifically does someone who wants to rent a boat have to do to get a boating license?

Do they have to take the class then pass a test as we all do now to have a boating license or are they allowed to with some type of rental license?

I see rental boats out there all the time but always wondered how it was done.

Thanks
The state's website does not seem to mention the specifics of the test. If I recall correctly it is a 20 question multiple choice test and you must get 80% correct. There is no driving test for the temporary certificate. Passing the test gets you a one-time 2 week temporary Safe Boater Education Certificate (not a license).

You shouldn't assume that all or even most rental boats are being operated with temporary certificates:

1. Many renters are experienced boaters who choose to rent rather than own. That includes me. I have 35 years of boating and ownership experience and using rentals now makes more sense for me.

2. Many renters are repeat customers and have obtained a permanent certificate since the temporary certificate is just good for one two week period.

3. When they make their reservation new renters are strongly encouraged to get a permanent certificate before they arrive so they won't risk forfeiting their deposit and reservation if they can't pass. You'd have a very disappointed family if Daddy can't pass the test.

Also keep in mind that many permanent certificate holders didn't have to take a class and proctored exam. Before 2007 they could be obtained online by passing a multiple choice test. Like all permanent Safe Boater Education Certificates they are good for life.

I'm not familiar with how Thurston's handles all this and I'm not speaking for them.
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:06 AM   #4
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The state's website does not seem to mention the specifics of the test. If I recall correctly it is a 20 question multiple choice test and you must get 80% correct. There is no driving test for the temporary certificate. Passing the test gets you a one-time 2 week temporary Safe Boater Education Certificate (not a license).

You shouldn't assume that all or even most rental boats are being operated with temporary certificates:

1. Many renters are experienced boaters who choose to rent rather than own. That includes me. I have 35 years of boating and ownership experience and using rentals now makes more sense for me.

2. Many renters are repeat customers and have obtained a permanent certificate since the temporary certificate is just good for one two week period.

3. When they make their reservation new renters are strongly encouraged to get a permanent certificate before they arrive so they won't risk forfeiting their deposit and reservation if they can't pass. You'd have a very disappointed family if Daddy can't pass the test.

Also keep in mind that many permanent certificate holders didn't have to take a class and proctored exam. Before 2007 they could be obtained online by passing a multiple choice test. Like all permanent Safe Boater Education Certificates they are good for life.

I'm not familiar with how Thurston's handles all this and I'm not speaking for them.
Thank you for the clairification. I have a friend who wants to rent on an island and was asking about the boating certificate. I wasn't assuming all renters did not have one.

However you made me wonder now how the temporary certificate is issued in comparrison to the permenant boating certificate. Also, I wonder if the marinas also have to do some type of in water training or test to make sure the capt. is able to pilot a boat safely.

Maybe someone could chime in with first hand knowledge.
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:13 AM   #5
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I know of a person that rented a sea doo on the big lake, not sure from where, but it took him several times to pass the temporary exam. He did not get any kind of "on the water" training other than a quick once over on the basic controls of the thing and a couple reminders of the "rules of the road" that was about it.

I have no reason to believe he was not being truthful about his experience for what it's worth. Guess if the thing gets smashed up there is insurance to cover the damages.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:47 PM   #6
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I have read about this and I am not sure this is a great thing.. I mean it is like going on vacation and taking a multiple choice test at the Rent A Car counter and getting a temp. drivers license. IMO
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:11 AM   #7
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I have read about this and I am not sure this is a great thing.. I mean it is like going on vacation and taking a multiple choice test at the Rent A Car counter and getting a temp. drivers license. IMO
It is certainly not the best situation in the world that is for sure. While you have plenty of experienced boaters such as our webmaster that have decided that they are better off renting a boat for the handful of times they want / need to be on the water every year. You do end up with those that come to the lake, wanting to try power boating. Unfortunately in these case getting the certificate is a little too easy, and depending on the rental place they offer a little to much help and don't really have any indication of how good someone is going to be at handling a boat. Now I am not saying all rental facilities are the same, or all rental capts. are the same.... we all need to understand that there are legitimate renters... and there are agents that rent and do a good job making sure the renters are going to return the property safely....
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:44 PM   #8
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You do end up with those that come to the lake, wanting to try power boating.
And there lies the problem. Before anybody drives a car they have spent years observing while riding in a vehicle. They have a pretty good understanding of proper operation and road rules by the time they start driving. To hop right on a boat for the first time and think you know the ways of the water with zero experience is laughable.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:36 PM   #9
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After reading the requirements, and the inherent problems on the lake, I don't see how anyone could be against tightening the requirements for obtaining certificates. I personally don't think anyone should be able to rent a boat without taking the proctored exam. I prefer on water instruction, but I guess that's just too hard for most.


This is something that should be in the Legislature for an amendment.
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:42 AM   #10
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And there lies the problem. Before anybody drives a car they have spent years observing while riding in a vehicle. They have a pretty good understanding of proper operation and road rules by the time they start driving. To hop right on a boat for the first time and think you know the ways of the water with zero experience is laughable.
One of the best things about needing a license to operate a boat-----When my relative's visit they can't ask to take out my boat because they don't have a license.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:45 AM   #11
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In NJ you need a boaters safety class to operate anything. We boat mostly in the bay or the ocean which is much different from lake boating. It's a lot easier than lake boating, IMO, unless you hit bad weather or your engine stalls and you get sucked into a bridge vortex or a tug boat ignores all the rules and stakes the law of gross-tonage...oh I digress...But to operate in the lakes in NJ, you need a full license. I didn't understand why until I took the boat out on Winnipesaukee thinking it'd be eazy-peazy, and I felt like I'd never been boating before. I don't think it's a place for newbies to just rent and go. And I do think you need some sort of advanced course. Ok, maybe I'm a big chicken and I'm overly cautious and where the hell did those witches come from, but it's not that easy.
I was never this much of a wimp until I had kids.
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:25 PM   #12
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In NJ you need a boaters safety class to operate anything. We boat mostly in the bay or the ocean which is much different from lake boating. It's a lot easier than lake boating, IMO, unless you hit bad weather or your engine stalls and you get sucked into a bridge vortex or a tug boat ignores all the rules and stakes the law of gross-tonage...oh I digress...But to operate in the lakes in NJ, you need a full license. I didn't understand why until I took the boat out on Winnipesaukee thinking it'd be eazy-peazy, and I felt like I'd never been boating before. I don't think it's a place for newbies to just rent and go. And I do think you need some sort of advanced course. Ok, maybe I'm a big chicken and I'm overly cautious and where the hell did those witches come from, but it's not that easy.
I was never this much of a wimp until I had kids.
The Winni rental fleets love their clients- they do a bang up business selling them new props at the end of their rental period!
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