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Old 09-29-2009, 03:16 AM   #101
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Arrow Letter to LDS, Speed is not the enemy

Do the Math's post #62 in this thread appeared in the Laconia Daily Sun today, Tuesday September 29, 2009. Thanks DtM. Here's a copy/paste.

From Laconia Daily Sun page 5, Laconia Daily Sun Tuesday September 29, 2009

Face it people, boat speed is not the enemy & never has been

To the editor,
Throughout my adult life I have
had all kinds of boats, big, small, fast,
slow, etc. I literally grew up “summering”
on Lake Winnipesaukee; I am the
third generation of my family to do
so, and have watched it change quite
a bit over my 40 years, changes that
reflect not only improvements to the
lake and it’s surrounding areas but
some, admittedly, I don’t fully agree
with. For example, I miss Anderson’s
Bakery in Center Harbor, they had
the best donuts! And as a kid, walking
to Robbins General Store for candy
or an ice cream out of the cooler. And
most of all, EVERYONE waved at
each other — what ever happened to
the “original” wave when passing
your fellow boater? Anyway, I digress.
I honestly think the “most fun” boat
I/ we had growing up was a 13-foot
Whaler with a 40 hp 2S Merc on it. We
bought it new from Browns, and once
dialed-in correctly would run 42-44-
mph on it’s best day, in perfect conditions.
At WOT that boat felt like it was
going 80-mph — you were 12-inches
off the water and it was a blast! I
scared a lot of friends that
weren’t “boat people” in that thing
— great boat! Now, fast-forward —
jumping up to a 42-foot
Outerlimits with 1,700 hp, at 100-
mph — it feels like you are sitting in
an easy-chair with a big fan blowing
wind in your face. It’s all relative to
the size and conditions at the time
you are out. At 65-mph, that same
boat feels like it’s “loafing” along, the
engines are running smooth and easy
and you barely feel the waves you are
crossing, it is a very comfortable and
controlled ride.
As another WInnipesaukee Forum
member has mentioned numerous
times in previous posts, these boats are
DESIGNED to perform VERY well and
very controlled at the speeds that they
achieve. Imagine doing 65-mph in a
13-foot Whaler — as much as I would
love to try it, given an open body of
water with no boat traffic and flat and
calm conditions, I would never dream of
doing it on Winni, ever!
It’s funny how most speed Limit
proponents seem to forget something
very important — and I have said
this over and over — guns don’t kill
people, people kill people! We always
read about “Captain Bonehead” on the
forum — note, no one ever refers to
the boat itself, it is always the operator!
“This guy on a jet ski cut in front
of me yesterday, what a jerk” or “I
had this guy in a bowrider, with nine
people on board nail it coming out of
the channel, he was only 25-feet from
me”. Now, in any case of negligence or
“operator” error has it been the boats
fault that what happened, happened!?
Did “the boat” decide to go against
the operator and turn itself in front of
you, cutting you off and breaking the
150-foot rule!? Did “the boat” decide
to slow to a speed that let up a huge
wake and crash your boat against
your dock — damaging both — while
the operator yelled at it telling it not
to? To quote Forrest Gump: “stupid is
as stupid does”, and if you look at the
last (and ONLY)
two significant accidents to occur on
the lake over the previous 10+ years,
extenuating circumstances not withstanding,
both point to operator error,
period! (And at least one so far was
proven to have taken place UNDER
Call it what you will, bad judgment,
driver impaired, weather conditions,
etc., at the end of the day, it is the
operator that is responsible, always.
I know plenty of people on this lake
who own boats that will run fast, very
fast, and not a SINGLE one of them
has been involved in an incident of
any kind that would be construed as
negative. I have seen over the period
that the speed limit has become an
issue, an exponential number of
“family boats”, cruisers and waverunners
involved in the most unbelievably
dumb, careless and unsafe incidents!
The speed limite has had nothing to
do with any perceived changes in the
way the lake was this summer, chalk
it up to the economy and sheer coincidence.
Incidentally, I still saw more
than my fair share of “captain boneheads”
on the lake this summer and
I was up less than all prior summers,
oh, and NONE were driving a performance
boat! None involved going
really fast either, it was mostly the
150-foot rule and the right of way
rule that were the culprit, and tubing/
skiing in the most foolish locations -
traffic-laden, etc., and just not paying
general attention.
Face it people, speed is not the
enemy here, and it never has been,
but some people like to think that
the performance boat crowd is — that
our “Golden Pond” has become a playground
for all they despise. Gone are
the birch-bark canoes, replaced with
loud and “unsafe” speed boats. How
about gone are the responsible owner/
operators ACTING responsibly! You
are responsible for your own actions;
man-up and act like you are!
There is plenty of water for all to
enjoy, but we need to be responsible
for your actions, on and off the water! I
can assure you, I can promise you and
prove to you that a 20-foot bowrider
at 50-mph can be far more dangerous
than a 38-foot performance boat at
the same speed.
Sure, there are times that I wish this
lake was the lake I knew when I was
a kid, less populated and developed,
but at the same time, I love the lake
today! My 4 1/2-year-old son also loves
the lake, being out on the boat, visiting
friends and playing in the water.
You know, “he-said, she-said, he-did,
she-did” is getting old and moving us
no where fast! Let’s figure it out and
make it work people, so future generations
to come can enjoy it all too.
name redacted
Acton, Mass.

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