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Old 08-17-2008, 05:10 PM   #1
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Exclamation Final Statements on HB-847

Before suspending the speed limit debates on this site indefinitely I will allow each member one post to make a statement.

This thread is intended for final thoughts about the signing into law of HB-847, not to attack or provoke other members. Please stick to the topic.

If you post a second message in this thread it will be removed, regardless of the content.

When activity stops the Speed Limit Forum and topic will be closed until events justify reopening it.

Click here to view the last "Closing Statements" thread when HB-162 failed to pass in 2006.
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Old 08-17-2008, 06:00 PM   #2
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Thank you Don, Good riddance to bad news........... and don't forget, it's the "wild west" out there.....
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Old 08-17-2008, 06:34 PM   #3
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Boaters everywhere can only hope for one thing. People in boating clubs across the nation, including most performance boat organizations, have been pushing for more and better enforcement of the existing laws. Additional laws are supported if the need arises and makes sense.

State by state, lake by lake, the same problems are being seen. Accidents caused by inattention, drunk drivers, careless and negligent. People don't obey NWZ's, distance rules, much of anything. While so much time and effort is placed on speed limits, enforcement remains well behind the times. Almost everywhere enforcement's budgets are either cut, or they lose ground to rising costs.

If you really care about safety and boating, start to do something about enforcement.
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:26 PM   #4
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Unhappy Much ado about nothing....

In the end, nothing perceptible will change.....
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:56 PM   #5
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This is a feel good law that will change nothing. I believe that something needs to change out there to improve everyone's enjoyment of the lake, but this isn't it. Honestly even requiring boater certification isn't enough either, I see 150' violations every time I go out and these people are supposed to have taken and passed a test! There's still work to be done to enforce the safe passage law and also to keep it on everyone's mind while they are boating. I watch people "whipping" in skiers all the time and they come within 25' of their own swim rafts (the boat that is) while there are people in the water swimming! These are the things we need to fix to make boating safer. Education and enforcement of existing laws, not a speed limit, will go a long way to a safer lake for all of us.
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:09 AM   #6
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All I ask is for everyone, opponents and proponents alike, is to be safe on the water. If you see a Captain Bonehead, educate them* rather than swear at them (*if possible). I don't think that speed is a problem on the lake, the problem is ignorance of the laws that are currently in place. They just need to be enforced.

In the end, not much will change in the next 2 years. All one needs to do is look at the number of accidents directly caused by speeds over 45/25. How many were there before the speed limit, and how many were there in the 2 years of the speed limit. That is how the effect of the law should be statistically determined. If the baseline is zero, then the law cannot possibly prevent any accidents.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:31 AM   #7
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Default Sunset in 2011 please

I've already said enough on this subject.Thanks again Don for providing the stage to hear the different viewpoints.We''ll meet back here in the summer(?) of 2010.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:42 AM   #8
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It is just a "Feel Good Law" as Eric stated.
This law is not going to make people use common sense.
It will not make people stop driving under the influence.
It will not make people respect others on the lake.
It will not make people obey boating laws anymore than they do now.
If MP cannot enforce the current laws; How can they enforce new ones?
I wish this law were the magic pill but it is not.
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:28 PM   #9
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Just goes to prove you can fool most of the NH legislature most of the time. Where is Joe Friday when you need him with "Just the facts ma'am."

Maybe now we can get back to a civilized forum.
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:54 PM   #10
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The only thing I can add to the above statements is that this is an unfunded law.

If the NHMP commits manpower to enforce it then something else will suffer.

The statistics don't show a need for this law and it will ultimately produce bigger problems on the lake than we have now.

This law needs to be allowed to sunset and we all need to focus on ways to provide more funding for the NHMP so they can enforce the laws that really do impact boating safety on the lake.
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:16 PM   #11
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My hope is that in 2011 this will be chalked up with the greats of all time. For Example:

1. Chicken Little

2. The boy who cried Wolf!!!

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Old 08-18-2008, 02:43 PM   #12
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Default Enforcement

There can be a million more laws passed, but until there is enough manpower to enforce those laws there will not be much change in the actions of boaters. This law gives the legislators something to point at and say they are doing something, when in fact the speed limit will not make the lake safer. Education and enforcement will make the lake a safer. Have a good rest of the boating season, it's way too short!!
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:29 PM   #13
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Default Education and Enforcement

That's all that is needed.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!
Please do not feel the trolls.
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:40 PM   #14
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Unhappy Distraction from real problems

Resources will be pulled from other enforcement activities to attempt to enforce this law. After all the stink about the need for speed limits the MP will have to prove that effort was put into its enforcement. We will have Marine Patrols sitting out waiting to clock someone exceeding the speed limits, which doesn't happen very often anyway. At the same time boneheads will still be BUI, cutting too close to other boaters, causing problems with their wake, failing to yield ROW, violating no wake zones, and generally making boating less safe. It will just be less likely that the bonehead will be pulled over because the MP is bobbing on the lake waiting to write the one type of ticket that will justify this useless law.

Since there was no real justification for the law in the first place it will be interesting to see the justification for its continuation past 2011.

Not usually true at the lake but Sunset can't come fast enough.
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:11 PM   #15
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It is regrettable that this law will inconvenience many responsible performance boaters.

It is also regrettable that the opposition chose a ďno limitĒ position instead of working for a compromise. I hope that in two years an exception for the Broads can be written into the law. However if the opposition continues with ďno limitsĒ, they have already lost.

There will be no data collected in the next two years that will argue against HB847. A low, or zero, accident rate will indicate it is working. A high accident rate will indicate that even more restrictions are required. A no win scenario for the opposition. The argument that fewer restrictions will decrease accidents is counterintuitive. That is not the way politicians think.

The argument that this is feel good legislation that will change nothing has ALREADY been proven wrong. On this very forum we have heard that some performance boats have already left, and that more will be leaving. In another post a member has decided not to upgrade to a performance boat. These are the first proofs that HB847 has, and will, change the lake. It is doing exactly what it was intended to do, reduce performance boating on the lake.

More and more lakes are placing restrictions on performance boats. I do not wish Winnipesaukee to be the lake they migrate to.

Powerful arguments have been made for increased education and enforcement. Great ideas. But expensive ideas that will never be funded are useless ideas. Worse than useless when they divert attention away from methods that can be enacted for little or no money, like speed limits.

The lake will never go back to what it was years ago. But we can slow the proliferation of boats that are to big and to fast for a crowded lake. For decades the average boat length and horsepower have been increasing. This increases pollution and erosion and leads to an inequitable use of a limited public resource. A speed limit is the first step at reversing, or at least slowing, this trend.
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:37 AM   #16
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A few final thoughts on "feel good" legislation . When the speed limit forum reconvenes in the future, I hope the phrase takes a permenant leave of absence. Why? Of course it's feel good legislation. I feel good that boats can no longer legally scream by my boat at 70 MPH when I'm fishing with my grandson. I feel good that after so many years that the people who own the lake get to take some control back from a minority of high impact users. I feel good that the house,senate, and governor listened to what the people wanted and ignored all the hype about legislation based on "fear and emotion". I feel good that those who want to go fast still can (45 MPH is still very fast). I feel good that people will have 2 years to see that a great deal of fun can still be had on Winni. I feel good because we'll get to see that the whole Lakes Region economy doesn't go down the toilet because of "feel good" legislation. And why would anyone want to enact "feel bad" legislation anyway? I feel good because Don has allowed an opportunity for us all to debate this topic. Thankyou(that felt good).

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Old 08-19-2008, 01:07 PM   #17
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First of all thanks Don.

Second I hope the posters on both sides, now have more time to be positive and helpful. Ask and answer some questions about restaurants, grocery stores, fishing, fixing your boat, kayaking spots, and swimming holes. Tell us the good things that keep you coming to the lake. I plan to try and I hope you all will.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:24 PM   #18
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It's sad to see that the state had to resort to this, but I do think it was the prudent thing to do all things considered. Suppose only time will tell if it makes any difference.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:15 AM   #19
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Iíve tried to patiently explain what a sea kayak is Ė with the response being that ďitís still just a kayakĒ. Iíve been told that kayaks are just toys and that they have no business being out on the main lake. Iíve been told that I should stick to ponds. I have been told that I donít have the experience to tell if a lake is safe for me. Iíve been told that I should just accept the risks from high-speed boaters if I want to paddle on the main lake. Iíve been told that my fears are unfounded, or that Iím exaggerating them. Iíve even been accused of lying, when Iíve posted about some of the close calls I have had.

A lake is for recreation Ė itís not a high speed transportation system. And itís not a race course. Itís really hard to relax much and have fun, when you spend much of your boating time being concerned about your personal safety from high-speed power boaters. No one here has been able to show a reason why they have to exceed 45 mph on the lake Ė other than ďit is funĒ or because they own a boat that is capable of going faster than 45 mph. In my opinion, these reasons hardly justify putting other boaters in danger.

This law will make a huge difference on the lake. Iíve paddled on Squam for years, where a speed limit has been successfully enforced for many years. So Iíve experienced the difference a lake speed limit makes, and it is a very noticeable difference for us paddlers. No, a speed limit wonít fix all the problems, but it will make the lake safer Ė since, will all else being equal, slower is safer.

I believe in freedom too, but we have laws mainly because everyone's right to liberty ends where it intrudes on someone else's liberty. We wouldnít need most of our laws if everyone was truly concerned with (and understood) how their actions affect others. But unfortunately some people donít really care (or truly understand) how their actions (and their words) affect others.

It is a shame that some members of this forum canít have a debate without resorting to personal attacks on anyone who has opposing views. There have been posts made just to poke fun at me or to insult my abilities, my skills, or my intelligence. Iím going to have to think long and hard about remaining a member here, as I have been hurt really badly by some members Ė not only by the way that I have been treated in many posts, but by also with hateful pms that have made all sorts of bigoted comments about me Ė just because I am different.
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Old 08-21-2008, 02:05 PM   #20
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Arrow In conclusion

We all agree that the lake is getting crowded, be it paddling, sailing or motorboating. We all agree for safe and sensible laws to protect property and safety to humans. The clause for reasonable and prudent speed will be sufficient to satisfy the majority. We do need this to ensure enjoyment of the lake for all who use it.
When the law reach its sunset, I hope the reasonable and prudent speed clause become permanant. Even though the 25/45 limit is arbitrary, it cause so much debate as to why this is set. Let it rest.

Lets us continue in peace and happiness.
Someday may never be an actual day.
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:40 AM   #21
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Default Fear...History...Where We Are Heading...


1) Members FLL, MAXUM and others predicted the Winnipesaukee tragedy of August, 2002 by a few weeks. Moreover, searching the word "arrogant" brought up 40 entries prior to that crash. D.I.Y.

My own prediction appeared in newsprint just three days prior to the first tragedy—at a speed still in dispute.

We didn't expect:
—a hit-and-run tragedy by an experienced and speed-seasoned boater...
that flight afterwards was not illegal...
—nor the three-day delay in admitting his boat "may" have been involved in the fatality.

HB-162 followed on the heels of that collision: when HB-162 failed, HB-847 was passed instead, following still another deadly headline.

2) The last sub-forum statements left some confusion among recent members regarding HB-847 and "denying the lake to others due to speed".

Here's another try at it, using a recent example that I observed:

This past Monday at 9:30 AM, a tight group of three boats whipped past Rattlesnake Island southbound at about 70-MPH: each carried the required one acre of responsibility with them.

In accord with the Unsafe Passage Rule, that means three square acres denies the lake to all boaters ahead and, like a giant broom, swept those three acres forward at 70 miles per hour!

Worse, it can be repeated over the same spot within minutes.

HB-847 addresses that concept: that speed denies a huge temporal space of the lake from others, and extreme speeds will deny even more of the lake to boaters.

I'll stake my screen-name on that concept!

Just This Month:

Only one life was taken on a lake with a speed limit, and it was by the usual speeding suspect. Where there was no speed limit, five in one boat were killed—again by the usual speeding suspect.

(Five fatalities has tied with the toll in a recent event which was "not a race": five is not a boating record).

If it hadn't been HB-847, some other headline could have brought even more stringent rules.


1) There are reasonable fears and unreasonable fears:

We've seen that the act of "buckling up" seatbelts causes fear. (An unreasonable fear.)

Others fear cancer, and pass laws restricting tobacco use in restaurants and other shared areas: still others fear brain damage, and will wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. (A reasonable fear.)

I choose the side who fears brain damage and who fears cancer.

I still pay extra for airbags to protect those who fear seatbelts: it's just a necessary part of saving all of us—in spite of those who will deny any reasonable fear.

2) Lake Winnipesaukee has dodged the multi-fatality collisions at other locales by one great law that has been protecting us for 30+ years; sadly, we see daily that our "Unsafe Passage" rule is receiving inadequate compliance, uneven enforcement, and even the vaunted "Education" element has failed our previously-enjoyable Lake Winnipesaukee boating experiences.

HB-847 resulted.

3) In the past, no tickets could be written for speeds over headway speed—now they can! Also now, the night-hidden scourge of BWI can be assaulted stealthily using radar.

That "nothing perceptible will change" is wrong. I predict that the night speed limit will be the most productive part of the new law in keeping problem boaters away—night and day.

Although the Coast Guard will take three years to produce the statistics, we should expect HB-847 to make much improvement in finding BWI "drivers".

(We got "drivers", now? What happened to "helmsmen"?)

4) By choosing which laws to break, one boating segment has brought HB-847 down upon themselves: HB-847 isn't the fault of "everybody" or "crowds".

Too often, it is easier to "split the difference" between lesser boaters rather than to back off the throttles. What pass for quiet mufflers still brings dread to boaters at anchor, fishermen, lakeside residents no longer secure in their houses, and those attending to a skier or tuber. You'll see them glance up—and it's not an admiring look they'll give in the direction of that menacing approach.

When existing laws are ignored among an increasingly arrogant boating segment, demands for a different legal approach can be expected: enter HB-847.

Where This is Headed:.

If one were to contrast the failure of HB-162 to the success of HB-847 in these forums, you'd see that HB-847 caused far greater rancor—especially after the bill was signed!

Even during this "week of truce", negative comments creep into the larger forum: The threat of deletion has kept this present thread ("Final Statements") civil.

Unless Don does wholesale "deletes" upon every instance, how can we be hopeful that the issue has been left behind and the rest of this great forum doesn't become a "poisoned well"?

Just as affected boaters should have policed their errant boating peers on the lake, each of us must now self-police our comments here.
.SailingóGood for you and good for the world...

...and you won't stink...

Last edited by ApS; 08-25-2008 at 07:28 AM. Reason: Fixing all links
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:48 PM   #22
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I don't know where everyone gets their info, but every performance boater I have spoken with is staying on the lake and not going away. Further more, the general concensus is that next year, it will be business as usual. So, we will wait several years and hope that the majority of politicians that voted for this law will get replaced by competent individuals who act on data and fact, not hype and ignorance. In the meantime, if you see a blurr in the broads......
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:35 AM   #23
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Default Generaly Opposed

I have been vehemently opposed to a blanket speed limit on the lake. However I am now hoping it will have some side effects that really are necessary.
Anyone plying the waters of Winni on any given Saturday or Sunday between Memorial day and Labor day can plainly see a lake in trouble..
Squam got it right by limiting the number of public ramps and marinas..
The joys of Winni are gone for me on the weekends, constantly dealing with captain bonehead, speeders, and all the blow-ins that feel the rules dont apply to them as they worked there crappy jobs all week and are getting out on the water as fast as they can regardless of anyone who might be in the way.
Next I would like to see some restrictions on the marinas.. How about a number like 200-300 boats.. Theres one near me that seems to grow every year! More rack storage etc.. 400+ wet slips and an ever growing mooring field. The owner of whom was one of the first proponents of a speed limit. Whos ruining the lake ???
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:45 PM   #24
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APS, that was an epic post.

I really don't know what should be done about this issue, or even if it exists or not. Unfortunately I am not on the lake as much as most of you guys to form an educated opinion. All I have to say is:

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Old 08-28-2008, 01:15 PM   #25
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Default This Thread and Topic Are Now Closed

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