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What age would you let your kid take the boat out with their friends?

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  • #16
    depends on the kid and mostly their friends. It depends on his experience docking, handling, and behavior. Can they be trusted. If i had a brand new $150k boat probably not, my if i had my 06 X2, probably.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Maristar210 View Post
      I've been piloting boats without supervision since I was 15. I let my son do so at the same age with full instructions of the consequences if he did anything stupid. He's 21 now. 18 is surely old enough if he has the maturity.

      Here is Cameron: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNv8kREhPwM
      A pod with single sticks would have been a Godsend! I could make that kid cry with gears and throttles on separates. You ain't turning around to face aft with both hands on the shifters & throttles.
      -Cameron
      2007 ProStar 197
      1996 ProStar 190

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Sodar View Post
        A pod with single sticks would have been a Godsend! I could make that kid cry with gears and throttles on separates. You ain't turning around to face aft with both hands on the shifters & throttles.
        That's true. He's a bit back and forth on the F & R but still fairly talented none the less.

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        • #19
          I was 17 when I began taking my family's boat out with my friends. Obviously my parents knew I was capable of handling the boat from doing a lot of the driving but they also knew most of the friends that came out on the boat very well too. I didn't think of this until now, but I'm sure my parents appreciated my friends meeting at my house before taking the boat to the lake. Selfishly I did this so my friends would help with washing and wiping the boat down afterwards. The boat always looked better when we put it back in the garage than when we took it out.

          The second summer of going out on the boat unsupervised my parents traded their 10 year old used boat for a brand new boat. They didn't bat an eye when I took that one out without them (with their permission).

          My sister was probably 21 when she took the boat out with friends for the first time. I didn't think it was a good idea but my parents trusted her. She got along fine and probably used the boat more than the rest of us that summer.
          '18 XT22 w/5500 & Upgraded Premium Stereo
          (Previous- '08 X2 w/MCX)
          '16 F150 Platinum Screw 3.5L Eco 4x4

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          • #20
            Originally posted by lashburn1 View Post
            grew up on the Chesapeake bay feeder rivers near Annapolis MD
            I was allowed to used our 8' tender at the age of 10, but it required carrying the 2hp Johnson from the shed through the woods and down to the pier. and mount it myself. I also had to know how to mix the 2 stroke fuel and do it myself.

            My dad made my older sister and I take a USCG power squadron class/test for the rules of the road etc..

            By Middle school I had taken their 20' I/O and 27' Sailboat out , with and without permission.
            We def broke a few rules, but were otherwise safe Boaters.

            I was pulled over by the Marine Police at 12 for going to fast in a 6ph zone in a small skiff.
            they let me go because I had every single piece of safety gear and doc in the Boat and new what everything was.

            I also broke down, ran aground, lost Wind, paddled home, got towed home countless times before I ever reached highschool.
            One time my parents found me adrift in a 10' SailBoat 10 miles from home just a the sun was setting. Must have been 8 pm?? I had been paddling for HOURS with the centerboard. I was too afraid to ask for help from passing boaters. I was maybe 12?

            You will know if your kid is worthy of boating there own when they are of legal age to do so.
            Sounds a lot like my childhood! I grew up spending my weekends and summers around the Bay in Southern Maryland. Crappy little boats, getting towed or paddling home... Sometimes, if we weren't home by dinner time, my grandmother would call the local USCG and ask them to go out and find us if she couldn't find my father or talk him into going out and getting us.

            Let him have the boat. Sure, you might get a few dings in the gel coat and rubrail, but you don't have to be a rocket scientist to drive these things.
            / \

            Former boats:
            2003 Prostar 197 35th Anniversary
            1990 Prostar 190

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            • #21
              I'd let my kids take out any boat I own/owned that cost me less than $10k. If they want to take one like this out, they can buy it themselves. VERY responsible kids and good boaters. That being said, my NO answer on our current MC is an economic lesson more than anything else.

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              • #22
                At age 16-18 we had earned the trust of our parents and 4-6 of us would go out Saturday afternoon , ski then camp on the beach. The folks would all join us on Sunday. We never had a problem other than minor breakdowns. I ran into our local game warden 25 years latter. After introducing my self he said”oh yeah, I remember you kids. I left you alone because you never drank beer until the boat was put away and you always picked up your trash. “.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by eecyclone View Post
                  My sister was probably 21 when she took the boat out with friends for the first time. I didn't think it was a good idea but my parents trusted her. She got along fine and probably used the boat more than the rest of us that summer.
                  I was always the same way with my brother about things...ohhhh siblings
                  Tim
                  Ohio State Engineering - Go Bucks
                  1998 MC MariStar 225VRS
                  1995 MC ProStar 205

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                  • #24
                    I agree with a lot of the great advice that has been posted on this thread. I would add to spend sometime understanding how to handle emergencies including a possible injury of a skier or rider.

                    I think it is also important to understand the "friends" for the first few times and make sure that as group they have some sense about them.

                    To me (even though I love my boat) it is more about the safe return of everyone involved ... after all we can fix fiberglass.

                    Boating is for life .... so earlier is ok with me.
                    Ski in snow, ski in water, and always have fun!

                    2008 Prostar 214 MCX
                    1995 Prostar 190 "Evil Minion"
                    Previous 93 Prostar 190 1.5:1 GT40

                    "Left Foot Forward and preferring girls."
                    "Do you have Flake on that boat?"

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                    • #25
                      I grew up on Lake Washington and my parents let me take the family boat out when I was 16 and moored on Mercer Island. The huge benefit being moored and not having to trailer and launch the boat. As mentioned by others it really depends on the kid and if they are ready for the responsibility. I have the same tough decision approaching fast as my daughter will be 16 soon but my decision will be easier since I don't moor our boat unless we are on family vacations in Eastern WA. Then the circumstances will change if the boat is in the water.
                      2008 X-45 Pro Tour Red and White

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                      • #26
                        Tom, Give him several bags of Cheetos, Red Wine coolers and a few packs of cigarettes on the new interior and he should be good to go!
                        2017 NXT22, 2015 NXT20, 2007 X2, 2002 209

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                        • #27
                          True story: The very first time I ever drove a vehicle on the road, my dad hooked a 16 foot Thundercraft up to a three-tone, green, column-shift Ford van, and told my brother and I to get out of the house for a while because we were driving him crazy. I was 15 and my brother was 14. Of course, I had spent a lot of time driving go-karts, boats and various pieces of farm equipment, so apparently Dad didn't think much of it. The fact that neither my brother nor I had a driver's license didn't really seem to play into the picture either. Long story short, we drove 35 miles to the lake and then took another 30 minutes figuring out how to back the stupid thing down a 20-yard ramp. It was one heck of a learning experience, but these days I can guarantee you that I'm one of the fastest guys at the boat ramp.

                          My daughter has been taking the boat out by herself since she was 16, and she's a far better driver than most of the adults I know. While I certainly do not recommend the approach that my father took with me, I do think that your question is far better answered by considering the responsibility level of your kids instead of their age. Unfortunately maturity has very little to do with how long a person has been alive.

                          My $0.02.
                          Last edited by FoggyNogginz; 03-23-2018, 08:39 PM.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by FoggyNogginz View Post
                            True story: The very first time I ever drove a vehicle on the road, my dad hooked a 16 foot Thundercraft up to a three-tone, green column shift Ford van, and told my brother and I to get out of the house for a while because we were driving him crazy. I was 15 and my brother was 14. Now, I had spent a lot of time driving go-karts, boats, and farm equipment, so apparently dad didn't think much of it. The fact that neither one of us had a driver's license didn't really seem to play into the picture either. Long story short, we drove 35 miles to the lake and then took another 30 minutes figuring out how to back the stupid thing down a 20-yard ramp. It was one heck of a learning experience, but these days I can guarantee you that I'm one of the fastest guys at the boat ramp.

                            My daughter has been taking the boat out by herself since she was 16, and she's a far better driver than most of the adults I know. While I certainly do not recommend the approach that my father took with me, I do think that your question is far better answered by considering the responsibility level of your kids instead of their age. Unfortunately maturity has very little to do with how long people are on this planet.

                            My $0.02.

                            Man I grew up in the wrong time lol
                            Aric


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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by MC25 View Post
                              Man I grew up in the wrong time lol
                              Yeah, and I can't even tell the good stories.

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                              • #30
                                NEVER! well maybe at 35....... definitely never under 25.

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