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

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  • djdj68
    replied
    A lot of great feedback. I have a 15 year old boy and 13 year old daughter, who have been driving get a boat for years.

    My son who will be 16 shortly took the boat with a couple of friends last years for a cruise no problems other than the music.

    A couple of things that I did to get them ready for the day, I had them take the online water safety class for 3 years in a row starting at 12. I bought 12 foot pond crawler for my kids to use which they started taking out at age 12 by themselves. Lastly, most of time when they asked to drive the boat I would allow them to. The more driving they do with u in the boat with help determine if they are ready or not.

    Also, I think other things come into play. Like size of the lake, traffic, and want they will be doing.

    We are lucky because we are on a small lake (1200 acrea) and only 750 members so far fewer boats. Also, far the most part most of the drivers have been long time property owners and are very good boaters.

    Lastly, I only allow for a cruise because adding a person on the water bring a total different set awareness and set of problems.

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  • Dillinewton
    replied
    Boated my whole life and bought my first boat at 22. I felt confident in driving and being on the water by myself by the age of 16, but was terrified of being responsible for everyone on MY boat for the first time. Now 25 and boating all the time with my brother that is 28. We try to pick a crew that wants to respect our boats and helps be part of the team. Still get stressed out taking new people that won’t be able to assist in an emergency. A good crew goes a long ways.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  • JohnE
    replied
    I think if you have to ask, then either your son isn't ready, or you aren't ready for it. Age doesn't matter (unless it is a legality) maturity and responsibility levels matter.

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  • btriantos
    replied
    No really an age thing for me, but the older the more mature for sure. If my kids are taking an interest in how the boat works, what to do when there are malfunctions, how to reset or fix things as they happen, and REALLY take an interest to keep the boat in the same impeccable condition as I do, then they can have the keys. Just when I ever borrowed my parents car for a special occasion, you get the keys a lot more easily when you give them the car back washed with a full tank of gas....and no damage of course.

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  • swc5150
    replied
    My parents apparently had completely different thoughts than most. They bought us an MC Skier when I was 14, in part, so I could drive around our lake safely alone. Obviously being a water skiing family factored in big time, but so did the fact that I could maneuver easily out of harms way with the MC. Now, my daughter is about to turn 4, and she'll grow up driving a Prostar. She, like me, will have years behind the wheel before she can legally drive a boat alone, so I don't think I'll have any issue letting her take a boat out alone when the time comes. Or at least I'll know for sure if she's ready to.

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  • Mastercraftdave
    replied
    My father let me start taking the ski boat out by myself with my friends at 16. Grant it, I treated the boat like it was my baby and my father knew how anal I was so he trusted me. My dad also wouldn't let me take the boat out during busy times, so my friends and I would ride at dusk and down when no one was on the river. It also helped that I have been around boat my whole life and drove them all the time.

    I will say this, we all know things happen when boating that are out of our control. Ill never forget the first time I broke something on the boat it wasn't pleasant. At the time we had a Malibu VLX and one Friday afternoon while making a turn to pick up a friend, I ripped the wedge off the back of the boat. Not really sure how we did it because we were in the middle of the river and it wasn't shallow. I think I was banned from driving the boat for a month and I had to replace the wedge (around $500). It taught me a lesson, and I was even more anal after that. My friends always got mad at me because I made them dry off on the swim platform before getting into the boat. My MCOCD started at a young age.

    I guess my thought would be to make sure they are comfortable and make sure you are comfortable before you allow your son on the boat by himself.

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  • Cmpdman
    replied
    It depends on who it is. My dad let me take out his boat when I was 16. It was an 18 footer & I had to trailer it to the lake. It took years to earn his trust. Having said that, my wife is the only one who has taken our boats out.

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  • Cmpdman
    replied
    Originally posted by Loewen View Post
    Rule #1 Never borrow anything without returning it in same or better shape than when you borrowed it.

    Rule #2 Never let anyone borrow anything and expect it to come back in the same or better shape then when it left. It ain't gonna happen.
    Yep. I agree.

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  • paintpollz
    replied
    Originally posted by bturner2 View Post
    Kid by kid decision. Training, experience and maturity play a big factor in my book.
    This.

    And buy a big umbrella.

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  • Loewen
    replied
    Rule #1 Never borrow anything without returning it in same or better shape than when you borrowed it.

    Rule #2 Never let anyone borrow anything and expect it to come back in the same or better shape then when it left. It ain't gonna happen.

    Leave a comment:


  • slalomjunkie
    replied
    Originally posted by gt23 View Post
    At an age when they can afford to pay for the probable mistakes of their friends
    Bingo... Drives me nuts that Mrs SlalomJunkie lends out her car... never fails I get the blame even though my vehicles never have issues AND never get loaned out.

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  • gt23
    replied
    At an age when they can afford to pay for the probable mistakes of their friends. Now if responsible, respectful young adults, then 36 maybe. Lol.

    Sent from my SM-N950W using Tapatalk

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  • agua4fun
    replied
    Lets be honest, this totally depends on the kid.
    I had a summer job driving a MC when i was 18 pulling guests at a resort. They still have 18 year olds there doing the same thing. That being said, I have 40 year old friends who have their own boats and id never let them drive mine....

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  • sp00ky
    replied
    Originally posted by PNWMasternut View Post
    NEVER! well maybe at 35....... definitely never under 25.
    Ouch hate to be your kids

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  • rtw_travel
    replied
    Originally posted by FoggyNogginz View Post
    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.
    Agree 100%. If the kids are good at driving and docking, you still need to have ‘the conversation’ about responsibility. It doesn’t matter what their friends say or do, they are solely responsible for safety of everyone and the boat. It’s a great life lesson, and I’d rather they learn it on a boat than a car- much less risk of serious injury

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