So, when does 400 horsepower belong on the back of an inshore center console fishing boat less than 27-feet length? When did it become OK to legislate morality, or for the government to mandate the wearing of a kill-switch lanyard? When did specific hull designs that have been proven over and over start to disappear because the government deemed them dangerous?
I am veering off course this month from my normal maintenance and technical tips because I believe it is time to start asking a few questions.
I grew up on the waters of Galveston Bay and fished both inshore and offshore. I was taught well by my dad who was in charge of the flotilla in Galveston. As a member of the Coast Guard Auxillary my dad felt it was his duty to promote water safety and for each mariner to understand the rules of the road. At the age of eight, it was not uncommon for me to take my dad’s friends out fishing to the Buccaneer rigs in the Gulf of Mexico by myself from before sunup until dark, and handle all aspects of navigation and safety just as I had been taught. At the same time, my brother and I, with a friend, would spend most of our summer days in a fourteen-foot boat with a fifteen horsepower motor exploring every island in Galveston Bay and making every day a new adventure.
In today’s world this would likely be seen as some form of child neglect or child abuse, while in the 60s and 70s it was considered normal. My point is we have taken common sense and thrown it out the window. We have to have government telling us what is safe, and then mandate to us what behavior is acceptable. Did you ever think because of a few folks who may have had a lapse in judgment when on the water, that more legislation would solve the problems?
We as fishermen and naturalists enjoy the outdoors, and we have a responsibility to protect the environment and each other by practicing acts of safety and common sense while in the boat.
To answer the first three questions: 400 hp is a lot of power for an inshore fishing boat, and common sense tells us whether or not to wear the kill-switch lanyard – the choice and consequences are or should be ours. As far as hull designs go, each hull design has specific strengths and weaknesses, and it is up to us as owners to know what can and can’t be done safely. There are laws of physics that will never change.
In conclusion, our company works on all styles of boats, yet unless the boating public wants more regulation, I would suggest we think before throttling up to sixty or seventy miles per hour in crowded zones on the waterways.
Have a safe and enjoyable fall fishing season.
Coastal Bend Marine | Port O’Connor, TX
361-983-4841 | [email protected]