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Old 03-23-2018, 11:08 AM
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What age would you let your kid take the boat out with their friends?

I have a soon to be 18 year old son (birthday is tomorrow - March 24th). He has had his boater's licence for about 4 years now. He has driven the boat many times with me in it but I have never let him take it out by himself. The boat is moored at our local marina, about 8 miles from our house, and sits in a covered slip on a boat lift. He has never taken the boat off the lift nor put it back on the lift. He is going away to college in the fall and wants to be able to take the boat out with his friends this upcoming summer. For the most part, he is very responsible but like most 18 year boys, he has his "idiot" moments.

I plan on working with him this spring so he becomes proficient in taking the boat on and off the lift, docking it and knowing where all the safety stuff is and how to use it.

Just curious what other people in my situation have done.

This boat sits on Lake Washington in the Seattle area. It is a rather large lake and can get rough (they call it Lake Washingmachine) during the summer on a Saturday or Sunday.
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Last edited by prostar205; 03-23-2018 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:11 AM
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Ive been taking our boats out alone since I was about 15. Ive been boating my whole life, and my parents never really drove the boat if I was there anyways. Im 23 now, and they still prefer it that way.

I would have him nail docking. that is the only hesitation I would have, especially in the wind or "washing machine" conditions. especially with other 18 year olds in the boat, things can definitely get hectic. Youre on the right track, and it sounds like you have the bases covered.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:19 AM
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tatronation tatronation is offline
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Booze cruise for sure


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Old 03-23-2018, 11:22 AM
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I agree with Aric, make sure you are comfortable with him handling the boat around the marina in all situations. I let my son take our boat out at 18 with his friends, but he was doing most of the driving since he was 16 and I trust him that he will be responsible and he can handle the docking safely. We even had an emergency plan (alternative docking location) in case the weather was too windy for him to feel comfortable docking the boat himself into our slip.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tatronation View Post
Booze cruise for sure

I only thought that happened in Wisconsin?!?

I'm 100% sure if prostar caught his son drinking on the boat, his son loose the opportunity for life. But if he is as he describes him, he's son is too smart to be stupid. However, I'm sure they'll have a discussion about that before the keys are handed over.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoot View Post
I only thought that happened in Wisconsin?!?

I'm 100% sure if prostar caught his son drinking on the boat, his son loose the opportunity for life. But if he is as he describes him, he's son is too smart to be stupid. However, I'm sure they'll have a discussion about that before the keys are handed over.
If this was even a remote concern, I doubt this thread wouldve even been started.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:34 AM
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As a bunch of 17-22 year olds in college we did everything for our team boat (2002 ProStar) at a marina and never had an issue, as long as you get him good at taking the boat in and out of the marina and slip and have him give his friends a run down on how to be a good crew, I don't see any problem with that. You could always give him a nice stern "you break it, you bought it" conversation as well, I know that's something my dad would've done.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:58 AM
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I was good with my daughters driving at 16+ with cousins by themselves. Now, our lake is smaller than Lake Washington and I've heard it can get pretty busy out there. It all depends on your comfort level and his maturity.

I was driving our big boat (Cobalt) as a kid, probably around 13 or 14...but that was a different time. Again, your comfort level.

I was the main person that drove our boat though, as a kid. I even trumped my older siblings...I was usually the driver because I enjoyed it so much!

In college, I promised my mom that I would polish her boat up real nice and do some detailing for her. In exchange, I was able to keep the boat down at college (WSU Pullman) during a summer school session. Let's just say, that was a blast to have down there with a lot of friends!
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Old 03-23-2018, 12:14 PM
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I allowed my 17 year old son to spend a week last summer at our lakehouse with full use of all the toys. I was very impressed with the care of everything minus a small scratch in a jetski. But as others said he has been driving and maintaining our water toys since he was 8.
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Old 03-23-2018, 12:19 PM
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It goes on a kid by kid basis, but I was very young. I'm not even going to give an age, because most would not even understand the circumstances or upbringing.

The key is that the kid is comfortable and capable in all situations. If the kid is 18 and has never docked the boat before, that shows a lack of interest. In my opinion, he doesn't get the boat until he is capable of EVERYTHING and knows what to do when "sh!t hits the fan."
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