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Author Topic:   Yamaha Sues Bombardier! [Was: How about this one?]
lhg posted 08-09-2001 04:28 PM ET (US)   Profile for lhg  
It's being reported that Yamaha is sueing Bombardier for Patent Infringement in the design of their PWC's, and trying to get Bombardier PWC products banned from U.S. sale!

How's that for the pot calling the kettle black? If you ask me, they're both responsible for the worst noise and visual pollution to ever hit the US recreational waterways, with their PWC's and jet blob boats.

Ought to be interesting to see how the two compete in the outboard market!

jimh posted 08-09-2001 07:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I guess I was naive, but I am astonished at the amount of litigation that goes along with modern business practice. These corporations are all sueing each other all the time.

They ought to put the money spent on lawyers and litigation into research and development.


triblet posted 08-09-2001 07:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Intellectual property is valuable.

IBM made a BUNCH of money last year
licensing patents (five of which are in part
mine). It needs to be protected aggresively
or it becomes valueless. You might also want
to ask what B. was doing stealing Y's
intellectual property.

This is an issue completely separate from the
PWC issue which I think are a blight on our
waterways, mostly due to idiotic operators.


Peter posted 08-09-2001 09:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
When the economy slows down or recedes, there typically is more of this type of litigation as the companies do battle over precious market share. I am surprised that a Japanese company is taking the offensive here. They are not known to be litigious, but that could be changing.

I believe that IBM made over a billion dollars in patent licensing revenue last year.

compounder posted 08-09-2001 09:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Larry & Chuck,
I'm really surprised at your anti-PWC remarks. I have a personal bias, as I own two pwc's in addition to my 3 "real" boats.

I really do not see a major difference(other than size) between pwc's and other larger boats. My pwc is just a small, inboard-powered boat. I can go places where my larger boats cannot and I can get there faster if I so choose. My wife and I ride with other responsible adults, usually in groups, and enjoy this recreational activity
very much.

I understand that some PWC's are ridden by young (usually) idiots, but "real" boats being piloted by idiots are just as annoying and dangerous.

As far as noise goes, my Sea-Doo is no more noisy than a typical two-stroke outboard. Matter of fact, I find the engine & exhaust "noise" rather pleasant.

Visual pollution? Well, I guess beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but my Sea-Doo is to me a thing of beauty, running a close second to the Montauk!

I'm making a small leap here, but I would assume from your remarks you both might agree with the folks among us who would like to "ban" pwc's. That would be a serious mistake, principally because those same folks would like nothing better than to go after your outboard-powered craft. They are going to rid us of two-strokes in the very near future, but don't think for a minute that the four-stroke outboard won't be next.

Don't condemn the watercraft for the mis-deeds of the rider. The PWC is just the smaller brother of your Boston Whaler and should be allowed the same unencumbered privileges.

I'm disturbed to hear the same sort of short-sighted rhetoric from members of the different groups within my other hobby. I shoot skeet, trap & sporting clays competitively. Skeet shooters will frequently refuse to stand up for trap shooter's rights and trap shooters think closing down a sporting clays range is a great idea. They just don't seem to realize that their futures are intertwined.

Sorry about the rant. I really do respect your views and opinions.....I just disagree with your viewpoint on fellow boaters piloting the craft of their choice.


bdb posted 08-09-2001 10:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for bdb  Send Email to bdb     
Earlier this evening I was harkening back to the late 70s and the Mercury/Yamaha fight. Do you folks remember that the two signed an agreement to do some joint development and get all snuggly? As soon as Yamaha had the Mercury distribution system and dealer network down pat they bailed and introduced their product with a blitzkrieg. And whose dealers did they sign? Mercury sued...and won...but the damage was done. Now who's back all snuggly again?'ve got to be awfully cynical to be Harpoon Harry these days.

By the way...what's black and tan and looks good on a lawyer?

A doberman

Bigshot posted 08-09-2001 10:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Joe I agree with you in many respects. I do think Chuck was not to blame being he said it was due to idiot riders. Larry is biased on this as he has the right to be and so are many others. Mainly due that he probably never owned one(assumption here) and some resposible people have. I had 2 of them (stand ups, in the 80's). Back then they were cool and NOT a nuisance but very tempermental, I will never own one again just due to the mechanical nightmares i had with mine.

As far as ban them or think they are a nuisance, sometimes, yes. Is it because of the PWC, NO! Due to the morons who own them because it is $99 down, $99 a month and they have no more experience behind the wheel of a 50 mph PWC as they do a garden tractor. My main beef and most others are the way they disobey laws. SLOW SPEED NO WAKE does not mean high speed no wake, which they think is the same. If a 17' whaler pulled up to a sandbar with people swimming at 20 mph people would want to ban them too. I think it is the law enforcements lack of enforcement that has given them a bad name. I bet back in the 50's when everyone drove inboards, the kids waterskiing behind a 13 lapstrake 50' off the beach was just as big an issue. Mainly due to draft and the need for calm water to ski on. Now PWC's draw so little they come 10' offshore.

If you ban PWC's you are putting a nail in ALL recreational boaters coffin. They are out to get all of us and PWC's are an easy target. Joe is right and I see many responsible people driving them which you probably do not even notice, you just see the idiots. You never notice the guy doing a nice park job, you always comment on the idiot who hits the dock.

ValkariaKid posted 08-10-2001 12:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for ValkariaKid  Send Email to ValkariaKid     
Just a funny observation:

As a pilot I learned:

Airline pilots are annoyed by general avaition pilots because they just "get in the way".
General avaition pilots are annoyed by ultralight pilots because they're "too slow, and get in the way".

As a boat owner/operator I learned:

Captains of large ocean going vessels are annoyed by pleasure boaters because they "get in the way".
Pleasure boaters are annoyed by PWC's because they're "too loud, aggressive, and get in the way".

As a Mototcycle rider and automobile driver I learned:

Truckers are annoyed at cars/drivers because "they get in the way"
Drivers are annoyed at motorcycles because they're "too loud and aggressive".

Of course these "observations" don't apply to everybody, and yes there are ALOT of idiots operating these vehicles, but I just funny that this same sentiment holds true no matter what "sport" you participate in.

I guess the moral of this story is:
The larger the vehicle, the more people you get annoyed with.

It's a vicious cycle!

-Paul (pilot/boater/rider)

marc monreal posted 08-10-2001 12:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for marc monreal  Send Email to marc monreal     
Valkariakid, well said !!!
Erik posted 08-10-2001 02:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Erik    
My friends PWC...about 9 feet long...155hp...about 55mph...My other friends speed boat...about 13 feet long...75hp johnson w/some racing parts...about 80mph on glass calm dayz...can you see what im sayin???
where2 posted 08-10-2001 08:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Back to the original topic: Where can I go to get more info on this lawsuit. I'm dying to hear how much of a stretch we're doing on patent law these days.
triblet posted 08-10-2001 10:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
And who's doin the stretching?

And, yes, my beef is with PWC operators, not
PWCs. They are no more noisy or polluting
than my Montauk. But their riders do idiot
things much more often than operators of
more traditional boats.

george nagy posted 08-10-2001 11:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
While I tend to agree that in general waverunners and and the like are annoying. I don't know that it is dependent upon the age of the riders though. I think I see more inexperienced adults (rentors)getting in the way than I do see experienced teens jumping waves and such.

One thing I know for sure is that the real noise pollution comes from:

#1 Speed boats such as cigarettes and scarabs which are usually piloted by older people who in some part are more reckless and edangering than most teens on waverunners. Not to mention thier likelyhood to be intoxicated with more than just adrenaline!

#2 The people who while are at a mooring place such as a "quiet" cove or beach are blasting thier Radios!

Just my 2cents anyway!

Arch Autenreith posted 08-10-2001 12:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
PWC's, in my view, are not unlike dirt bike riding which I've ridden almost all my life and still do. We have a saying: More noise = less space (meaning of course less areas to ride). I enjoy riding but not in areas where people live and relax, if you will. I myself don't like listening to the constant noise of someone riding close by. Go somewhere and play all you want where it won't be so annoying. I guess that’s my PWC issue. Boaters, as a general rule, don't keep going around and around in areas oftentimes very close to shore looking for waves to jump, making tight turns or taking friends and family members for their turns every 15 minutes.
Honest, Compounder, you know this isn't directed at you. I’m just venting a little also. I just think the comparisons are very similar and had to give my two cents also.
andygere posted 08-10-2001 02:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I suspect that a large part of the reason many people don't like PWCs has to do with where they are typically ridden: close to shore. Most of us use our boats to fish, dive or cruise at least some distance from the shore or beach. The small hull size of a PWC is not ideal for offshore use, so they are frequently seen buzzing around in circles in the nearshore area, and noticed a lot more. If a fleet of Montauks were burning around in circles, wake jumping 100 feet from the harbor mouth we'd complain about them too. I have real issues with them being used in the surf zone when I'm surfing, for the obvious safety reasons. I would also suggest that they could be muffled considerably if the manufacturers (and their customers) so desired. Do I think they should be banned? No. Do I think safe boating laws and practices should be enforced as with all other watercraft? Yes. Do I think people's dislike for PWCs is related to experiences with irresponsibly operated PWCs? Probably. Like any other type of vehicle, there are good drivers and bad ones, but it's the bad ones we notice. I will add that I think the power to weight ratio of these things is ridiculous, and like any "hot rod" there will certainly be a group of people who don't have the skill or training to handle it and will eventually get into trouble. For those that own and operate a PWC in a safe and courteous manner, have fun, and try to educate those who do not.

End of speech, and sorry to move off topic.

andygere posted 08-10-2001 02:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
By the way, just so you know I'm sincere: A few weeks ago I had my Montauk at a large reservoir in the Sierra foothills. There were lots of PWCs buzzing around the marina/campground/beach area of this 18 mile long lake. As I was heading back to camp after taking some kids tubing (in a distant arm of the lake) I noticed a man struggling to get back on his PWC. He had stopped to retrieve his hat, and in the meantime had fallen off the PWC. His two small children (7-10 years old) were swimming towards shore in their lifejackets in an area with very high boat and PWC traffic. I immediately went over to assist him just as he capsized his PWC. I called to his children and told them to head back towards the boat, while I explained to the rider how to right his craft. Once he got it upright and started, I stood by to assist with his children, making sure they were safely aboard his PWC before I left the scene. I also politely suggested that he get some instruction in the safe use of his PWC. He never thanked me, and I suspect he had no idea that he had put his children in a position of considerable danger.
lhg posted 08-10-2001 02:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Well, I'm highly biased against the PWC's, not the riders. The PWC lobby has taken up the gun lobby's pitch "guns don't kill people, people do." Didn't the cigarette lobby try that pitch also? Just ask any high school kid intent on shooting up his school - Guns make it a lot easier!

Same goes for the PWC's. These machines have made it a lot easier for reckless people to destroy the boating environment. The machine IS the problem, because we all know that anybody will push one of these to limits. They put people (the wrong poeople) out on the water that otherwise wouldn't be there. They are used like toys and amusement park rides, not boats. Can't do this stuff with a 13' Whaler. I am old enough to have been out on the water before these obnoxious little beasts existed, and believe, boating was a lot more pleasurable. The same people and teenagers existed back then (us), they just didn't have these obnoxious water toys to play with. So lets not blame the children (age makes no difference here) that use these things. They're just doing what the PWC's were designed for - reckless & disturbing water recreation at the expense of other boaters and sailors. I don't buy the PWC's lobbying pitch at all. They're only motive is trying to keep a profit center alive, under the guise of personal freedom. (didn't the cigarette lobby try this also?)

Some may think they are things of beauty, marvels of Naval Architecture, marine design and engineering, but not me. Not with their gaudy purple, yellow, and orange speckle paint, and noisy exhausts. Cheap junk, with practically no resale value!

Yamaha and Bombardier are the prime offenders here, bringing these things to our national parks, lakes, beaches and offshore waters. Because of that, you'll never find me with a Yamaha or Bombardier outboard on the back of my Whalers. Somewhere, you've got to stand up for what you believe in. That's just the way I feel.

Now, if Mercury would only stop selling Bombardier jet engines for their blob (jet) boats! At least they don't make jet ski's.

Peter posted 08-10-2001 02:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Yamaha v. Bombardier was initiated back in March at the International Trade Commission (ITC)
see Hyperlink

For some background on these types of cases, see

daverdla posted 08-10-2001 03:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
Saw 8 drunks on pontoon boat with a 10HP engine last weekend. They relieved themselves in public and ran into a neighbor's dock. Just drunks, no malice. This happened along a stretch of water with very nice expensive family homes.

We used to own two wave runners. Really enjoyed them but got rid of them due to the maintenance. I can't imagine why anyone would blame the vehicle and not the operator.

BTW, in NJ, the CGAUX course is mandatory for PWC operators. The rental guys always send out a boat to keep an eye on the PWC's. Both of rental places nearby use old whalers, both 17's.

lhg posted 08-10-2001 04:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I'm in the insurance industry, and it is standard procedure to blame the vehicle, not the operator.

As an example, ever try to get insurance on a 1200HP go-fast, a racing sailboat, or even a jet ski? Most regular market insurance companies won't touch them. You have to go to a specialty company, with higher premiums. But the same insurance company will readily insure a Whaler for the same person, and at a reasonable cost. There are a few exceptions here, but not many.

It's the vehicle they don't want, not the operator.

george nagy posted 08-10-2001 04:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     

One question that comes to my mind after reading your last post is: Whay do insurance companies charge teenagers (people under25 or so) especially males more money on car insurance?

In all do respect though I do agree with you about not discriminating on the basis of age. We should really be judging those on thier intelligence instead!

Have a good weekend!

jimh posted 08-10-2001 08:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
One additional problem with PWCs and their ilk: trying to tell your teenaged son (or daughter) that they should learn how to sail a little dingy or row a boat, rather than zip around the lake on a 100-HP jet ski all afternoon.

I've never been on a Jet Ski, but I think they're like Snow-Machines: you can get all the fun you're going to get out of one in about 15 minutes of use.


Dan posted 08-10-2001 09:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dan  Send Email to Dan     
Andy -- good job helping the man and his kids.
triblet posted 08-10-2001 10:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Those same insurance companies will give you
a nice discount if you've take the USCGA or
USPS course.


compounder posted 08-11-2001 12:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
I just don't understand the rancor and short-sightedness, especially from you.

You admit never having ridden a PWC, but you know for how long it is fun?

This is obviously one of those topics that could go on forever, but I find it frustrating that otherwise logical individuals lose much of their common sense when it comes to the PWC.

Maybe things are just worse outside my geographical area. Most folks here seem to easily co-exist whatever the size of their boat.

Larry obviously lives in a part of the country where the children possess the wisdom, intelligence, and experience of an adult. I'm a little incredulous at that one!


browning20ga posted 08-11-2001 01:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for browning20ga  Send Email to browning20ga     
It sounds like you would like to outlaw everything you dont do!
I smoke (could get lung cancer), I shoot and collect guns (could shoot myself in the foot), I do woodworking (could cut my fingers off, but they are my choices.
I'm sure a lot of us have a lot of fun on the water doing whatever we like: fish, water ski, cruising, or using a PWC. There are laws to keep us safe, these laws should be enforced but we dont need to ban PWC's anymore than 13'Whalers should be outlawed.
My wife and I were out fishing on a local lake last week and there were about 6 PWC's in the area, beleive me they were not as noisy or didn't create a bunch of chop like a half dozen ski boats would have.
We all have choices and you should respect my choices as much as I respect your choices.
Some people are inconsiderate no matter where they are, on the water, on the road or walking down the isle at the grocery store ( I can't beleive how inconsiderate people are in the market, blocking the isles with there carts)
Good Night
B Bear posted 08-11-2001 10:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
I have read this thread and followed it through its transition concerning PWC.
I always thought it is the statistics on accidents and claims that has determined insurance rates. This would apply to types of craft as well as age groups and gender.

The real sadness in all this is that there are no minimum national standards in operating many vessels. There is also a lack of law enforcement. The waterways are not patrolled, as are the highways, and even there many reckless and dangerous drivers abound.

If we were to follow the logic that it is the vehicle and not the driver, then all private cars and trucks would be banned and everyone should use chauffeurs and public transit having professional drivers. This could be applied to boats, airplanes, and guns, cooking, and quite endless if carried to extremes.

I have never given a thought to PWC before this. They (PWC) have never bothered me I have only seen them in passing. What has bothered me are those large cruisers run by people with more money than brains putting out 3 ft. wakes while they aim straight at you to see if you had caught any fish. These folks also seem to lack any knowledge of the rules of the road.

You see complaints can be made about anyone or anything, while there is some truth in these complaints it is no true in general. Having one bad steak does not mean all steaks are bad.

jimh posted 08-12-2001 12:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I probably am somewhat prejudiced in my opinion of jet-skis.

I guess I am too old (50) to really be interested in going for a ride in one.

Plenty of people think I am too old to be running around in a 15-foot Whaler. I consider that my own "personal watercraft."

In fact, I often tell people that smaller Boston Whalers are really PWCs for adults.


Whaletosh posted 08-13-2001 09:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
I see that divide and conquer is still an effective strategy.

I see that inappropriate analogies still are employed.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”- George Santayana

“Cry ‘HAVOC’ and let slip the dogs of war!”- William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar.


Bigshot posted 08-13-2001 11:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Just read somewhere that PWC's make up less than 10% of boat sales(yes they are boats)but account for 37% of accidents, 7?% of those accidents are between 2 PWC's. Not the bike, it's the rider. I owned 3 Wheelers for years even after they were banned. They were not dangerous, the riders were.
lhg posted 08-13-2001 03:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Well, it seems most agree the PWC can be a problem, but the PWC itself vs Rider issue seems more difficult. Maybe it's just the combination of the two.

But the laws these days are focusing on banning the machine, not the rider. While launching my Whaler this weekend, a fellow pulls up with two Jet Ski's on a trailer.
Launch ramp attendent tells him PWCs are banned at this launching facility, a new rule this season. The guy gets all obnoxious, claiming his rights are being violated, as I back my Whaler into the water. Goes into the office, complaining to the Harbormaster. Next thing I see the security guard escorting him off the premises. If the same person had shown up with a Montauk, he'd have had no problem.

So is it the rider, or the machine?

Because of this current thread, I specifically watched a whole bunch of Jet Ski's this weekend. The majority of them are driven by young men, mostly under 30. And they only are driven at two speeds - idle and wide open. They are rarely driven in straight line, toward a destination, like most boats are. But instead, are zig zagging all over the place, spinning around, alternating rapidly between idle and full speed. Another boater finds their predicted course of travel completely irrational and impossible to anticipate. The very same operator just can't drive a conventional boat this way.

Bigshot posted 08-13-2001 03:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Great points lhg. I would be mad too if I found out PWC's were banned from a launch ramp, That is just not right, it is classified as an inboard gas vessel in most states, that IS a violation of his rights, but what can you do?
As far as you describing their driving habits, hit the nail on the head. We could drive our boats like that but would be pulled over for drunk driving or thrown from the boat. Why are they overlooked? Nothing worse than driving and some yahoo comes out of nowhere on you doing circles and zigzagging all over the place. I instinctively pull back my throttle because I do not want the liabilty of running them over. Can't they just drive normal?
MilwaukeeWhaler posted 08-13-2001 03:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for MilwaukeeWhaler  Send Email to MilwaukeeWhaler     
One thing I have noticed is how fast these things are getting. Back in the early 90's I raced stand up "Jet Skis" on the midwest circut, and had to spend a ton on my ski to get it to 45 mph. Now they must run near 60. Falling off at 60 could cause some damage. I wore a helmet most of the time race or leisure. I rarley see anyone riding one of these sit-down ski's with a helmet. You have to wear a helmet when you drive a snowmobile. Same or different?
Whaletosh posted 08-13-2001 04:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    

Was this guy banned from a private or from a public launch site? If it was from a private launch site the owners were clearly in THEIR right's to make a rule banning PWCs. But, if this was public launch ramp the PWC owner had more than enough reason to loudly complain. He paid his taxes and registration on his PWC just like we do on our boats.

This case is very similar to one that I read about several years ago involving motorcycles in a city park, I forget what state. Motorcycles were banned in the park including the paved roads; including properly licensed street capable bikes. The reasons were very similar to all these PWC bans; noise, driving styles, etc. The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) took the city to court, all the way to the State's Supreme Court. The State Supreme Court sided with the AMA. The city couldn’t discriminate against motorcycles as long as the state recognized them as legal street vehicles. In essence it told the city they needed to enforce noise and driving violations committed by bikers just as they would jerks that speed in Corvettes, Trans Ams, Cameros, etc. The city picked on bikers because they though that they were an easy target.

PWCs and their owners are also an easy target. But, that shouldn’t matter. PWC OWNERS DO HAVE RIGHTS! Until, they are banned completely they must be allowed to operate within the confines of the law just like any other boats. But, trust me on this, once PWCs are gone your boats are going to be next. Then sail boats? Then row boats, kayaks, and canoes? Perhaps, all water recreation? Think it won’t happen? Not in your lifetime, but maybe in mine.

You have stated that you are in the insurance industry, do you refuse to write policies for overpowered cars? To paraphrase you, these cars are designed to be driven much faster than the speed limit allows. Do you want to ban Corvettes? We have all heard about the safety issues concerning SUVs; do you insure them? Want to ban them?

How about banning Cigarette boats (and the other go fast boats)? Like the one that passed by me on Lake Michigan this weekend, not 30 feet off of my starboard beam. He obviously didn’t care about the wake he subjected me too in my 14 foot boat; probably thought I should have thought about that before I dared ventured out in the big water on such a small boat. And as far as noise goes this boat was one heck of a lot louder than the PWCs I encountered. These boats are designed to go faster than most people can reasonably control a boat at, they chew up gas almost as fast as the cooling water, and are definitely loud. Translated that means they should be banned for safety, environmental, and noise reasons. Hmmm, sounds just like banning PWCs.

I don’t like all the gigantic houses that are springing up around the country. They are ugly, wasteful, obtrusive beasts inhabited by controlling, meddling, do gooders that hypocritically drive SUVs while marching on Washington to deny me my freedom. Must be something about the houses that causes this behavior. Guess we should ban the big houses, after all I don’t like them. Plus they usually are located in the country, making them harder to insure and more dangerous (farther away from emergency services).

Just remember peanut butter causes car accidents.

Respectfully disagreeing with you,


compounder posted 08-13-2001 04:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Thanks Sean! Well said.
Whaletosh posted 08-13-2001 05:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
After reading the grammar thread in the Meta-forum section I decided to clarify something. I was not nor would ever attack Larry personally in this thread. I have never, and won't do so to any person. I have friends and relatives that I vehemently disagree with, and will use their own logic against them in a political discussion. But, I never will attack them personally. My object is to always to get them to critically think about their position on the issue, hoping that they will realize that my position at least has some merit.


lhg posted 08-13-2001 06:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Well the subject of "banning" is an interesting one, and I am no ACLU lawyer, and don't want to be.

The launching ramp I described is owned by the Chicago Park District, and the ramp was funded, in part, by the Illinois Dept of Conservation (so the sign says). How does the National Park Service get away with banning PWCs?

The City of Chicago has also banned smoking in public indoor places, including O'Hare and Midway airports, train stations, etc. They have also banned trucks from Lake Shore Drive. How do they get away with this assualt on personal freedom? As a citizen, I can think of a lot of things I'm banned from doing, as well I should be.

The real issue being missed, or not being debated, is not absolute personal freedom. This does not, and cannot exist, in any Democracy. The debateable question, is whether banning PWC's is in the overall public interest, including those of conservation, disruption of wildlife preserves, protecting other boaters right of enjoyment, etc. All of which is greater than the self interest of the PWC community. The courts will make the decisions here, not us.

Sean, your logic sounds correct in the absolute, idealistic, perfect world, but that is not the case.

What I want to know is how they dare ban my 2 stroke powered Whaler from Lake Tahoe. Not me personally, just my boat. You would say they can't. I say they can, because of a greater interest the little old selfish me! Same applies to the PWC.

lhg posted 08-13-2001 06:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
That last sentence should read "because of a greater interest THAN little old selfish me".

Sorry, Harry.

Whaletosh posted 08-13-2001 11:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    

I see your point. But to counter, we don't live in a democracy. We live in a representative republic that also has individual freedoms and rights that are guaranteed in our Constitution.
I don’t think you would like living in a democracy, that is just majority rule. Individual freedoms and rights would be subject to mob rule, coming and going at the whim of the masses. Today you have religious freedom and tomorrow you don’t. The majority could rule that Larrys need to be dealt with, then you and my beloved father would be in trouble. Hence, the beauty of a representative republic and guaranteed freedoms and rights.

While driving a PWC isn't expressly stated in the Constitution; the Right of Due Process is. Rights and liberties can’t be taken away without due process. Was there any law passed barring PWCs from National Parks? What piece of legislation was passed banning 2-stroke motors from Lake Tahoe? Was there a court ruling in which PWC owners and 2-stoke motor owners were given a fair chance to argue their case before a judge or panel of judges? When was the PWC owners “Due Process” rights ever considered prior to taking away their freedoms? It seems that our entire government has come to view individual freedom and rights, including those expressly stated in the Constitution, as and obstacle to ignore or overcome at any price; rather than something to be cherished, respected, and most importantly OBEYED. The Bill of Rights is there to make restrictions on the government.

You asked how the National Parks and the Tahoe Authority can "get away" with banning your boat from Lake Tahoe and PWCs from National Parks. They can for for two reasons.

One, gutless politicians gave away their authority to beauracrats on this and many other areas. The usual excuse is that they are to busy with the “Big Picture” to be concerned with the trivial day to day operations. Or they believed that they should leave these decisions to the “experts”. But what happened to the idea of checks and balances? Who gets to determine what an “expert” is? Thus elected representatives created a situation whereby government agencies can rule supreme; denying the people the process they are supposed to get. Don’t forget that no elected officials ever voted for any of these restrictions on boats, PWCs, snowmobiles, etc. Do you really want a system where a relatively few un-elected individuals get to decide what is good for everyone? Or would you rather have the system that our Founding Fathers envisioned, where government is beholden to the citizenry and not the reverse?

Second, since our politicians won’t stand up and defend our rights by doing their job, we must do so in the Courts. This is a messy corruption of our system of government, but unfortunately is the only route that is left when the Legislative and Executive branches fail to properly exercise their roles. The problem is that you and I can’t afford to fight the government alone. Hence, groups like the National Rifle Association (gasp!), Boat/US, National Marine Manufactures Association, American Motorcyclist Association, PWC owners associations, and others have evolved or formed as response to the ever increasing restrictions that the government is placing via bad laws and unbridled beuaracratic rules and regulations. These groups fight in the legislative process and in the COURTS to try to preserve the freedoms that currently exist. You may not agree with the tactics or goals of all of these groups, but that is why they exist.

I also never stated that people should have absolute freedom. That is anarchy. I have no right to rape, murder, or assault another person. I have no right to steal or vandalize another’s property. I also can’t interfere with the rights of others, whether I like the activity that is protected by that right or not. I personally don’t see much redeeming value to Hustler magazine nor Hooters restaurants. I also firmly believe that these establishments are detrimental to our society. But, I know that banning these businesses is a far greater harm to our nation than the damage they do by their existence. So, I tolerate them.

My biggest fear in all of these debates over the collective right of society to be free from harm vs. individual freedoms is that we can’t seem to rationally discuss the issues anymore. Everybody seems to think that they have an exclusive franchise on what is the correct solution with very little willingness to listen to the opposition. Coupled with the overwhelming sense of urgency that is usually present and bad laws and regulations that far exceed what is needed are usually passed.

Wouldn’t sitting down with PWC groups and stating our concerns as fellow boaters be a much better approach than using our considerable clout to ban them be better? Wouldn’t it be better to have some empathy for a guy that just wants to use a launch ramp that he has partially paid for and then gets denied the use of it be better than gleefully watching him being escorted off of public land for exercising his right to complain? Maybe he got loud and nasty, but how far would you allowed yourself to be pushed around before you got loud and nasty. What if the day comes when you are told that you can’t use that very same launch ramp for your Whaler? Thinking that it won’t or can’t happen is naive, it can and may very well. Arguing about it afterwards won’t help. Freedom lost is always much harder to get back than fighting to keep it in the first place. We need to draw a line in the sand; welcome PWCers into the fold (helping them to be better more respectfull operators), and present a united front to those that would like to take away our freedom to enjoy boating. A divided house will not stand.

I can give you perfect example of what can happen when people actually do sit down and DISCUSS a problem. The City of South Haven, MI, like many cities, had “problem” with skateboarders in the downtown area. Admittedly, skateboarders and pedestrians don’t mix well. But, instead of just banning the skateboards, a discussion was opened up. The result was that seed money was established and eventually a skateboard park was built. Now the downtown is safe for pedestrians and the skateboarders can still have fun. And nobody had their freedoms trampled.

I think that nobody on this forum like the antics of many PWC operators. They seem to have more than their fair share of ignorant, obnoxious operators. But, I stand by my conviction that the only reason they were targeted by the National Park Service and other regulators because they are unpopular. I believe the reasons for the bans are arbitrary and can easily be used against all power boaters. I believe the the prohibition of boating is the ultimate goal, with PWCs being the first to get the ax. Time will tell.


P.S. remember that peanut butter causes car accidents.

Bigshot posted 08-14-2001 09:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Hooters really does have great wings! LOL
lhg posted 08-14-2001 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I think it's time to end this Off-Topic thread that I never should have started in the first place. My mistake.
compounder posted 08-14-2001 07:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Sorry Larry, it's up to jimh to end the threads. You got spanked verbally and lost the battle of wits with Sean because you were on the wrong side of the issue.

That's okay though, the issue is a common one with boaters and needs to the aired.

lhg posted 08-14-2001 07:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I rest my case.
daverdla posted 08-14-2001 09:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
What's wrong with big houses?
triblet posted 08-14-2001 11:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Nothing wrong with big houses. They
generally have big garages that can hold a
trailered whaler.

Chuck, whaler in the garage.

daverdla posted 08-15-2001 12:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
me too - only in the off season
jimh posted 08-15-2001 11:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
OK, I am putting this one to rest.


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