The labeling requirement for yachts on sea lanes is to come, as well as a consequential obligation to equip and stricter conditions in the driving license system. And the water sports associations, for whom this opens up additional sources of income, play a key role in the new regulations. The sailor pays the bill.
In its Wednesday edition, the YACHT reports on serious reform projects. A chargeable marking, a number plate for the boat, as it were, is also planned, as is a limitation of the validity of the sports boat license for the lake and far-reaching equipment regulations. This would not only require additional equipment, such as special VHF radio systems, but also the necessary licenses for their operation. In this way, the already exorbitant level of regulation and costs in cruising will be increased significantly.
The reason for these considerations is extremely dubious. The initiators in the Federal Ministry of Transport and associations justify the measures with safety concerns, although the number of accidents has been consistently low for years. There is no evidence, let alone proof, of an increase in the risk of sailing. Proven industry experts unanimously deny any need for action. Even the insurers who are the first to register claims and developments. This was confirmed by Jürgen Tracht, Managing Director of the Federal Association of the Water Sports Industry (BWVS): "Objectively, we have no safety problem, and that can be proven".
Nevertheless, various bodies, largely in camera, have drawn up a catalog of atrocities that are diametrically opposed to the widely announced deregulation and de-bureaucratization efforts. And the threat is acute. Gerhard Philipp Süß, General Secretary of the German Sailing Association (DSV), explains in the YACHT that “the topic” is “in the implementation phase, not in the discussion phase.” A corresponding response from the federal government on March 14th to a small inquiry the FDP confirms this: "The Federal Government is requested by the relevant resolution of the security conference for recreational ships in the sea area of April 6, 2006 to limit the scope of the recreational boat license for the lake to waters to be determined."
In addition to labeling and equipment requirements, this reform of the driving license system contains a special explosive. In addition to the aforementioned restriction on validity, there are plans to expand the training content and standardize exam preparation. The scope of the practical training is to be significantly larger (“e.g. night driving”), at the same time a reduction in the theoretical portion is not intended. According to the plans, autodidactic learning would no longer be possible, and candidates would be forced to take appropriate courses - and pay for them.
The DSV, formally representing the interests of 1,350 clubs and around 190,000 sailors, has turned down the YACHT's invitation to a round table on the subject. He is charged with carrying out corresponding, account-intensive tests, e.g. for driver's licenses and radio licenses. The association was also involved in the development process of the reforms and, according to BWVS man Tracht, will in future also be responsible for issuing the license plates.
You can follow the latest comments from readers who subscribed to the magazine last weekend in the online forum.
The YACHT offers its readers the opportunity to protest against these plans. To do this, you have to download a form (PDF, approx. 32 KB), fill it out and sign it and send it to the editorial office. There they are collected and forwarded to the appropriate offices.
You can read the complete report with background information and statements on the highly explosive reform projects in the current issue of YACHT, which will be available at the kiosk from March 21st.