This is definitely going to ruffle some feathers...

I've had a camp in my family longer than I've been alive. It was a rite of passage in my family to be taught how to hook up and use the motor for the catamaran. It was nothing serious. We had two old open-body kayaks that we'd hook together and slap a small 4-horse motor on it. I'd tool around Davis Pond and catch whatever was biting.

My first "training session" was when I was about 10. My grandfather would come out to the dock and watch me start the boat, and then insisted that I stay in sight of the camp. Of course, as I got older, I was allowed to spread my radius a bit and go to other parts of the lake. By the time I was 16, it may as well have been my car, hahaha.

This kind of "training" is likely about to change.

According to WGME, young Mainers are going to be required to take a boating safety course and obtain a license to operate a motorboat here in the state of Maine. In 2024, if you were born on January 1st, 1999 or after, you'll be required to take these courses and get certified. The same goes for jet skis and the like.

Although for jet skis, the initial age requirement will be 16. the age limit for motorboats will be 12 years old. If you're over 25 at this moment, this won't even affect you at all, as you'll be grandfathered through due to age. If folks decide to skirt the new laws, the fines aren't exactly chump change.

Fines could range anywhere from $100 - $500. I imagine that will depend on previous offenses or the severity of the violation. But, this whole thing goes to Gov. Mills' desk anytime. It remains to be seen if she'll sign, or what will happen if she doesn't, but we'll keep you up to date on this as it proceeds...


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