In my January 2014 Editorial, _Sticker Shock_, I decried the proliferation of safety and warning sticker placed near the helm of recreational boats.
The piece has been well-received, but reader input indicates that there is some confusion as to the Coast Guard’s role in requiring sticker placement.
For the record, the Coast Guard requires only that the “Certification Label” and the “Capacity Label,” be placed near the helm by the manufacturer. A third label advising the use of the engine room blower is also required, if the boat is powered by variants of inboard engines. I agree that these are good messages to display, and wrote as much in the editorial.
The rest of the stickers that constitute the increasingly cluttered helm areas of our new boats are mostly the result of lawsuits against boat builders for injuries that occurred relevant to the label or plaque’s subject.
Regardless of the why or who, I question why the majority of these safety messages cannot be handled the way they are for automobiles? (This coming from one who generally despises car-boat analogies.) Cars have most of their safety messages in the owner’s manual.
Takeaway: You can’t legislate intelligence and common sense into people.
_ -Will Rogers_