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Sticker Shock

Has the nanny state gone waterborne?

January 8, 2014

Sticker Shock

Has anyone else noticed that boat interiors are now festooned with more decals than the side of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s car?

I took the photo that accompanies this post aboard a 24-foot Bryant, a new for 2014 boat boat built to quite a nice standard, in my view. There are 15 different warning stickers occupying some two square feet of space aboard this boat. At least there is room for them all. Have you checked out the helm area of new 17-f and 18-footers lately? There’s hardly room at all. If this sticker madness keeps up, boat builders may soon offer an interior décor option called “Decal Dawn” to go along with others like “Aquatarama,” “Sea Grass Serenade,” and “ Waterborne Wonderland.”

This is serious business and I have discussed it at length with a number of boat builders. After all, cosmetic considerations are one thing; function needs to be sacrosanct, at least as far as I am concerned. If mandatory decal display starts to override the ergonomic placement of switches, gauges or controls; if stowage space is diminished or eliminated to make room for decals; or if visibility from the helm should suffer; well I’m gonna have even more to say about the matter than I am doing right here.

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It’s not so much that I think safety labels are superfluous. My ire is raised because boaters are smarter than the rule makers give us credit for. Dumbass, here-hold-my-beer-and-watch-this YouTube videos notwithstanding, the average boater is above average in every way you might care to measure, including intelligence, education, income, good looks, sex appeal and more.

Some of the information, such as the loading and power capacities make perfect sense. But you don’t need three degrees and a high-altitude IQ, or even much boating experience, to figure out that, “people seated in front of you may obstruct your vision.”

I mean, c’mon.

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Find out who requires what stickers, here.

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