32 Temp. L.Q. 241 (1958-1959)
Law and Practicalities for Yachtsmen

handle is hein.journals/temple32 and id is 243 raw text is: TEMPLE LAW QUARTERLY
VOL 32     NO. 3                                             SPRING   1959
LAW AND PRACTICALITIES FOR YACHTSMEN
DONALD S. COHAN t
INTRODUCTION
This article is concerned with pleasure boating and the law. The
substantial increase in the popularity of recreational boating 1 that
has occurred throughout the United States since World War II has
been compared to the car craze of the 1920's.' The reduced work
week with the concomitant increase in leisure time have been indicated
as the primary causal factor.'
This growth in pleasure boating activity will likely result in
increased admiralty litigation. As more people take to the water
there will be an increase in nautical mishaps. Many attorneys and lay
people will find reason to delve into admiralty principles. The Govern-
ment will probably expand its legislative controls of the briny. This
will entail an increased need of awareness and comprehension of present
and projected statutory reforms.
It is important that every yachtsman be aware of his possible
liability which may arise due to his operation and or ownership of a
vessel. The potential liability is extensive and much of it varies from
the legal responsibilities which he has grown accustomed to consider
on shore. A skipper may be liable not only for his own actions, but
also for those of his guests, crew    or servants, as well as negligence
t A.B., Amherst College; LL.B., Harvard University; Member of the Phila-
delphia Bar; Partner, Zoob, Cohan & Matz; Enthusiastic Owner of Blue Moon,
4352 ft. gaff rigged sloop.
1. In 1957, 7,071,000 pleasure boats were afloat, or one for every 24.5 persons,
104 Cong. Rec. 12940 (1958). The vast majority of these are motorboats. H.R.
Rep. No. 378, 85th Cong., 1st Sess. 7 (1957). Nearly two billion was spent in 1957
on this activity. (Ibid) 25 million persons went afloat in 1956, and by 1958, this figure
jumped to 35 million. (H.R. Rep. No. 387, 85th Cong., 1st Sess. 1 (1957); N.Y.
Times 1-10-59 Boating Section). (By comparison, in 1918, there were only 100,000
undocumented boats in operation, and 5 million in 1954. (H.R. Rep. No. 378, 85th
Cong., 1st Sess. p. 7).
2. N.Y. Times, Jan. 11, 1959, p. 10, col. 4 (Boating Section).
3. H.R. Rep. 378, 85th Cong., 1st Sess. 1 (1957). Boating is changing the
nation's outdoor habits. The luxury steam yacht of ocean-going size is no longer
afloat. Today a forty or fifty footer is a big craft. N.Y. Times, 1-10-59, Special
Boating Section 1.

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