Ever wonder the reason why you have to achieve such a high score on the U.S. Coast Guard Rules of the Road exam? The answer is clear; to recognize and avoid Risk. The regulations of how to operate on the water and interact with other vessels is paramount to every aspect of safety there can be conceived. It is simple in the premise of collision avoidance, difficult to learn, and is the primary wall of protection regarding your safety on the water. This understanding is necessary, comparable to the same reason we have DOT examinations for motor vehicles, resulting in your drivers license.
Studying for the examination is a process, more of how you organize the information for recall. To successfully pass the written examination is something to celebrate. But wait...It's only the beginning.
Each an every time you venture out on a watercraft there are certain rules and actions that are mandatory to follow regardless of what type or classification of vessel you command. To disregard is to cause liability and danger to not only you, but to many other elements that interact in the maritime domain. The correct course of action as a pilot should be of second nature. Immediate response or better yet; recognition of Risk and act before it becomes a problem. It's similar to peeking into the future and removing the threat in advance. That is an example of Wisdom in this realm.
This ability of reducing risk, to look and think ahead, is the significant difference between Knowledge and Wisdom when it comes to boating safety. They both are intrinsic; one part you know about, even passing a written examination for the USCG License to validate, the other, and much larger portion, is exactly how that information is used successfully in a real trial.
Which one do you prefer ?