All Articles
Boat Handling & Seamanship
Enjoying Your Day, Comfortably
Dining Aboard
Personal Touches
Performance & Efficiency
Ports of Call & Places to Anchor
All Years

Boating Etiquette: Docking and Relaunching

Speed, efficiency and consideration are the bottom line to minding your manners while launching and docking your boat. Remember these etiquette tips for your next trip to the water.

  • Boat ramps often have long lines. If you're inexperienced when it comes to backing your trailer down the ramp to the water, practice maneuvering your trailer in an empty parking lot or other vacant space.
  • Load your boat, secure your belongings and delegate individual responsibilities before beginning your launch so the launch itself will go as smoothly as possible.
  • After you launch, steer your boat into an unused area and promptly return your towing vehicle to the parking lot to clear the way for other boaters to launch.
  • When it comes time to moor your boat at the dock, be aware of your anchor, pulpit and dock lines. These could easily become a safety hazard if a passerby were to trip over them.
  • When fueling up, stay focused on quickly and safely refueling instead of doing other things such as running errands. Everyone would rather be out on the water, so be considerate of others and manage your time accordingly.

(Adapted from