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Boating Etiquette

 

Time off from boating can leave anyone a little rusty on the elements of boating etiquette – and if you’re new to boating you may wonder, “How slow do I have to go in a no wake zone?” Here’s a quick review.

 

 

Traveling Through a No Wake Zone

When in a no wake zone, your boat should be moving at the lowest speed possible while still maintaining the ability to steer.

 

 

Be Wake Aware

Even if you are not in a designated no wake zone, it is still important to pay attention to your boat’s wake. Throwing a big wake can hurt people and damage other boats. This is especially the case when you are close to shore where other boats are docked and people may be swimming, paddle boarding and kayaking. Slow your speed to a level that’s safe for everyone and protects others property. If you’re passing another boat that is anchored or not moving, give them plenty of space so your wake won't be a disruption.

 

 

At the Fuel Dock

When you dock your boat to get fuel, be considerate of others coming in to fuel their boats and personal watercraft. If you need to go inside the marina store for snacks, or any other reason after filling up, move your boat to another location away from the fuel pump.

 

 

At the Marina

When your boat is docked at the marina, keep the area around your boat clean. Dock lines should not go across the dock but be close to your boat neatly coiled. Lines going across the dock create a tripping hazard.

 

When using the marina's cart to load and unload items off your boat, please return the cart to its proper place when you are done.

 

If you want to put chairs out on the dock and visit with friends, let the marina know when you make your reservation. Requesting spots at the end of a dock for you and the boats you’re traveling with will prevent you from blocking other boaters from moving about.

 

Once docked, if you leave your boat, remember to turn your VHF and music off so you’re not disturbing other boaters. This is probably a good time to note that while you may enjoy listening to your favorite tunes on the boat, that may not be the music of preference for everyone around you. Keep the volume of your music lower when around others. Remember that sound travels much farther across the water.  

 

One more important rule of thumb at the dock – never board someone else’s boat without permission. Asking to “come aboard” may seem like something you only see in the movies, but it really is proper to ask before you leap.

 

 

Protect the Environment

Remember to take your trash with you. Just like you shouldn’t throw trash out of your car riding down the road – please don’t leave your trash in the water. Trash is a hazard to aquatic animals and wildlife. Please, return to the dock with whatever you brought and dispose of it properly.

 

 

Be Helpful

If you see someone having difficulty or in distress, be kind and stop to assist them. We all have moments on the water that don’t turn out like we planned, and when it happens to you, you’ll be thankful when someone is willing to lend you a hand.