Top 10 Boating Etiquette Tips
Recreational boating has a customary code of accepted behavior on and around the water. Boating etiquette is about safe behavior, as well as what’s socially accepted. Here are some of the basics to help you navigate the boating world with ease while not “making waves” among fellow users of the water.
- Respect the Rules of the Ramp: complete your pre-float prep and checks before you position your trailer in line for launching. Making fellow boaters wait unnecessarily is disrespectful, we all want to get on the water asap.
- Watch Your Wake: Throwing a big wake is not just a nuisance, it can pose actual danger for smaller vessels. Slow down and give a wide berth when passing.
- Keep the Peace: When planning a party onboard, seek a secluded location where your festivities will not disturb the tranquility of fellow boaters. Always remember sound is amplified over the water.
- Carry In, Carry Out: Plan for your trash, and whatever you do, don’t toss it overboard! For your fellow boaters, it’s an inexcusable misstep; for nature, it can damage fragile ecosystems. Best to avoid both.
- Check Your Speed: Know and respect the speed limit, slow down when being passed.
- Fuel Up Pay and Go: Others are likely waiting for your departure to take their turn at the fuel dock.
- Assist Others: Friendliness among boaters and the willingness to help one another make boating special. Offer to help catch the dock lines of a vessel coming to a dock; however, if the captain or crew wave you off, respect that they have a method and aren’t looking for assistance. And if you are on the ocean, stopping to assist boats is more than courtesy, it’s the law.
- Stow Your Stuff: A messy boat or marina is dangerous, anything not in use should be properly stowed.
- VHF Radio Conduct: Channel 17 is for hailing and distress calls, once you’ve made contact switch to another frequency to continue the conversation.
- At the Anchorage: Enter the area at a slow speed, don’t create a wake that will disrupt other anchored boats. Take your cues from the first boat to arrive, use similar length of line to create scope with same distance between boats.
Wave! Boating is all about having fun, and being part of a special community!