Boating Etiquette

Boating EtiquetteWhen it comes to boating, fewer boaters are aware of the rules of etiquette on the water, especially at  the boat ramp.

Boat Ramps – Launching and Docking

A boat ramp can become quite busy during the season, as it is the main funnel for all the boats on the lake or ocean for getting in and out of the water. Be courteous and patient when waiting your turn. Have your boat prepped before your turn on the ramp, thus saving time for others to launch or retrieve their boat. Boat prepping would include: Making sure your plug is in, undoing back and front boat ties, making sure your key is in and the battery connected, fuels lines are connected and primed, and tie off ropes are out and ready.

When you are ready to back your boat trailer down the ramp, make sure you have someone skilled in backing it. If you are inexperienced with backing, practice beforehand and not take up others time on the ramp. Get in and out as quickly and efficiently as possible. Have someone in the boat, or with a mooring line in hand, to maneuver your boat away from the ramp traffic.

On the Water

When out on the water, be aware of your wake and speed. Wakes can become disruptive to other boats, and those on the shore. When approaching other boats, reduce your speed, and in some cases a wake-less speed, to keep your wake from upsetting the other boat. If a boat is coming up from behind to overtake your boat, slow down to allow them to pass quickly.

Noise Pollution

Sound has a tendency to carry over water. Keep your music to a respectable level. Early mornings or late evenings, keep your noise down and as quiet as possible.

Respect the Environment

When it comes to any type of water activity, pollution in the water can be very unhealthy and unsightly. It is disruptive to the ecosystem and can kill fish and wildlife, not to mention distracting from the beauty of the environment. Do your part to keep the waterways clean and void of pollution. If you see floating trash, stop and pick it up and discard it appropriately.

If you follow the proper etiquette on the water, respecting others, your boating experience, and that of others, will be a pleasant one.