Like with anything else you do frequently and get over confident in, if you’re in your pontoon boat out on the water often, you’re likely to cut corners and possibly develop some bad boating habits. It happens to the best of us! So, we thought maybe we’d bring some things to your attention so you can avoid them in the first place.
This may seem the most obvious, but we feel it needs to be mentioned anyway. Animals live in and drink the lake water, so it’s important to keep it clean to the best of your ability. First of all, no littering. Bring trash bags on your boating excursions, fill them with your trash, and throw them in a dumpster at the end of your day.
And, yes, you need to clean your boat on occasion, but, no, you shouldn’t clean it in the lake! Clean your boat when it’s out of and far away from lake water. Similarly, if you’re filling your boat gas tank at a dock station, do it carefully to avoid gas spilling into the water, which is toxic to the water inhabitants. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as little as one quart of oil or gasoline can contaminate up to 250,000 gallons of water!
Be courteous of others that are using boat ramps and docks. Practice backing up a trailer before you head out to the lake. When the time comes to unload, try and get it done as quickly as possible to avoid congestion. For example, before you back up to the boat ramp, have your boat ready to launch -- take the straps off, etc.
We know that going fast in your boat is fun. But we also know that the wake your boat creates can be dangerous for other boaters, those enjoying water sports (like water skiing or tubing) and those on jet skis. Be considerate of others on the water as you would someone in the bicycle lane when you’re driving through town. Watch your wake and minimize the damage it can do by lowering your speed if necessary.
Boating on the lake is a great pastime. Don’t ruin it for yourself or others with these bad boating habits. Be aware, be courteous, and have fun!