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Boating Etiquette Makes for Smooth Sailing

Boating Etiquette Makes for Smooth Sailing

Typically, boating is a fun, relaxing activity. But occasionally situations arise that cause tension - between boaters, or between boaters and homeowners on the shore, or dock owners. Thankfully a little etiquette can go a long way to helping diffuse these situations or even avoiding them altogether.

One of the most common issues arises when boaters get too close to docks, other boats or shorelines. This issue is compounded when the boater is going too fast, or displays a disrespectful attitude when other boaters, or home/dock owners, point out the problem.

As the captain of the ship, the best thing you can do in these situations is be respectful and try to correct whatever the behavior is that has caused frustration. If at all possible, just move on, away from the area. If you do end up speaking to the party that’s frustrated, stay calm. Be polite. Do your best to diffuse the situation.

Loud music and loud boats can also be frustrating, especially for homeowners. Remember that sound carries over water, so if the music is loud to you, it’s loud on shore, too. It’s also a safety hazard for the driver, who may not be able to hear everything he or she needs to - so turn the music down. If your boat is very loud, try to avoid repeatedly going past the same area of shoreline. The homeowners will appreciate it.

Depending on where you boat, frustrated property owners could limit your access to the water if they feel boaters aren’t respectful or following the rules of the waterway. To try to keep issues from arising in the first place, follow these rules of thumb:

  • Stay at least 150 feet from docks and shorelines
  • Obey “No Wake” zones
  • When other boats are near, slow down.

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  • Amy Cabanas