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Why We Should Obey Speed Limits on the Water

Do you have a need for speed? If you do, you are going to want to keep that in check while you are operating a boat. Speed limits on the water are put in place for a number of very good reasons.

One of the most important reasons to obey posted speed limits is to protect our manatees. In Florida, approximately 25 to 30 percent of manatee deaths are attributed to watercraft. Manatee zones – such as warm bodies of water and feeding and spawning grounds – are key to the survival of manatees. For obvious reasons, watercraft speed is limited there. If you are a boater, become familiar with the location of manatee regulation zones before you set sail. Remain in the channel, and avoid seagrass beds and shallow areas where manatees may feed. Manatees will also use deep water channels, so keep an eye out for them wherever you boat. The suggested distance to maintain is a minimum of 50 feet.

Some more very good reasons we need to obey speed limits on the water are common courtesy and respect for our environment. No wake zones are usually areas where vessels can bang up against their docks if boaters pass by at excessive speeds. They are also put into place to keep erosion at a minimum and protect coral beds. If you are in a no wake zone, you are required to keep your boat completely off plane.

Remember that speed limits on the water are also put into place to ensure our safety and the safety of others. If you have that need for speed, there are plenty of places on the water where you can crank your motor up safely. We just need to make sure we obey the speed limits in posted areas to keep everyone and everything as safe as possible on the water.