As with life in general, boating requires a certain amount of etiquette so that we all can remain safe while having fun. Obviously, first and foremost, it is important to keep your boat passengers and other boaters safe and to avoid accidents at all costs, but there are some other things we can do to help keep boating safe and fun for everyone…
With regard to other boaters, you always want to give them ample space, especially when passing them. A wake could swamp another boat, damage property and even knock someone overboard, so we need to always be respectful. Watch your speed and remain mindful of depth. Facing boats should turn starboard and pass port to port. If not, make certain you signal the other boat; and always give boats with limited maneuverability – such as sailboats not under power and large cargo ships – the right of way.
With regard to docking, always offer to lend a hand and thank others when they offer you the same. At boat ramps or fuel docks, take care of business as quickly as you can in a safe manner and then get out of the way. Stow your ropes neatly, both for safety’s sake and simply to be courteous.
With respect to anchoring, never do so in a channel, never get too close to anchored boats and always ask permission before mooring. Also be respectful of other boaters by moving downwind if you are cooking or playing music; and since sound carries, use oars instead of your dinghy’s engine at night.
Don’t forget to dispose of trash properly so that we can keep our waters clean for future generations.