If you’re new to boating, we thought you might appreciate some tips on boating etiquette to help ease you into your first season. Our friends at Boating Magazine started the list, and we’ve added some of our own:
- Watch your wake. You’re responsible if your wake causes injury or damage to another boat, so think ahead about how your boat’s passing will impact those kayakers up ahead.
- Keep your speed down when entering a mooring field or marina. If you’re in a hurry, what are you doing on a boat? Not disturbing your new neighbors will keep them happy.
- When fueling-up or loading, move your boat from the fuel dock or loading float as soon as you are done. Other boats are waiting for your space. Don’t exceed posted time limits without the dock master’s permission.
- When fueling, please be careful that you are pumping fuel into the fuel tank, as opposed to a rod holder or your fresh water tank. Many deck fittings and fills look similar, and this happens more often than you might think.
- Don’t overfill your fuel tank. Burping of overfill out of the fill vent is an environmental hazard and a great way to tick off the staff at the fuel dock.
- At the dock, stow your lines, cords and hoses neatly and don’t have them cross the dock if you can avoid it. They are tripping hazards, especially at night.
- Please don’t stow gear on the dock. It’s also a tripping hazard and an obstruction to those trying to move carts, coolers and other supplies down the dock.
- If possible, don’t let your bow extend out over the dock. It is a hazard, particularly if the anchor is protruding. Learn to use spring lines to position your boat in its slip.
- Don’t leave food or garbage out in the cockpit or on the dock: it attracts flies, varmints and dirty looks.
- Don’t board another boat without permission.
- Many might not appreciate you cranking Led Zep or Jimmy Buffet (What’s wrong with some people?! :)) on the stereo, or the sound and exhaust smoke of your generator in an otherwise peaceful setting.
- Shut off electronic equipment when you leave your boat. Nobody wants to hear your VHF radio squawking into the night.
- Tie your boat up correctly for the situation. If you are unsure how, ask a dock hand or another boater. They’ll be glad to help since, if you break loose, it’s their boat you might bang into.
- If you use the head, use your head: ensure that it goes into your holding tank, not overboard.