Most people who drive a car are familiar with the customs and traditions of courtesy on the road, but not all recreational boaters are aware that a similar code of conduct exists on the water. Learn how boating etiquette can make boating even more pleasurable — for you and your fellow captains.
While you’re blissfully cruising away, your vessel is kicking up disruptive waves, otherwise known as wake. Those waves might be fun if you’re a surfer or a wakeboarder, but for other boaters, they can be annoying and potentially even dangerous. Besides being a rude interruption, a speeding vessel’s wake can cause passengers on another boat’s deck to be thrown overboard. And, if anyone onboard happens to be handling something dangerous — hot coffee, for example –your wake could cause a serious problem.
In order to reduce the effect of your wake, decrease your speed as you’re approaching the other vessel. If you’re overtaking a boat, allow a wide berth. If you have a VHF radio,it’s not a bad idea to call the other boat and let them know that you intend to pass them. If a ship is passing another vessel, it gives a single blast on its horn, which means it is turning to starboard. Two blasts signals a turn to port. If you are the vessel being overtaken, slow down and allow the other boat to pass. This lets the passing boat reduce its speed and, as a result, throw less wake.
Speed, efficiency, and consideration are the bottom line to minding your manners while launching and docking your watercraft.
Proper launching and docking techniques are essential knowledge for any personal watercraft owner.
Some boat owners are thrill-seekers, but many boaters love the activity for its sense of calm serenity. Try not to spoil it for them with loud partying and engine noise.
Pollution ruins the water for everybody. It kills fish and wildlife, detracts from the beauty of the landscape, and contaminates waterways. Respect the water by being an environmentally friendly boater.
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