Top Ten Tips for Boating and Marina Etiquette

Boating, as a recreational sport, has been around for over 300 years. During this time many customs and traditions have been developed; traditions that, over generations, have become the unwritten rules of the road. Just like being on land, we need to be good neighbours; help others when they need it, tidy up after ourselves and be respectful of the people and environment around us.

Top 10 Boating Etiquette Tips

  1. Watch Your Wake: You’re responsible for making sure that your wake isn’t causing harm to your fellow boaters. Not only can big wakes in small, crowded places be dangerous, it’s a definite way to anger your neighbours. Be sure to respect the wake rules to keep marine life and everyone else on the water safe and sound.
  2. Lend a hand: While there is almost always a Van Isle Marina employee nearby to help, you should be prepared to help your fellow boaters. This unwritten boating law will say a lot about what kind of boater you are and will be really helpful to those in need of an extra hand.
  3. Respect your neighbours: If you have blasting music and lots of loud friends on board, be courteous to others on the water and leave plenty of space.
  4. Always stop to help, if you see someone in trouble.
  5. Keep it tidy: No matter if you’re at the marina or anchorage, be sure to clean up your space and pick up all of your trash, dock lines, and equipment. Your neighbours and local animals will appreciate a clean, hazard-free space.
  6. Move along: Whether you’re on a fuel dock or boating ramp, be efficient. Delegate tasks and be prepared so that you can get out of the way of others and out on the water. Our Fuel Dock staff are there to help you get on and off the dock in safe, timely manner.
  7. Turn off your Radar: Ensure if it’s not being used that you turn all your radar equipment off. Radar waves can be harmful to anyone who is exposed to them.
  8. Select your anchorage carefully: giving yourselves and your new neighbours ample room. Remember winds change, anchors line tangle and hulls and dinghy’s can easily bang into each other.
  9. If you use the head, use your head: ensure that it goes into your holding tank, not overboard.
  10. Be thoughtful at night; don’t run your generator around the clock, paddle rather than motor to shore and back and be conscious of your activity and noise levels.

Whether underway, anchoring, mooring, docking at a marina or cruising with friends, as in most aspects of life, respect and courtesy go a long way! Being part of the boating community means knowing and following good boating etiquette. When you know the common expectations that have developed over centuries of boating, it will help make your experience a positive one for everyone on board.

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