When you first purchase a new boat, the last thing you are thinking about is etiquette and safety, but in order to get along with other boaters and to have a fun and safe experience, you need to make yourself familiar with the common courtesies that boaters extend to one another out on the water. While not really law or even regulation, these boating codes of conduct are sometimes posted on signs or handed out in flyers at busy marinas, but in most cases they are more common sense behaviors and practices that most boat owners learn over time.
There are even basic rules when dry docking and storing your boat, such as the proper way to use motorboat stands or stackable boat stands at the boat yard. Some rules are more tips for safety than anything else, such as the guidelines for proper use of engine racks for marine engines or choosing solid and even ground for your yacht stand. A lot of dry docking and storage tips can be found on the Brownell boat stands website, which can help you to choose the best boat stands for your type of vessel, among other things.
Launching & Docking 101
When launching and docking your vessel, make sure to be considerate of others. If you don’t have a lot of experience backing your trailer down the ramp to get to the water, you should take time to practice maneuvering it in an empty parking lot rather than getting in the way of other boaters who are anxious to start their day out on the water. Don’t take extra time to perform tasks that you should have taken care of ahead of time, such as securing your belongings.
Mooring is another proposition all together. If you do not have a lot of experience with mooring your boat, the first thing you need to know is to be aware of where your mooring lines and anchor are located, as they can quickly become a safety hazard. The most common courtesy that you can extend is just to be aware of others and make sure you aren’t doing anything to hold them up or trip them up in any way. Don’t run errands or chat with other boaters while fueling up, it’s just rude.
Reduce Your Wake
While you are out cruising on the water, your boat will kick up waves that disrupt the water and other boaters. This is known as the wake. Unfortunately, it can cause a lot of problems for other boaters, such as spilling drinks, disturbing fish, and causing belongings or even passengers to get thrown overboard. It’s one of the rudest behaviors that you will see out on the water and, if you have ever experienced it for yourself, you know you don’t want to be one of those people. However, there is a way to reduce your wake so you won’t be such a pain to other boaters.
- decrease your speed as you approach other vessels
- allow a wider berth if you are overtaking a boat
- if you see another vessel ahead of you, consider contacting them on the radio to let you know that you are intending to pass them
- you can also use horn blasts to signal to another vessel, such as a single blast when turning to starboard or two blasts when turning to port
While there are some who go boating to have a party, most people do it because they enjoy the peace and quiet that can come from being out on the water. Remember that sound carries over water, so try to have boat parties away from shore and away from fishing boats and other boaters. New boaters should practice new boating maneuvers and techniques away from other boats, as the repetitive sounds can be annoying. Avoid making any modifications to your boat engine that will make more noise. Chances are you are already loud enough to be annoying as it is. Reduce the noises that you make if you are near residential areas and campgrounds in the early morning.
Be an environmentally friendly boater and never toss trash into the water. Be careful when topping off your oil or adding fuel so you won’t accidentally spill it into the water. Never dump any type of sewage into the water. Remove your vessel from the water and place on motorboat stands or a yacht stand to do any work that might add chemical or pollutants to the water. Stackable boat stands can be used to store your boat for any length of time during the off-season or repairs. Utilize engine racks for marine engines and make sure that you keep them clean to reduce pollutants being placed in the water.
For more helpful tips and a list of yacht stands, sailboat and motorboat stands, check out the Brownell Boat Stands website. We have a wide variety of stackable boat stands, engine racks for marine engines, boat dollies for personal watercraft and a whole lot more, in addition to our world-famous Brownell Boat Stand System. Give us a call at 508-758-3671 to learn more about our products or to find a local dealer near you.