5 rudest boating habits
Okay, we know most boaties conduct themselves impeccably on the water, not only for safety reasons, but also to ensure their fellow seafarers are respected. In fact, we think most issues on the water happen because people simply don’t know what proper conduct involves.
So, to avoid any confusion, we’ve listed the top 5 worst boating habits (in our opinion!).
- Misusing the radio
The importance of using your radio properly cannot be overstated. As a general rule, if your conversation could happen on a mobile phone, then it shouldn’t happen on radio. This means you’re not clogging airwaves with non-vital chatter, especially during busy times like weekends.
Also. Be sure to only use emergency frequencies in cases of emergency, and always be professional when you speak. This means no swearing, and using proper protocols. If you’re not sure what these are, take a look at our blog on how to make a Mayday call.
- Not knowing the rules of the road
Before even setting foot on a boat, you need to know the COLREGS. These are The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea. They matter, because the rules explain who has right of way in a particular situation.
Of course, everyone has a duty to avoid collisions, so even if you technically have right of way, you need to move if a collision is imminent. Make sure you know the COLREGS by heart, and keep a copy on board too.
- Keep boat ramps happy
If you’re at a boat ramp, be ready to launch. Still got prep to do? Do it somewhere that won’t cause congestion and annoy your fellow boaties. Your goal is to be on the ramp for as short a time as you can. (Read our blog on launching safely.)
If you’re not practised with launching, do so at non-peak times, and have someone who knows what they are doing with you to assist if things go awry. Oh, and always be polite. If things do go wrong, keep cool and focus on your process. Ultimately, safety is more important than speed.
- Be cool with your wake
If you’re in a no-wake area, don’t throw a wake. This also applies if you’re going past smaller vessels, such as dinghies, kayaks, paddleboards or marine construction zones – basically, anyone who could be negatively impacted by your wake.
With this in mind, we also don’t advocate scolding every boater who makes a ripple in the water on the radio. Most folk are doing their best, so be considerate to your fellow seafarer, and everyone is likely to have a safe and amazing time.
- Avoid deep-water channels where possible
Deep-water channels are for vessels that need the depth. Usually, these are large commercial vessels. If that’s not you, avoid clogging up deep-water channels by staying outside of them (if this is appropriate). If you do need to be inside a channel, keep right.
This also applies to anchoring in deep-water channels. As you can imagine, anchoring inside a highly trafficked channel (when there is no emergency) will mess with the flow of traffic. 2 to 6 feet is adequate for most recreational boats.
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