Boating Etiquette Guide - Rules and Guidelines for the Water | Scout

Boating Etiquette Guide: Rules and Guidelines for the Water

Boating is a pursuit that requires strict adherence to proper etiquette. Boating etiquette not only keeps everyone happy on the water, but it keeps everyone safe, as well. When you’re ready to go out for a ride, refer to this boating etiquette guide which includes the rules and guidelines for the water.

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Launch Your Boat Quickly

The boat launch can be one of the most frustrating areas when people don’t launch quickly. It’s good boating etiquette to have everything prepared so you can get your boat in, get it loose from the trailer, and quickly get out of the way. Have everything in place before you launch.

Sailboats Have Right of Way Over Motorboats

Boating, just like driving a car, has specific rules for the right of way. When you’re on the water, remember that sailboats have right of way over motorboats. Give them the chance to pass first, and always slow down near these vessels to maintain safety.

Paddled Vessels Have Right Of Way Over Sailboats and Motorboats

Just like sailboats having right of way over motorboats, human-powered boats have right of way over everything else. If you come across a canoe, kayak, or rowboat, give them the right to pass in front and also give them plenty of room.

When Being Passed, Maintain Course

When one boat passes another, there is a heightened chance for a collision, especially if the slower boat veers off course. When being passed, either from the front or from the rear, maintain your general course and don’t make any fast turns. This will help ensure everyone stays safe while you’re boating.

Fuel Up, Pay, and Get Out

Like the boat ramp, a fueling station can be a place of frustration. Other boaters are waiting to use the station, so get your boat near the dock, fill up, pay, and leave. If you have other business, such as stocking up on live bait, you can do this after you gas up and move your boat.

Respect No-Wake Zones

No-wake zones are there for a reason. Respect no-wake areas by going slowly whenever you see signs. Proceeding with a slow speed and no wake will help you avoid damage and injury that can be caused when wakes are high.

Leave Plenty of Room Between Other Boats

One of the golden rules for boating is to give as much room as reasonably possible. You don’t have to give 200 yards of space, but avoid being close to other boats, especially when passing. Boats with skiers or tubers should be granted an especially large space, and never go near boats with people being pulled behind.

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We hope you enjoyed this boating etiquette guide to the rules and guidelines for the water. Whether you’re searching for the finest boat for water sports, fishing, or relaxing cruises, you’ll love our lineup of crafts available from Scout Boats. From large offshore boats to small fishing crafts, we have the right vessel for you! Plus, you can design your boat to fit your exact needs with our Build Your Scout tool.

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