Boating and Manners, They Go Hand In Hand
Boating and Manners, They Go Hand In Hand
Where we are blessed to be headquartered at Crossed Industries in South Florida, boating season is a year-round endeavor for us. We get to see it all, at all times of the year. So as your weather starts to heat up for boating season in your area, we want to remind you of the fact that boating and manners, they go hand in hand.
First, the normal ramp etiquette posts are going to start making their rounds on just about every social media outlet out there – and they’re all great advice. So, we’ll simply just cover some proverbial wave tops there.
- Do NOT Prep Your Boat On The Ramp. For me, this seems like an absolute no brainer. Almost every ramp in the country has a prep zone for you to take off your trailering straps, load the drinks and ice in the boat, and ready for launch – WITHOUT having to be in the way of other folks who have their stuff together. No, your boat will not fall off the trailer between the prep zone and the ramp.
- Do NOT Tie Your Boat Off In The Middle Of the Launching Lane While You Park Your Truck. This one is especially important on steep ramps. A few years ago when Lake Okeechobee was especially low, I was backing down a ramp in the dark to launch for a tournament at C. Scott Driver Park on the north end of Okeechobee. It was dark and that’s a moderately steep ramp so I didn’t see the Ranger sitting in the middle of the launch lane until I almost put my Yamaha SHO into the bow of it. Simply put, don’t be lazy and be sure everyone has a great day on the water.
- Do NOT Park In Front Of The Ramp, Or In Truck/Trailer Parking Spots If You Don’t Have A Trailer. For the most part this should go without saying as most ramps are clearly marked for parking and have no parking signs in front of the ramps. However, on those unimproved or back country ramps it seems that common sense is not common. So it goes without saying. Then there are the boater’s friends who want to be able to park close. Power to them, but the reason the extra long parking is closest to the ramp is to facilitate quick launch and recovery. Park your single vehicle in the back. If you have a lot of gear, pull up next to your boater prior to launch, load the boat, and then go park.
Those are my two biggest pet peeves at the ramp that I see on a regular basis. There are a ton of other great reads covering a lot more ramp etiquette out there, and I truly hope you read them to brush up prior to getting out on the water after a long winter.
Now for some other things that people forget on the water that really go hand in hand with boating and manners. Passing other boats in canals you have a few options. If you’re going to stay on pad, make sure it’s a wide enough canal to give the other boat at least 20 to 30 feet of space between you and them. If you do stay on pad, DO NOT slow down to where you’re just barely on plane. What many boaters don’t realize is when they slow down that much, they put so much of the hull in the water that their wake is actually two to three times more than what it would be at a safe speed fully on plane. I’m not advocating for whizzing by at 70 mph either, but fast enough to keep enough of the hull out of the water as to not cause a tsunami. Most boaters will wave you by to let you know they’re comfortable with the amount of space they’re giving you. If you’re not comfortable passing fast enough to stay fully on plane, then take it off pad and idle by. When you idle by, be sure to be fully past the boat before jumping up on plane. That simple. On the flip side, if you’re watching a boat come down a canal, river, or cove, make some room. Position your boat parallel to the bank and wave them on to allow them to pass safely.
Always be aware of your surroundings. We’re so used to orderly driving on highways and roads, that when many folks get in their boats they forget while there are no marked lanes, there’s still a “side of the road” per se. Stay to the right when cruising, and pass only on the left. Don’t try to be superman and pass everyone in the first five minutes. Us Bass Cat drivers love that feeling of being boat 30 and still boat 1 at the honey hole, but there are times when we need to step it back a notch and just cruise.
Boating is fun. Let’s make sure we keep it that way for everyone else on the water as well. We can be courteous to one another and still have a great time. So go out, have fun, and most of all be safe. We want to see you back out on the water every summer!