Before you get your out on your boat this summer, make sure you know and understand the proper etiquette out on the water and at the docks. The best boaters are those that are the most well-informed and the safest. If you’re new to boating or it’s been a while since you’ve been out on the water, the Coast Guard offers an auxiliary class for boating safety. It’s not only extremely educational and helpful, but it can help you save money on your Charlotte boat insurance, too.
Avoid being the kind of boater that makes the day miserable for everyone else out on the water with you by following these tips.
There are times when you may overtake and need to pass another boater. When you do, slow down as much as possible and give the other boat as much room as possible. This keeps you from creating a wake that disrupts them and causes problems on their boat. When you pass, try to stay leeward so you don’t block their wind.
Enter a mooring area slowly. You also don’t want to get too close to other anchored boats. If you try to drop your anchor in the middle of other boats, the lines can easily get tangled. When you do drop anchor for a while, think about the size of your party on the boat and what you plan on doing. Sound carries easily over water, and you might disturb someone who’s fishing or trying to relax.
You may dock for a number of reasons: to refuel, to go on shore for a bit, or to “park” for the day or night. When you’re fueling up, get in and get out as quickly as possible so the next boat can get the fuel they need. Afterwards, dock in another area where it’s understood you may leave for a while and you won’t be in anyone else’s way. Once you do, keep the area free of ropes, hoses, cords, and supplies to prevent tripping hazards.
BE CONSIDERATE AT LAUNCH RAMPS
It’s easy for boaters to get backed up at launch ramps. Everyone wants to get out on the water at the same time and it slows down everyone. Be as efficient and quick as possible. Do what you need to do and get out of the way. Make sure guests on the boat understand that this isn’t a time to dawdle and sightsee. Other people are waiting.
OFFER TO HELP
Boating might be a solitary activity for some, but everyone needs help from time to time. It’s considered good manners to offer help when docking and undocking. If they’re okay on their own, they’ll let you know. When you see someone struggling, offer to help then, too. They might be new or they might not have enough hands for the job. Either way, they’ll appreciate the offer.
EDUCATE YOUR GUESTS
Are you bringing a few friends out on the boat with you? Make sure they know a few basic rules about boating such as when to sit and where to find life jackets. They should also understand that you may need help docking and undocking and that their things need to be stowed in order to keep the deck clear of debris and tripping hazards. Show them where supplies are and let them know that they can relax later but at the launch ramp, when undocking, or docking, they need to move quickly and efficiently to be courteous to other boaters.
Have you taken a safety class recently? You may qualify for a discount! Has it been a while since you thought about your boat insurance policy? It may be time for a new estimate. Contact Charlotte Insurance today and let us help with all your boat insurance needs.