read the Coast Guard's recommendations

Boating Etiquette You Need to Know

Boating can be a way of life for many. Whether you make your living on a boat or it is your recreational vehicle of choice, there are some rules and considerations boaters must understand to keep everyone safe and happy while on the water. From cold-weather boating etiquette (detailed here on to mayday calls (read the Coast Guard’s recommendations), there are nautical guidelines for just about everything. While you aren’t expected to be an expert to ride the waves, you do need to be familiar with the basics to avoid causing problems or potential damage or injury. Here are some of the boating etiquette basics you’ll want to know.

1) When coming at a vessel head-on, move to your right so you can both pass portside to portside.

2) Smaller, human-powered vessels always have the right of way. This includes canoes, SUPs, kayaks, etc.

3) When you’re on a ramp or fueling dock be efficient and move out of the way as quickly as possible. Don’t leave your boat at a fuel pump while you and your crew shop for food or take a bathroom break. Additionally, avoid cleaning your boat on the ramp after you’ve retrieved your vessel. Move over or into the parking lot.

4) Be friendly and helpful. When a boat is approaching a dock, offer to help them tie-down. If they wave you off, don’t be offended, they may have a system they like to use. If you see someone struggling to launch or retrieve their boat, offer assistance. If you see a boat that appears to have mechanical issues, offer support.

The waters are a much safer and friendly place when everyone is on the same team.