Tips for Good Boating Etiquette

Good manners are always a plus, and when it comes to boating, there are also expectations of these unspoken boat rules on the water. From leaving or entering a boat ramp to not anchoring too close to your fellow boaters, there is plenty of advice to share to keep everyone happy out on the water. And since we like to spread the joy of boating, we want to give you some of our favorite tips for maintaining proper boating etiquette out on the water.
  • A no wake sign sits in the water

    Slow It Down

    Although some boats are made for speed, there are times when holding back on the acceleration is best—especially when you are close to a marina, floating docks, or approaching an area where there are many boaters, fishermen, snorkelers, wildlife, etc. Going a bit slower in these zones is not only courteous by reducing wake, but it will also decrease the possibility of a boating accident. Try and take it slow in one of these luxurious Cruisers Yachts models.
  • A white boat is pulled from the water by a towing car

    Ramp Up Your Experience

    If you trailer your boat, you likely know the drill when it comes to launching, but how aware are you of others during this time? Since ramp sites can have a lot of traffic in and out of the water, to keep courtesy on the up & up, try to have everything ready on your boat in advance to avoid taking extra time. Also, if you are new to trailing, practice backing the boat up in another area to enhance your skills, avoid potentially jackknifing, save time, and get rid of any jitters. Additionally, don’t hang around the ramp with your boat or vehicle, blocking the entrance or exit. Want to learn more about boating ramp etiquette from the experts? Check out this informative Proper Boat Ramp Etiquette episode from our Boating Tips library.
  • A gas pump sits inside a refueling boat

    Fueling Proper Etiquette

    Getting fuel is a must for engines that require it; however, how you go about it can matter! After you have pumped your gas and paid, don’t hang out at the pump. If you need to stay at the location longer to speak to the attendant, check supplies, run to the restroom, etc., just move away from the pumping station and dock your boat elsewhere—it’s that simple. Speaking of gas, you can fuel your flair for style and sophistication even more on one of these Aviara models. 
  • White yachts lined up in a marina

    Marina Manners

    At marinas, there is usually a lot happening all at once, and boaters, staff, and others are not only on the move on the water but on the docks and using other areas of the property as well. Due to that, there are several ways to maintain proper manners. One strategy is going slow while navigating through the marina to prevent accidents and causing too much wake on the water. Another way to be polite is not to blast music or be too loud if you are at a slip with neighboring vessels. Calling at least an hour ahead of time to get a boat off a dry storage rack so marinas can plan is also appreciated. It’s also much appreciated to keep the dock clean, clear, and free of debris if you are loading and unloading items. If you want to dive deeper into marina etiquette, check out Episode 28 of Boating Tips LIVE!  
  • A child has help tying their life jacket

    Prepare Your Passengers

    Are you entertaining friends or family that have never been on the water aboard your boat? It’s not only polite to let them know the rules, but it can also enhance safety and keep everyone happy. As natural as it can be to avid boaters, some passengers may not be aware of what to do in an emergency on the water or even where lifejackets are stored—start with the basics and ask if they have any questions as well. Another thing would be to explain in advance why it’s necessary to go slow in certain areas and to keep the noise level to a minimum when around other boats anchored or docked at a marina. If you want to prep your passengers for something else besides boating etiquette, take them on a luxurious ride aboard one of these Galeon models
  • A group of boats sit anchored on the shore

    Anchoring and Mooring with Courtesy

    Just as polite as you would typically act at a marina, the same goes for when you anchor or are at a mooring ball location. Since not everyone has the same schedule and could have been traveling at sea for some time, it’s always good to approach these areas slowly, quietly, and cautiously when other vessels are around. Boaters and guests aboard other crafts could be relaxing or sleeping. Unless you know the location will be lively in advance, not creating wakes, hushing loud guests, and turning down the tunes is suggested until you are fully aware of the situation. Additionally, create enough space for other boaters, especially if you plan to play or splash around in the water near other boats. Are you new to anchoring in general? Check out this Anchoring Tips and Best Practice video from Boating Tips LIVE.
  • A woman and two children wave to a boat aboard another boat

    Politeness Always Wins

    Since there is truth in the saying that you get more with sugar than spice, the same goes for being polite on the water. Typically, the boating lifestyle is a leisurely one where boaters are out to relax, enjoy, and have fun—and adding a dab of good manners makes it all the better! Politeness can come in many forms, such as helping another boater in need to letting another boater pass first. Plus, being courteous is an excellent way to connect with other boaters. So instead of passing up another vessel while giving a blank stare as many do on the road, in the boating world, the polite thing to do is wave and smile. Try it, and you might just make a new friend! Show off your best manners on one of these fun Sea Ray models.

Want to learn more about other boating subjects besides etiquette? MarineMax is your go-to resource for all things boating. With the many types and styles of boats, yachts, accessories, events, classes, exclusive Getaways!®, marinas, insurance and finance options, and more, there’s lots to learn! Find out additional details through the MarineMax Experience, which explains some of the many ways in which your boating time with us is bound to be pleasant!

Additionally, for Boating Made Easy™, download the MarineMax App and effortlessly manage all your boating needs.  

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