Boating Etiquette for New Boaters

March 11, 2020 5:44 am Published by Leave your thoughts

You might not know this if you’re not already an avid boater, but there is a certain unwritten code of etiquette associated with boating that all boaters should become familiar with before they take to the waters. Part of keeping up with boating etiquette is just to be friendly and adhere to social norms, but there is also an element to a lot of boating etiquette that is actually important for ensuring safety.

Here’s a quick overview of some of these unwritten boating rules in Lewiston, CA that you should make yourself familiar with before your next outing.

Know the rules of the road… er, water

Just like there are “rules of the road” you learn during driver’s ed, there are some boating rules of the water you should be familiar with. For example, always give sailboats under sail the right of way if you’re in a powerboat. If you’re being overtaken by another boat, maintain your course and speed so as not to put other boaters in harm’s way. All vessels should always give human-powered vessels like kayaks and canoes the right of way and plenty of space. These are just a few examples of some of the “rules of the water” you should know before heading out.

Boat launch etiquette

When at the boat launch, it’s important to launch or retrieve your boat as efficiently as possible so as not to cause a traffic jam. You can significantly cut down your ramp time by pulling over to a dock or beach once you’re off the trailer and load your gear and guests there. You should never load, unload, drain or clean your boat while still on the ramp. When you’re at a fuel dock, get out of the way when you’re done fueling, and relocate your boat if you need to go in to buy bait or groceries.

Environmental rules

You should never throw trash overboard, as this is extremely disrespectful and damaging to the environment. The exception is if you’re far enough off shore and you have organic waste like fish guts, fruit or banana peels. You should never, ever throw plastic overboard under any circumstances.


If you’re heading into an anchorage, you should follow the lead of other boats with regard to how to tie off, how much line to use in the process and the amount of space you give between yourself and other boats. If every other boat is only using one anchor, you should do the same so your boat doesn’t move in a different way when the current or wind changes. While at an anchorage, respect your neighbors. Keep music at reasonable volumes, and don’t run your generators too late at night or too early in the morning. Finally, never drive at high speeds.

Radio conduct

Never use VHF channel 16 for anything other than hailing or distress calls. If you’ve contacted another vessel, switch to another frequency to continue non-emergency conversations.

For more tips about boating etiquette in Lewiston, CA, or to arrange a rental, contact Trinity Alps Marina today.

Categorised in:

This post was written by Writer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *