Boating Etiquette 101: The Rules of the Waterways

Just as there are unspoken rules of the road, there are also unspoken rules of the waterways. You are not the only one out on your boat, and as such, you need to respect other people and their vessels. So, when you next take your boat out, make sure you follow these boating etiquette guidelines:

Dock and Boat Launch Etiquette

Boating Etiquette 101

Boating etiquette begins before you even launch your boat off from the dock. You can take your time loading your boat and getting passengers situated. However, once it’s time to launch, you’ll want to do so quickly and efficiently. Have other crew members to assist you to make launching easier, and do the same once it’s time to park your boat at the end of the day.

Driving Your Boat

Now that you’re out on the waters, it’s even more important to keep an eye out for other boaters. If you notice a boat is coming towards you, turn your boat to starboard and pass by them port to port. If a sailboat is coming towards you, take a note whether it’s under sail. If it is, the sailboat gets the right-of-way; if it is not, the sailboat is considered a powerboat and you should start turning to starboard. Finally, if another boat is overtaking you, simply stay your course and speed and allow them to pass.


When entering an anchorage, it’s important to replicate what those are doing around you. Take a note of how far apart each boat is and try to keep that same distance. You should also be cognizant of any noise you, your crew, and your boat is making. Keep the music at a decent volume and don’t run your generator past 8pm or before 7am (especially if there are homes nearby). When it’s time to leave, keep an eye out for anyone swimming or snorkeling in the water and keep your speed low.

Here at V-Dock we offer a variety of docks to enhance your boating experience. Look through our inventory today to get started!

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