Everyone should be acquainted with the COLREGS, flag etiquette and
"Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters." (Howard Bloomfield)
there are certain customs and traditions that, while some have a safety
aspect, are really about keeping our increasingly crowded waterways
pleasant and friendly.
Just as there are social norms you're expected to know on land, you
should be aware of the basic rules of boating etiquette.
owners should remember to tie back running rigging, there is nothing
worse than lying awake listening to other boat's halyards Frapping in
Don't hog any temporary loading or fuelling slips, others may be
waiting to use them.
Never discharge your waste in a harbour or a marina.
Coil your ropes, cords and hoses and don't have them cross the dock,
they are serious tripping hazards, particularly at night.
Don't stow your gear on the dock, it's just another hazard for others
to contend with, that's if it doesn't disappear.
moor with your bow, anchor or bowsprit extending across the dock
Don't leave food or garbage out in your cockpit or on the dock.
Always ask permission before boarding another boat.
you are going to raft up, communicate in advance with the other boats
to see who is going to be involved and in what order.
When boats are rafted, cross over via the bows to get to the
is bad etiquette to cross over boats through the cockpit.
Shut off electronics cell phone when not in use and when you leave your
Don't use your barbecue in the marina.
DO clean up after your dog.
Lend a hand. be willing to assist other vessels as they arrive and
If you've used a piece of equipment intended for common use, put it
back where you found it.
When you are walking along a dock, don't peer into other's boats.
Keep the noise down.
Prepare lines and fenders before entering harbour and leave them on the
deck until you near the dock.
A good day on the water, can be spoilt by a lack of good boat
When launching, prepare and load your boat in the parking lot or an out
of the way place.
Take off covers, tie-down straps (except bow strap),
install electronics etc and load up with anything you're planning to
When it's your turn to launch, do it as quickly and comfortably as you
Once the vessel is afloat and clear of the trailer move her aside, away
from the launching side of the dock and then move your vehicle of the
ramp, park well clear in an area where you are not blocking
You should observe the same etiquette when you return to the ramp to
retrieve your boat.
Tie up to a temporary dock or to the side of the ramp while you
discharge passengers and return with your tow vehicle.
Don't waste time on the ramp draining or cleaning.
Try not to have others waiting on you unnecessarily, it works both ways.
I am perfectly aware that the majority of Wooden Boat aficionados are sensible folk. However, I need to point out that I am an amateur wooden boat enthusiast simply writing in order to try to help other amateur wooden boat enthusiasts. And while I take every care to ensure that the information in DIY Wood Boat.com is correct, anyone acting on the information on this website does so at their own risk.