Here in Bellingham we are blessed with many wonderful resources, one of them being the open water. Fishing boats of all sizes, hobby boats from sailboats to cabin cruisers, and whale-watching tourist boats all share the marina and bay. As we begin the balmy summer months, here are a few tips on boating etiquette.

  • Pass slower boats slowly. Remember, you are responsible for the wake your boat creates. Slowing your speed avoids rocking the other vessel. Perhaps your marina neighbors are cooking breakfast in the galley; if your wake causes the bacon grease to fly around the galley, it’s not just irritating but potentially harmful to them.
  • Maintain a slow and easy speed when anchoring and mooring as well. Same rules apply – if you slosh your neighbors’ dinner or drink into their laps as you pull in beside them, you risk earning more than dirty looks.
  • Also, don’t anchor too close to other boats. If winds pick up in the middle of the night, you risk tangling anchor lines, and who wants to deal with that at any time of day?
  • Respect others’ right to peace and privacy when mooring near other boaters overnight. Remember that sound carries exceptionally well over water, so keep music and voices’ volume low.
  • Keep your guests appraised of rules and procedures in being on your boat. When belongings are properly stowed, and guests know what they are supposed to do to help out if need be, this ensures a more pleasant experience for all. If ever an emergency arises, it is crucial that guests are familiar with safety equipment’s location and use. Everyone getting onto a passenger plane has to listen to the safety procedures; being on open water is no different.

For more tips and information on boating etiquette, visit this post: Boating Etiquette []

Boating Safety Tips []

Bellingham Technical College [] course on Safe Boating []

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