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  • Boating etiquette

    New to forum and boating. Last season I purchased a 1993 Glascon Ultra 17' with a Johnson 150 Outboard. Have had it out a few times on smaller lakes just running around but this season I'll be heading to some larger lakes to take the family tubing/boarding (after a few practice runs on a less busy lake). Just wondering if anyone has any tips for busier lakes. I am aware of the general rules of the road and safety rules, wondering more on courtesy. Do people generally find a spot on the lake and stick to it? Any good tips on towing would be appreciated. Just wanna make sure we have a safe trip and would rather hear some real world tips and tricks. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Put your head on a swivel!! That's the best advice for the busy lakes. Seems like stuff is coming at you from every direction.

    When on the busy lakes, try to get your group in the habit of hitting the lake before "prime time" when everyone else is out there... you'll enjoy your time more and then can sit back and watch the idiots out there later!

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    • #3
      US Coast guard safety course would be a good recommendation
      1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - http://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

      Past Boats
      1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
      2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheasheads in Paradise"
      1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

      What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

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      • #4
        I believe most people tend to stick to a particular area, though that area can be so large as to be difficult to define. I also don't believe most weekend warriors have a clue about the inland rules of the road, so don't count on them to maneuver to avoid collisions. Also, a certain percentage are bound to be somewhat impaired.
        As noted, stay very aware of your surroundings and keep your tow safe. Invest in a really good mirror and use it to keeps tabs on your skier/tuber.
        1995 Sea Ray 270DA 7.4L Bravo II

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        • #5
          Different lakes will have different unofficial rules that are somewhat followed by the locals or frequent boaters in the area. It might be going a certain direction, using a certain part of the lake for different activities, etc. So just watch for a bit before heading out and joining the fray.

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          • #6
            When towing using a std. tow rope, just remember you are operating a boat that is 150 feet wide and 75 feet+boat length in length. You have no special right of way because you are towing, and all the waterway rules still apply.

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            • #7
              Thanks all for the advice. I have taken the safety course offered in my local area but it doesn't really say anything about activities you may be doing on the boat. I certainly hope we don't encounter impaired boaters. My first trip out was bad enough with a few seadoo riders who thought they owned the whole lake and cutting in front of everyone else. Was actually good to see cause they really make you aware. Also a good way to put it jimmbo, definitely gotta be aware of the length and width while towing. Gonna grab a good mirror for sure. It's not a rule here to have a flag on board but I think I will get one anyways for when the rider is down.

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              • #8
                The rules are great but most the time the only ones who follow the rules are folks such as your self. Always be ready to avoid a guy who believes he/she is right

                Recommend if you tow someone, use their rope. If you use your rope and it breaks this can make you liable. If you do tow with your rope discuss this with them before beginning. I use my rope because I know it will not break, and also tie to their bow eye, not their cleat. Best to not tow until you get to know your boat more. Wait for someone else to show up but lend assistance in other ways.

                On busy weekends where there are a lot of boats and kind of packed, you can park near but not close to another without asking is it OK. On non-busy days where there is plenty of room, keep a lot more distance. The best rule is say hey, mind if we anchor over here? Most times they might even say, tie up with us and you will meet some new folks
                94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
                95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
                07 SeaDoo GTX
                Raw Water Pump Maintenance
                Merc Adults Only

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AllDodge View Post
                  The rules are great but most the time the only ones who follow the rules are folks such as your self. Always be ready to avoid a guy who believes he/she is right

                  Recommend if you tow someone, use their rope. If you use your rope and it breaks this can make you liable. If you do tow with your rope discuss this with them before beginning. I use my rope because I know it will not break, and also tie to their bow eye, not their cleat. Best to not tow until you get to know your boat more. Wait for someone else to show up but lend assistance in other ways.

                  On busy weekends where there are a lot of boats and kind of packed, you can park near but not close to another without asking is it OK. On non-busy days where there is plenty of room, keep a lot more distance. The best rule is say hey, mind if we anchor over here? Most times they might even say, tie up with us and you will meet some new folks


                  Also great advice. I'm definitely gonna head out on less busy days first to practice towing a tube just to get used to the feel before we head out to busier lakes. I also don't wanna endanger someone else out there. I'm actually lucky the previous owner of the boat seemed quite concerned with safety as well so some of the tow ropes that came with are practically new and good quality. All though he did tow his tubes with a ski pole which I've read mixed input on. Loving this forum already, a lot of great info.

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                  • #10
                    It is good to keep in mind that many around you might not know the "actual" rights of way and boating rules. When in doubt let other boats go ahead of you IMO
                    1996 Chaparral 1830 SST, 2002 Sea-Doo Sportster LE, 1997 Seadoo Challenger (SOLD), 2002 Seadoo GTX Millenium Edition, 2004 Seadoo GTI, 2007 Seadoo GTI 155 4-tec , 1997 Seadoo GTX

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                    • #11
                      Ramp etiquette is also important on busy lakes. Get everything ready in the boat, straps off prior to getting in the staging lane. Nothing tees boaters off more on the ramp than waiting for someone to prep and unload their crap into their boat while sitting on the ramp. Have fun and be safe!!
                      1986 Bayliner 16' Capri, 90 hp Johnson (sold)
                      1990 Chaparral 2000 SL Sport, 4.3L LX, Mercruiser Alpha I, Gen I

                      Link to Chaparral restoration- http://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-repair-and-restoration/boat-restoration-building-and-hull-repair/10286641-chaparral-2000-sl-sport-floor-and-more

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Baylinerchuck View Post
                        Ramp etiquette is also important on busy lakes. Get everything ready in the boat, straps off prior to getting in the staging lane. Nothing tees boaters off more on the ramp than waiting for someone to prep and unload their crap into their boat while sitting on the ramp. Have fun and be safe!!


                        Yes for sure, to be honest i was pretty nervous the first time unloading the boat. Mainly because I didn't wanna take to long. I'm not bad at unloading, but loading the boat back on the trailer is another story haha. EZ load trailer my a** lol. Gonna invest in some loading guides because it seems it's extremely hard to get my boat centered. Not sure what I'm doing wrong, probably just an experience thing.

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                        • #13
                          Don't follow anything being towed, and be wary of anything following anything you're towing - I'd say that's a critical safety issue, so then I guess etiquette too.

                          Not all get this - I've resorted to changing my course when another boat gets behind me while I'm towing a skier or tuber. As has been said - head on a swivel.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by regman78 View Post
                            I'm not bad at unloading, but loading the boat back on the trailer is another story haha. EZ load trailer my a** lol. Gonna invest in some loading guides because it seems it's extremely hard to get my boat centered. Not sure what I'm doing wrong, probably just an experience thing.
                            Launch deep, retrieve shallow. You may have the trailer in too deep when you retrieve which is allowing it easily float off center. You don't necessarily put the trailer in so deep that you float all the way up to the bow stop. You should expect to have to crank it up a couple feet with the winch.
                            2002 20' Hydra-Sports 202DC 200HP Yamaha HPDI
                            1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
                            Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357767

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                            • #15
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                              I live on a large and popular lake in the summer so have seen quite a lot as we boat and use our PWC a ton. People tend to follow the wind when it comes to tow sports. They locate the calm areas on the lake that particular day and tend to cluster together. There's some back bays that generally people know are off limits to wakes as pontoons tend to tie up and float in those areas. PWC's are everywhere and becoming more popular than ever...they tend to be some of the worst offenders as many times they are the high power, supercharged machines but are teenagers operating them with no clue our understanding of the gravity of the situation as they cut in and out. The ultra low end, budget models from Sea Doo are also becoming popular and those kids are even younger. The sand bars are a bit of a free for all. The first time someone takes a 6 figure boat and speeds up as they approach just to ram their bow onto the sandy rocks to claim a spot that is barely wider than their boat is a bit shocking made worse as their friend pulls up in a $15k PWC behind them and does the same thing. As it turns out - Pontoons have become all the rage and they outnumber every other style of boat combined on any given day on our lake. The plus side of that is that while there are some 600 hp versions roaming around the lake, most are operating at a very slow speed so the mistakes that they make are generally at a pretty slow clip versus the days when the bowrider ruled the day.
                              On that trailering situation, i had a roller trailer with my previous boat and it was like my niece who was a great soccer play in her private school only to realize once she went to public school she wasn't even fit to be the watergirl by comparison. The roller trailer makes me seem like an NBA player level boat retriever no matter the conditions or access and when I got my current boat with a bunk trailer, It was obvious that I needed some practice retrieving ....the launching part is simple.
                              I've only retrieved it once as it has only been taken out at the end of one season and ya just got to back it in the correct amount based upon the water level on the fenders and realize that the winch will yank it over the carpeted bunks and that's ok.
                              2002 Chaparral 220 SSi
                              350 MAG MPI
                              Bravo 1

                              2011 Yamaha FX Sho

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