When boating on the waters of St. Simons Island, it’s essential to be respectful of other boaters. Follow these important rules for boating etiquette:
1. Overtaking a vessel:
Give the vessel ample space, especially taking depth conditions into account. Remember that the stand-on vessel has the right of way, and slow down to reduce wake. Sailboats under sail have the right of way over powerboats, and human-powered boats have the right of way over any vessel. Preventing accidents is the top priority.
2. Keep your wake low and slow:
Consider stationary boats by giving them a wide berth and slowing down to avoid swamping them. Reduce your speed if being overtaken to prevent a bigger wake. Pass to the port side when going head-on. Remember, you are accountable for both your vessel and the wake it creates. Even if your boat doesn’t cause any harm, the waves generated by your wake could potentially cause someone to fall overboard, holding you legally responsible. Stay vigilant and considerate while navigating the waters to avoid accidents or legal disputes.
3. Follow all navigation rules and regulations:
Respect speed limits, follow designated channels, and be aware of other vessels in the area.
4. Avoid anchoring too close to other boats:
While anchoring can be a vital resource for a break from the open waters, it’s essential to give fellow boaters space by remaining at least 50 feet away. Before anchoring near other boats, figure out their swing radius and anchor lines.
5. Don’t be too loud:
Sounds carry on water. Loud music and boisterous conversations can disrupt other vessels. Lower the noise level whenever possible.
6. Be mindful of your trash:
Responsible disposal of litter prevents hazards to marine life and eyesores. Ensure you dispose of your trash responsibly.
Marins, such as the Hampton River Marina preserve and protect the landscape through the following initiatives:
- Providing recycling containers for plastics and aluminum
- Providing recycling containers for used oil and batteries
- Offering complimentary trash bags for voluntary removal of trash
Boat with confidence, courtesy, and common sense—the waterway is everyone’s source of fun when boaters follow the rules and show consideration for others. Following these simple rules ensures everyone has an enjoyable and safe experience. Enjoy yourselves and stay safe!