A great day on the water can be instantly tarnished by a bad experience at the marina. On busy summer days, any marina will inevitably be crowded with boaters looking to launch and dock their boats, and while the sheer number of boaters requires some patience on your part, this isn’t generally what makes moods turn sour. No, that sour mood comes from poor marina etiquette on the part of boat operators and their passengers, who can be careless, loud, disrespectful and slow to maneuver themselves and their crafts to make way for others.
Here at Tom-N-Jerry’s Boat Center of Mount Vernon, we know how frustrating bad manners at the marina can be. To make sure that you aren’t one of the boaters who commits any of these egregious marina sins, we’ve created this guide to marina etiquette. It is our hope that, if everyone practices patience and respect at the marina, then all boat users can have a pleasant experience when they head to the water.
Blazing up to the marina at top speed is not the way to go, regardless of whether it’s crowded or not. You wouldn’t coast into a parking lot at 50 mph because that would be stressful and dangerous for other drivers and pedestrians and potentially put you at risk of crashing or hitting something — or someone. Slow your boat down well before you reach the marina and be cautious in your approach. You don’t want to create large wakes that can jostle other crafts and you certainly don’t want to hit anyone because you were careless and didn’t slow down.
Just like you wouldn’t linger at the gas station pump after filling your tank, don’t block the marina with your boat after you’re done fueling
If you don’t dock your boat carefully, you can block the walking path on the docks with your bow. This is avoidable by using spring lines to control the motion of your boat as you pivot around the dock. If you’d rather avoid this, you can practice docking your boat stern-to-dock instead to prevent overhang.
You also shouldn’t leave equipment cast aside haphazardly like life jackets, watersports gear or tow ropes. Coil up ropes neatly before you leave your boat, and don’t leave any trash or old food on your boat that could stink up the place. Make sure the dock around your boat is clear and easy to walk on.
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, goes the old maxim. This applies to marina etiquette as well as it does any other walk of life. If you would be frustrated by other boaters loudly partying, drinking and blasting music from the docks during the evening, then refrain from doing this yourself. If the general atmosphere of the marina is quiet, do your best to keep it that way. You can socialize calmly and enjoy the sunset just as well without making a lot of racket or distraction for other dock users.
Finally, remember to turn everything off before you leave the docks for the night. This includes VHF radios, TV sets or stereos. Turn off all electronic equipment so it doesn’t make noises an make sure to turn off all the lights so you don’t blind anyone coming in at night or create light pollution that will interfere with stargazers!
With a little consideration and forethought, it’s easy to be respectful while docking your boat at the marina. If you’re still in the market for a boat, we’ve got what you’re looking for! Visit our location in Mount Vernon to see our full complement of new and used boats for sale. Tom-N-Jerrys Boat Center serves the greater Seattle metro area, including the cities of Tacoma, Bellevue and Shoreline, Washington. We’re also here to serve our customers coming south from the great state of Alaska!