Episode #44: Your Pocket Sailing Instructor Podcast Don’t be a jerk – Boating Etiquette

This week I am talking all about being a good boating neighbour! How to be a safe, and non-jerky, boater! There are a few unwritten rules to keep in mind about boating and how others expect you to conduct yourself while on the water.

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Here are my latest episodes:

#59: Sails – Prevention & Basic Maintenance Your Pocket Sailing Instructor Podcast

  1. #59: Sails – Prevention & Basic Maintenance
  2. #58: When things go wrong… my 5 step process to stepping back and getting $hit done!
  3. #57: Chartering Step 3 – Trip planning, provisioning and check-out procedures


  • be aware of any marina rules around parking, washroom/shower use, boat launch access, etc.
  • return any carts to their location after use
  • take all garbage and recycling with you when you leave
  • make sure you are using the right slip
  • keep shore power cables and dock lines organized
  • no swimming! it is very dangerous to swim in marinas, not to mention pretty gross


  • be organized and ready at the fuel dock
  • be aware of others at the boat launch
  • be aware of families and others in the area if smoking, drinking, listening to music, etc.
  • be a good neighbour and keep garbage, spills, dinghies, on your side of the slip
  • clean up after yourself


  • be mindful of neighbours and being loud
  • remember that noise and music travel FAR on water
  • slow down when approaching anchorage or when boating around anchorage
  • watch others rode and anchor placement
  • watch others swing room – first come first served
  • make sure you have your anchor light on as required to assist those entering the anchorage in the dark

On someone else’s boat…

  • ask about boat rules – shoes, wet clothing, etc.
  • when rafted to another boat, make sure everyone has figure out how to move between the boats (some people use the cockpit, others go from shrouds to bow to shrouds…
  • find out what the duties or expectations are (cooking, cleaning, drinking, smoking onboard, etc)
  • help out wherever you can!


In the end, take the high road! Not everyone knows or bothers to follow these simple rules on boating etiquette. We haven’t even touched on the Collision Regulations and who has right of way over who. That’s a whole other kettle of fish! For today, just work on being a good neighbour!

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