Boat Safety Tip #3

            You now know what to do to avoid the shallow spots out there in the Sarasota waters and how to easily approach the dock in Port Charlotte. Now, let's talk about an easily understood, yet extremely important topic: The No Wake Zone. If rules are not properly followed in these designated areas, it could leave you paying a major fine or even worse, a potential lawsuit. Just follow these tips so you'll do what you are suppose to do when you rent a boat- enjoy yourself to the fullest.       


   When renting a boat, you'll come across the inevitable no wake zone. To put it simply, a wake is basically just the waves caused by your moving boat, and you are held responsible for these waves you create. The last thing you want to do is speed in a no wake zone and damage someone's boat with your intense water current. You could even put water on the other boat, for example, with the tide you made or even make the captain of that other ship fall out because of your careless need-for-speed. Not only is this illegal with potentially severe consequences, but it can also ruin your day and the other person's. The Coast Guard does not take this matter lightly.

            Let's avoid these costly mistakes. First of all, make sure your boat is completely in the water in full displacement mode. A good reference point to use is always look behind you to see how big your wake is so you know whether to slow down or not. Your wake should be no longer than the length of your boat, and it will probably disturb the boats behind you the most, so please be mindful of this. Most no wake zones are about 5 miles per hour, but always look for the sign and speed limit. Since boats are a little hesitant in reaction time, start slowing down early to get a good head start on adjusting speeds. You always want to look out for traffic even if it's not in a no wake zone too. Look out for the ones on jet skis, kayaks, small boats, fisherman, marinas on the side, parked boats near the dock, swimmers or anybody or any boat nearby for that matter. Please be respectful to all the traffic around you and be of common decency to your fellow companions out on the water.