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5 dos and don’ts for cottage country marinas

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Ah, the joy of being on the boat—the open water, the gently lapping waves, the sun sparkling as you come into the marina. Until, that is, someone roars into harbour at top speed, and your dock neighbour decides to blast Jimmy Buffett all night.

According to Tracey Fitchett, marina manager at The Cove Marina in MacTier, Ontario, a little consideration goes a long way in keeping your relationship with your neighbours positive.

“It’s just about common sense,” she says. “Whether you drive a boat on the water or a car on the road, it’s all about being courteous to other people.”

Fitchett’s top tip for being a good boating neighbour is making sure your boat is tied up properly (and if you’re not sure how to do that, ask for help). This avoids damage to your boat and others if the water becomes rough. Her other top five tips include:

  1. Slow down. No visible wake is the fastest you should be going when you are pulling into the marina. No one wants to be on their docked boat, prepping a cup of coffee, only to have it slop all over them. Slow down as soon as you’re within range of the facility.


  1. Don’t leave gear on the dock. It’s a tripping hazard for you and the boaters around you. Yes, you’re probably at the end of a long day of boating (poor you), but take the time to clean up your area before you relax for the evening.


  1. Unplug. No one wants to listen to your radio squawking all night while you’re having dinner and a drink at the marina restaurant. Turn off everything that could annoy your neighbours before you leave the boat.


  1. Don’t dawdle at the fuel dock. Chances are, there are other people waiting too, so don’t use that time to chit-chat about how the weather looks tomorrow. Similarly, don’t dilly dally at the launch ramp—everyone’s eager to get out on the water!


  1. Keep sound down. Sound carries extremely well over water, so be considerate and keep the noise to a minimum. To be sure you’re not disturbing others, heck with the marina manager to see when quiet hours start.


What are some of your top etiquette tips for the marina?