All cottagers love the lake, but let’s face it: Come boating season, not everyone embraces high-speed watersports—or the big, fast boats that go with them. This summer, Buckeye Marine is offering expanded, on-the-water courses to teach boaters to be safe, respectful, and responsible when towing tubers, skiers, and wakeboarders. Responsible towing is about minimizing your boat’s impact on the environment, sure, but it’s also about minimizing the impact on your neighbours. In the meantime, Buckeye’s Jay Poole, an instructor and team coach with Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada, offers a few tips to help us all get along:
Change it up. Your location, that is. “Cottagers will be less likely to be upset,” says Poole, “if they see your boat once every week, instead of every day.”
Tame the speed demon. As you motor around the lake, follow the 10 km/h limit within 30 metres of shore. For one thing, it’s the law. It also reduces your wake’s impact on the shoreline. Nature—and everyone who has a floating dock—will thank you.
It’s almost all about timing. Early in the morning, people are asleep. Consider following suit, or towing your skiers to a part of the lake where there are no cottagers to disturb. “Not everyone is going to be as excited as you to hear your boat at 6 a.m.,” says Poole.
Pick up the barbell pattern. Poole recommends that you drive in this configuration—basically a long, straight line with turns on each end. This route keeps the water calmer and minimizes the space you take up on the lake.
Be quiet. Or, be quieter. “Out on the water, both the volume of your stereo and your voice travel farther and sound clearer,” says Poole. “You may love gangsta rap or bluegrass country, but the entire lake may not.” At 6 a.m.? Hellz no, y’all.