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Basic Question on Boating Courtesy

Old 02-08-2019, 05:06 AM
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Default Basic Question on Boating Courtesy

Fairly new to boating/fishing.

I run a Carolina 218DLV.

What is the proper protocol when passing another boat in which the occupants are fishing?

Say the channel/canal is 75-100 yards wide? i have up to this point been slowing to a no wake speed till I pass but with multiple boats it becomes very tedious to slow down, speed up...

It has been suggested that I just keep moving since at a higher speed my wake is negligible as opposed to going 10 kts and leaving a big wake.

Just seems like the "right " thing is to motor past as slow as possible.

Anybody have thoughts on proper protocol in this situation?

FWIW: I have had boats blast past me when i am fishing and it does not seem all that bad if they keep up speed but I don't want to piss off other boaters.

Thanks
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:23 AM
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You Sir (Lady?) are a gentleman...
There's a correct answer and the personal opinions.
I'll suggest you to attend marine navigation courses from US Power Squadrons or USCG. There is a lot of things to know from those courses.
And hope this thread doesn't turn into a chit show... this is a sensitive issue to many here...
Sorry, I don't have an answer for you...
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:24 AM
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If in the ICW, I keep on plane. It's on them for anchoring up there. If in a creek, I idle by or even better use my trolling motor. I have a 218DLV as well.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:31 AM
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First thing I consider when going past a boat , is weather or not my wake will cause it to capsize or roll it enough to cause damage. Then adjust my speed accordingly.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:45 AM
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Smile Rules of the Road and Courtesy

As the overtaking vessel you are designated as the burdened vessel. It is your responsibility for passing the fishing vessel as safety as possible. Passing safely as possible means you must maneuver in such a manner as to disturb the fishing vessel as little as possible. Additionally, as the overtaking and burdened vessel, you possess total responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of the vessel and its occupants which you are passing. At least in theory and, I believe in practice, should your wake swamp the fishing vessel or cause an occupant of the vessel to fall and become injured you will be liable.

Therefore, you must do whatever is required to pass safely. You can change course, reduce speed, stop and wait, whatever. Slowing down in and of itself does not reliveve of your burden of liability. You stated that you throw a larger wake at reduced speed; if that is the case and your wake causes damages or injury to the fishing vessel or its occupants you are just as liable. To this end, be mindful as an overtakeing vessel per the rule of the road you are responsible for the safety of the vessels you pass and their occupants.

The above statements are made from the perspective of the Rule of the Road or Colregs. From a courtesy perspective, simpley operate your boat in a manner you would want to be treated by others passing you. Additionally, the fisherman has a right to fish, but that does not provide them with the right to block the channel. Two wrongs do not make a right, but if you can safely pass at speed and not throw a wake which is of danger to the fishing vessel you can do so , but always be aware the responsibility of safe passage is your's.

I hope this helps and is not clear as mud. Again, disturbe the fisherman as little as possible, know your are the responsible (liable) party and proceed in a safe manner as you would want others to treat you.

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Old 02-08-2019, 05:46 AM
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If they are in the channel dont slow down, give them as much room as you can . Or if you had a bad day pretend like you are doing them a favor and slow down to the speed that causes the most wake and go close by while waving and asking if they caught anything.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:54 AM
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Past them at speed and give them widest berth as possible, if you do slowdown make sure there isn't a boat behind you!!!
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:58 AM
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I appreciate the replies. I suppose I will pass at higher speed which causes little wake. I cannot be concerned about spooking the fish !

I have been fishing in small creeks and have had airboats blast past me. No wake but quite an annoying sound. Nt saying airboats have no place just not my cup of tea.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:03 AM
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We're talking about a 21' skiff here, and not a flybridge cruiser with a 4' draft, right? I have to think on plane you are throwing a negligible wake from that boat, and if the channel is 75-100 yds, worst case you might be 100+ feet away from them. I would not slow down in that situation and I doubt most others do.

You are certainly not going to capsize someone with that wake, unless maybe they are fishing while standing on a paddleboard.

Look at it this way - do it a few times, and look over, and see if they are yelling or throwing things - if so, reevaluate.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:06 AM
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Depends on the situation, but personally I stay on plane and give them as much room as possible. In busy channels, only the googans get mad, everyone else knows the implications and risks.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Makomasher13 View Post
... pretend like you are doing them a favor and slow down to the speed that causes the most wake and go close by while waving and asking if they caught anything.
That is what I see most often and I am usually that slower boater being passed. I call it the "courtesy slowdown" when some moron slows to the perfect plow and throws as as big a wake possible.
I prefer they would simply stay up on top and go.
Waving them on does not seem to make it better.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Bison View Post
As the overtaking vessel you are designated as the burdened vessel.
There are many encounters the OP is referring to that are not overtaking situations.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:20 AM
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If I'm running in a marked channel I do not slow down but will give them as much room as I reasonably can. If it's a busy day and someone decides to fish in or on the edge of the channel that's their pergotive but I'm not going to slow down for them. Outside of a marked channel I will slow down for people fishing or stopped in narrow waterways depending on the situation.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:14 AM
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On a busy Saturday, you'd be slowing down every 100 yards, at least here in NE Florida. I'm operating a 18' flats skiff and will almost always continue on a plane past someone fishing, unless it is in tight quarters. I ask myself what I would reasonably expect another boat to do if I was fishing in their boat. If I'm fishing in a small creek and someone wants to pass me, it generally doesn't matter to me if they are on plane or going slow- I'm leaving anyway. If I am fishing in the channel or a large, well known creek, go by me on plane as wide as you safely can.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by briclark904 View Post
If I'm fishing in a small creek and someone wants to pass me, it generally doesn't matter to me if they are on plane or going slow- I'm leaving anyway.
Yep, no need to stay any longer
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:04 AM
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Also, if staying on a plane, if you approach the boat on the same side as the fishing/anchored boat, then bend a gentle curve steering well clear of them, you'll leave them with the wake from the inside of your curve/turn. Often, this dramatically reduces the size of the wake sent toward the fishing boat.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:09 AM
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If you are DEA, ICE, or DHS, you go out of your way to buzz that fishing boat as closely and at as high a speed as possible, multiple times if necessary, ideally in a formation with 3 or 4 "buddy" boats, until you are sure you have sufficiently swamped that poor SOB.

If you are anyone else, use common courtesy and the rules of navigation.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by drjay9051 View Post
Fairly new to boating/fishing.

I run a Carolina 218DLV.

What is the proper protocol when passing another boat in which the occupants are fishing?

Say the channel/canal is 75-100 yards wide? i have up to this point been slowing to a no wake speed till I pass but with multiple boats it becomes very tedious to slow down, speed up...

It has been suggested that I just keep moving since at a higher speed my wake is negligible as opposed to going 10 kts and leaving a big wake.

Just seems like the "right " thing is to motor past as slow as possible.

Anybody have thoughts on proper protocol in this situation?

FWIW: I have had boats blast past me when i am fishing and it does not seem all that bad if they keep up speed but I don't want to piss off other boaters.

Thanks
Depends

You need to know your wake and that you are responsible for injury or property damage as a result of your wake

If its a no wake or slow wake zone, obviously you should be no wake or go slow

I did 3,000 miles on the ICW from the south to the north. I established radio contact for almost every single pass and if I could not I would use horn blasts and do a slow pass

Some boats would say no need to slow down keep on going others would ask for a slow bell. I would slow by default to no wake or minimal wake. Again, you need to know your own wake because there is a difference passing a boat within feet and hundreds of feet and how your wake might impact said boat or boats at docks or docks. There were plenty of times that there was enough distance between that I would keep at cruising speed and by the time my wake hit the other boat/dock/boat at dock it was nothing or very minimal. I throw a huge wake at anything between my cruising speed and no wake speed so slowing down, if not to no wake, causes more of a wake.

I would slow when in doubt and for any small boats for certain (i.e. skiffs, SUPs, kayaks, etc) and any time I had a minimal wake when passing a larger boat, I would look back to see what effects it had and that everyone was OK. I will admit there were a few times where a small boat was up in some bushes/treeline and I could not see them until last second and it was too late. I would keep an eye to make sure they were OK. Typically was a green or color boat/clothing that blended in with surroundings.

I will say that down south almost everyone was courteous and responded via VHF and we discussed the pass. Up north, no one gives two shits, rarely responds via radio, and they have no problem blasting by you with a huge wake, feet from your boat, in a no wake zone lol

I passed hundreds of boats on my 3,000 mile journey, probably 200+ ships, tugs, barges in very close quarters, and throttled down and back up hundreds of times. I can't see a simple boat outing being that bad if you have to slow down a handful of times as I did it for three weeks and thousands of miles, hundreds of times. Having AIS was a HUGE benefit down south. Up North not so much as a lot of rec boats dont have transmitters.

So in summary, you need to know your wake, how it can impact boats, docks, boats at docks, etc, and be aware of your surroundings, communicate with other vessels, and make good decisions.

PS. I do have to say if someone is anchored and fishing in a navigational channel and its not a no-wake zone, they should be expecting to be waked and should make proper preparations or pick a different spot. I have seen idiots anchor and block channels so many times a loud horn/PA/hailer is a nice way to tell them to get out of the way and stay out of the way. Some of my favorites are boats tying up to a bridge with a small horizontal clearance and strong current, and anchoring in front of a channel to enter/exit a marina where there are shallows and one must stay in the channel.

Last edited by mystery; 02-08-2019 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Bison View Post
As the overtaking vessel you are designated as the burdened vessel. It is your responsibility for passing the fishing vessel as safety as possible. Passing safely as possible means you must maneuver in such a manner as to disturb the fishing vessel as little as possible. Additionally, as the overtaking and burdened vessel, you possess total responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of the vessel and its occupants which you are passing. At least in theory and, I believe in practice, should your wake swamp the fishing vessel or cause an occupant of the vessel to fall and become injured you will be liable.

Therefore, you must do whatever is required to pass safely. You can change course, reduce speed, stop and wait, whatever. Slowing down in and of itself does not reliveve of your burden of liability. You stated that you throw a larger wake at reduced speed; if that is the case and your wake causes damages or injury to the fishing vessel or its occupants you are just as liable. To this end, be mindful as an overtakeing vessel per the rule of the road you are responsible for the safety of the vessels you pass and their occupants.

The above statements are made from the perspective of the Rule of the Road or Colregs. From a courtesy perspective, simpley operate your boat in a manner you would want to be treated by others passing you. Additionally, the fisherman has a right to fish, but that does not provide them with the right to block the channel. Two wrongs do not make a right, but if you can safely pass at speed and not throw a wake which is of danger to the fishing vessel you can do so , but always be aware the responsibility of safe passage is your's.

I hope this helps and is not clear as mud. Again, disturbe the fisherman as little as possible, know your are the responsible (liable) party and proceed in a safe manner as you would want others to treat you.
It's not completely as cut and dried as some would believe though. If a captain operates a boat that isn't suitable for the conditions, it's not on the overtaking vessel. They have an obligation as well. If I'm at the mouth of a river and it gets really nasty there, you'll see a bunch of boats plowing through there at 10mph, staying deliberately off plane. I'd do the same. If some idiot in a 12 foot skiff decides to drift fish by the mouth, there's only so much we can do. If this case, I wasn't going to risk swamping my boat because of that moron.

In another case, a guy was fishing just past the end of a long no-wake area, so lots of people get on plane exactly where he was fishing. Not the best spot to anchor, but it was easy enough for me to stay at no-wake speeds for another minute or so until I was past him.
Slowing down to 12mph, then idle speed, and then starting up again wastes a ton of fuel and creates more of a mess than just blowing by at speed, on plane. In that case, there's no reason to slow down.

Hope that makes sense.
I found that if you just try to not be a jerk, it goes a long way.

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Old 02-08-2019, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by drjay9051 View Post
Fairly new to boating/fishing.

I run a Carolina 218DLV.

What is the proper protocol when passing another boat in which the occupants are fishing?

Say the channel/canal is 75-100 yards wide? i have up to this point been slowing to a no wake speed till I pass but with multiple boats it becomes very tedious to slow down, speed up...

It has been suggested that I just keep moving since at a higher speed my wake is negligible as opposed to going 10 kts and leaving a big wake.

Just seems like the "right " thing is to motor past as slow as possible.

Anybody have thoughts on proper protocol in this situation?

FWIW: I have had boats blast past me when i am fishing and it does not seem all that bad if they keep up speed but I don't want to piss off other boaters.

Thanks
To me it depends on what kind of boat I'm passing. If it's a kayak, canoe, overloaded boat, Jon boat, or something like that you HAVE to slow down or risk swamping them. You should get a ticket if you blow by boats like this and don't pay attention to what you're doing. Just because they are out there and shouldn't be, It's still your responsibility not to swamp them. If you pass people sitting in lawn chairs on the beach and throw a big wake at them, causing them to flip over and get hurt, that's your responsibility too. I've seen that happen by the way.
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