After a long day out on the water, we all know the feeling of being tired, weary and desperate for a glass of Merlot or Johnny Walker. It’s at times like these when arriving back at the marina, tensions between boating neighbors can easily spark into full blown, winch-handle waving, conflict — not a pretty sight, and easily avoided by sticking to a few simple rules of marina etiquette. Here are a few suggestions that may go a long way to making our marina a true community.

Help others and accept help. When neighbors offer to catch lines or fend off, it can sometimes feel like interference, but make it work to your advantage, having extra hands is never a bad thing. Remember to keep your instructions and intentions clear to any helpers and don’t forget to repay the favor.

Think about your speed. When you’re moored up in the marina, cooking your evening meal below deck, the last thing you want is some inconsiderate boater roaring past, creating a wake that spills your Bolognese across the cabin floor. So don’t be that person. Speaking of speed, when entering and leaving the marina, the speed limit easy to remember; no wake!

Don’t be the noisy neighbor. Marinas can be noisy places without our unnecessary contributions, so anything you can do to limit noise is going to be appreciated. For example:

  • Don’t leave your engines running or radio cackling away while you’re out to dinner.
  • Keep docls and fingers clear of your stuff. Crab pots, extra fenders and line, dinghies, BBQs and such should be on your boat.
  • Make sure you tie all of your halyards tightly to avoid that incessant clanging of halyards on the mast.
  • If you’re planning a party aboard, consider anchoring in the bay, or make arrangements with the harbormaster to locate on the visitor dock.
  • We know you’re busy, you worked all week at the office, and it’s your chance to get some of that unfinished sanding, drilling, and power washing done. Guess what? Your neighbor has been busy all week too, and he or she was looking forward to a leisurely Sunday morning having coffee and muffins as the waves lapped against the hull. Wouldn’t it be great not to have to hear a power-washer at 7:30 Sunday morning? On the other hand, wouldn’t it be terrific if you could get your work done and not hear complaints from your seemingly over-sensitive neighbors? 
  • Marinas seem to come with dogs. There’s nothing wrong with dogs. It’s the ‘in denial’ dog owner with whom there may be a bone to pick. Who doesn’t know the few simple rules about dog ownership? Scoop up the poo, keep the dog on a leash- under your control, don’t leave your dog unattended on deck, on the dock or anywhere else. And please keep the barking to a minimum, especially in the early morning and evening hours.

Heeding these few simple rules can be the difference between a ‘Have a great day!” and “pistols at dawn.” Now might be a good time to review the marina rules and regs before the season gets fully underway. It’s a small price to pay for a stress-free, happy life on the water!