Put the "ing" in your Boating

Call: 519-538-2887

Call: 1-519-538-2887

You are responsible for your wake and any damage it causes! It could dump someone out of his boat, cause someone to fall down the companionway stairs, swamp a bowrider, damage a boat at a dock on the shoreline or harm the environment by eroding the shoreline and much more. When your wake causes damage, it could result in very serious consequences. You are responsible and could be facing fines and lawsuits. Learn how to avoid wake damage.

A Wake is the waves generated in the water by a moving boat. Depending on the size of your boat, the wake you throw can be cavernous and, when it hits the shore, can have the effect of a series of small tidal waves.

 Wake zones are posted for two reasons:

  1. First, constant wakes can erode a shoreline and cause damage to any boats and docks along that shoreline.

  2. Secondly, big wakes can not only be very uncomfortable but very dangerous for oncoming boat traffic--especially if they are smaller than you.

The key is to SLOW DOWN all the way.

Many boaters figure that if they slow down slightly from their planing speed that they are doing the right thing. But, are they? In reality, when you drop just off of plane, you’re drawing a much larger wake than when you were on top. The typical rpm’s on plane is anywhere from 2800 to 4000 rpm where the boat is riding on top of the water. The typical rpm’s that people mistakenly slow down to, is what I call bulldozer speed where you are drawing a huge tidal wave. This rpm varies between 1800 and 2500. For a "no wake" zone, you should be running between 700 and 1500 rpm where the boat is in displacement mode, totally in the water and where the wake is no more than 6" high.

There are many wake crossing tips covered in First Mate 101 . If you are, or have had, challenges with wakes, I highly recommend this section of First Mate 101. And, of course, there are 100’s of other tips on how the Captain and First Mate can work together as a team to enjoy boating like pros.

For a complete e-Lesson on Conquering Wakes, see the Conquering Wakes e-Lesson.

A wake is the wave
behind a moving boat.
It is nothing to be afraid of
but you have to take note.

Whether you are driving a yacht
or paddling a canoe
There are many tips and tricks
in this e-Lesson to help you.

Take appropriate defensive action
to conquer the monstrous wake;
Otherwise, you'll be defeated and tossed
Like a helpless cork in the lake.

Always look behind your boat and check your wake. It is as important as looking forward to make sure you have a clear path. A variation on the old golden rule of "do unto others, as you would have them do unto you", is to "leave a wake behind your boat, that you would want other boats to leave for you."

Doug and Brenda Dawson 050913

See also:

Big Wakes Wreck Holidays

Conquering Wakes

Comments (5)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I just started a blog dedicated to publishing pictures of boaters driving their boats in a foolish way. Primarly too fast in a reletivly narrow waterway called Big Creek. I borrowed your article, with a link to you for the blog.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

At Southport Marina, Southport, NC, a posted "no wake zone" is virtually ignored by vessels passing in the ICW. Today and a month ago when we were overnighting here we wondered why there is no enforcement. A cursory internet search brought up...

At Southport Marina, Southport, NC, a posted "no wake zone" is virtually ignored by vessels passing in the ICW. Today and a month ago when we were overnighting here we wondered why there is no enforcement. A cursory internet search brought up your website...any recommendations for reporting this situation to an enforcement agency? Thanks.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

There are still many inconsiderate boaters who ignore posted "no wake zone" areas and others who still need to learn the damage and danger of their wake on other boats, people, docks and shorelines. More boaters need to be educated.<br /><br...

There are still many inconsiderate boaters who ignore posted "no wake zone" areas and others who still need to learn the damage and danger of their wake on other boats, people, docks and shorelines. More boaters need to be educated.<br /><br />Coast Guard can enforce the speed limit so it would probably be best to report the offenders to the Coast Guard. If your particular area isn't covered by them, they will know who to contact.<br /><br />I would suggest you tie with long lines and hang more fenders in areas where this occurs.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

NO wake is a law not just a courtesy I AM FED UP WITH it I have been fishing at Great Kills Harbor Staten Island New York I have almost been flipped over several times.<br /> I am going to make it a point to report anyone causing a wake to the...

NO wake is a law not just a courtesy I AM FED UP WITH it I have been fishing at Great Kills Harbor Staten Island New York I have almost been flipped over several times.<br /> I am going to make it a point to report anyone causing a wake to the 311, any one having this same problem don't hesitate to report them take a picture and get all the information off the boat and give it to the 311 operator so that they may do a follow-up may be even get the Coast Guard to patrol your area together we can make it safe

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I think a lot of us forget that in transitioning from planing to "no wake" we draw one heck of a big lump behind us for a while. This residual swell that dissipates slowly sometimes follows the boat into the "no wake" zone even though we a idling...

I think a lot of us forget that in transitioning from planing to "no wake" we draw one heck of a big lump behind us for a while. This residual swell that dissipates slowly sometimes follows the boat into the "no wake" zone even though we a idling as we enter. It's important to remember this as we can den obeying the letter of the law but forget the intent!

Read More
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
0 Characters
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location

FREE Special Report:
7 Steps To Buying The Right Boat


My Cart

The cart is empty