Proper boating etiquette on Lake Havasu means taking care of the environment, respecting the peace and comfort of others, operating safely, and obeying the law. If you are new to boating, you might inadvertently blunder into doing something rude, unsafe, even illegal or damaging to our special ecosystem. Here are some of the most important boating etiquette customs for Lake Havasu.
Try to be as time-efficient as possible when launching from a ramp or fueling up. There may be others waiting. Before getting in line to use the ramp, make sure your boat is ready to go. Have gear loaded so you can back up, float your boat off your trailer and get out of the way. Similarly, don’t approach the fuel dock until you are ready. Consider unscrewing the opening to your fuel tank before you tie up. Have your payment out so you can fuel up, pay and go. Don’t leave your boat blocking access to fuel while you shop for groceries or use the facilities. It should go without saying that you should never cut the line at a ramp or for the fuel dock.
Many congested areas on Lake Havasu are designated no wake zones. You may also find signs warning about your wake in areas that are ecologically sensitive. You will need to slow in these areas, but these are not the only places to watch your wake. If you see a boat at anchor, slow trolling for fish, or surrounded by swimmers or small personal craft, show courtesy and slow down. Beyond disturbing the peace of others, you may wreck their fishing or put them in physical danger from unexpected high waves.
When passing other vessels, it also shows good boating etiquette not to race by at high speed and leave them rocking. If it isn’t possible to pass without creating a big wake, you are better off slowing down until space opens up and you can give them a wide berth. If you are the slower vessel being overtaken, it is both courteous and safer to slow down even further to make it easier for the passing vessel to get by you quickly with minimal wake.
Sounds carry farther over the water. Your late night loud music or early morning generator crank up at one end of a cove can easily disturb the peace of boaters at the other end of a cove. When anchoring for a quick swim or an overnight stay, give others there before you plenty of space and privacy. Keep the splashing and shouting to a minimum. If you are out for raucous fun, consider a destination with like-minded people. Don’t turn a quiet cove of bird watchers into party central.
Don’t trash the waters and shorelines of Lake Havasu. Never toss anything overboard, where it could foul our ecosystem or the engines and props of other boaters. Don’t leave trash around your campsite or beach picnic. If you brought it here, take it out of here is an important part of boating etiquette on Lake Havasu.
If you see a boater struggling to tie up, set an anchor, or crank an engine, it is a nice gesture to offer help. Many boaters also monitor VHF channel 16, which is used for distress calls. Never use channel 16 for long conversations with other boaters or let children play on the radio. A false distress call is against the law on Lake Havasu.
We all come to Lake Havasu to have a good time. With a little common sense, common courtesy, and knowledge of boating etiquette, we can all enjoy the lake.