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Old 09-23-2009, 10:41 AM   #1
VtSteve
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Default Positive Boaters Chime in

In the interest of clearing the air, and trying to develop some camaraderie amongst boaters of all kinds, both on the water and on this forum.

When debating strong opinions in general, many people can lose their cool, or say things that stray from the subject, and have no bearing on any positive outcome. I confess, I've probably done that more times than I would have liked to. Things have cooled down somewhat, but we still have positive and valuable insights on the forum once distilled. I would like to personally than the likes of Noregrets, OCDACTIVE, DaveR, Lakepilot and many others for their positive contributions.

In addition, after going back to re-read older, and many subsequent posts by Acrespersecond, Bear Islander and others, gave me far more insight and cause for reflection. It's only after you go back for further review that you can fully appreciate the points made, and the statements evaluated. Always hard to do when a confrontational battle erupts.

What I've discovered is something I knew awhile back, but the thought got lost in a battle of posts, mostly stirred by a few members that wanted the pot stirred. When you look back through the threads, and jot down notes, you'll find something amazing. Mostly, the posters on each side of this contentious issue agree on the quality of life and respect issues. Two main areas that I was brought up to abide by.

I certainly appreciate that everyone, including myself, have the right to safely enjoy all aspects of the lake, providing I am respectful of everyone's right to the same. So here are some of my own boating rules that I've lived by my entire adult life, with given examples.

1) I would never blow by a fisherman, kayak, canoe, or anyone, at any higher speed close by, 150' or otherwise. I don't appreciate being rocked by waves that close, and I don't do it to others either.

2) If my boat produces a large wake, I would know full well what happens if my boat is 150' from a small boat at rest, or just headway speed.

3) I go out of my way to go around, or give way, that which I would upset by continuing on, legal or not.

4) I am always aware of my wake (which really isn't that large), whenever I'm on a waterway that puts me closer to lakefront homes and docks. I've lived on the water, and watched our boats rock from side to side after boats plowed offshore creating large wakes.

5. If I had a loud exhaust (I do not), I'd be pretty sensitive about how I went about my boating. I'd be so sensitive that if I had no way of quieting it, I'd probably never go out early morning or at night. I appreciate peace and quiet as much as anyone else. During waking hours on weekends, less sensitive. Be respectful of everyone's right to reasonable activities.

6. I haven't fished much in years, although I do have a license this year. I know enough not to troll across a main channel impeding boat traffic. This is something that can be unavoidable in early spring fishing, but there is less recreational traffic at that time of year anyway. Recognize that common sense goes a long way.

7. I also recognize that kayakers and canoeists have special situations to deal with out on the open water. They both tip due to their narrow width, and they are both very low to the water. Hence, I realize that on busy weekends, I run the risk of not being visible to larger craft traveling the lake. Common sense tells me that many boaters tend to slow down when they see me in a kayak or canoe, which makes matters worse because their wakes are larger. Therefore, being a very cautious person, when in such a craft, I stick to shoreline routes where powerboats are not a factor in my journeys.

8. Whenever I am on any body of water, I realize that I appreciate clean water. I do not allow trash of any kind to be thrown overboard, or on land anywhere. I also have a PP, use it

9. I know for certain that when I'm anchored, I don;t want to listen to your 2,000 watt stereo blaring whatever 300 yards into my ears. Respect that this is not a private party, it's a public resource. If you acted like a rowdy drunk in a public park, you'd be arrested and/or ejected. Same situation for the lake.

10. Always pay attention. The accident that happens is usually the one you didn't see coming. There are no highway markers or stop lights, boat traffic comes from all directions in a 360 degree area. Look far ahead to see a wider view angle, and occasionally, peak to the sides or behind to see if anything's going on there.

11. Everyone likes the passive resultfulness of seeing the stars at night by boat, or just moon gazing on a calm night. It's an incredible feeling for sure. You MUST have your lights on, and preferably not be IN THE MIDDLE of the lake while gazing. If you turn off your lights, you may very well be run over.

12. Try to help people. Whether at the dock, anchoring, at the boat launch. Not everyone has the natural ability nor the experience to be perfect, nor has anyone ever succeeded in being perfect. The more people you give assist or training to, quite possibly the more pleasurable your own boating life will be.

13. Just be careful out there, and respect all other boaters. If every boater put themselves into the other boater's shoes, (so to speak), perhaps courtesy would reign supreme. Maybe not, but I find that courtesy and respect can be contagious. Maybe not everyone will catch it, but these are good things to do anyway.

Lastly, I was hoping (naively I admit), that previous threads would trend towards a positive focus on solving issues. Boaters everywhere can, and have been, very effective in assisting LEO's and other organizations, as well as other boaters. If there is an issue impacting people in one particular area, all boaters can join to try and solve the problem. Perhaps we can eventually head in this direction. I truly hope so.

These are my own personal rules for trying to be a good boating citizen. The examples are for examples only, not to get into nitpick debates about technical matters.

Without resorting to polls, I would venture a guess that at least 98% of those that engaged in debates on this thread section and others, are at least as courteous as that, and probably more so. I also think that courtesy and respect is what unites the majority of boaters, regardless of any law or divisive issue. Some on this subject have been better than myself at focusing on this than myself, regrettably.

Thanks you to those that contributed posts that got me back on track.
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The Following 19 Users Say Thank You to VtSteve For This Useful Post:
Blue Thunder (09-25-2009), boat_guy64 (09-23-2009), BroadHopper (09-23-2009), chmeeee (09-24-2009), DoTheMath (09-23-2009), JDeere (09-23-2009), LIforrelaxin (09-23-2009), malibu (09-25-2009), Newbiesaukee (09-23-2009), NoRegrets (09-23-2009), OCDACTIVE (09-23-2009), Orion (09-23-2009), Pontoon Goon (09-24-2009), SAUGUS BOATER (09-24-2009), SIKSUKR (09-24-2009), SteveA (09-23-2009), VitaBene (09-24-2009), White Rook (09-23-2009), Wolfeboro_Baja (09-25-2009)
Old 09-23-2009, 01:51 PM   #2
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I don't think hitting the "thanks" button is enough.

I want to personally Thank you for the above post. It took a lot of time and thought to come up with such a comprehensive list.

I also would agree that 99% of all people on here, even those stirring, would agree with your list of rules.

If we could only get the 1% of the Capt B's to adhere to it, we wouldn't have a need to debate such issues..

Thanks again!!!!!
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by VtSteve View Post
7. I also recognize that kayakers and canoeists have special situations to deal with out on the open water. They both tip due to their narrow width, and they are both very low to the water. Hence, I realize that on busy weekends, I run the risk of not being visible to larger craft traveling the lake. Common sense tells me that many boaters tend to slow down when they see me in a kayak or canoe, which makes matters worse because their wakes are larger. Therefore, being a very cautious person, when in such a craft, I stick to shoreline routes where powerboats are not a factor in my journeys.
Generally like your post, but am curious about what you mean here. It seems you say kayaks (which is my main water transportation) should not venture out where the motorboats are (not sure, maybe you mean only on weekends?).

I'm getting to the point where I want some experience on the big lake. It seems as if you believe I should stay on shoreline routes. Sometimes yes, but sometimes I like being out on the water. Do you mean that because there are a lot of motorboats, they should be able to scare away the kayaks/canoes?

I also ride my bike sometimes, and often feel motorists feel I should stay on the sidewalks... which I disagree with.

I'm thinking "tolerance" here, not "kayakers putting boaters in their place".
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Shedwannabe View Post
Generally like your post, but am curious about what you mean here. It seems you say kayaks (which is my main water transportation) should not venture out where the motorboats are (not sure, maybe you mean only on weekends?).

I'm getting to the point where I want some experience on the big lake. It seems as if you believe I should stay on shoreline routes. Sometimes yes, but sometimes I like being out on the water. Do you mean that because there are a lot of motorboats, they should be able to scare away the kayaks/canoes?

I also ride my bike sometimes, and often feel motorists feel I should stay on the sidewalks... which I disagree with.

I'm thinking "tolerance" here, not "kayakers putting boaters in their place".

I won't speak for Steve, but I am pretty sure he is speaking of a discussion we had in the past. Where we were saying it is perfectly fine if you want to venture out into big water however there are areas of the lake where powerboats can only go, where kayakers and canoes can go anywhere.

For example heading from Little Bear island to Long Island Bridge, or if you venture up into the bays heading towards Suissvale and Greens Basin. In those areas there is a very wide berth that kayakers and non-motor boats can travel, where powerboats have to stay in the channel.

It is common courtosey for a kayaker to stay outside the channel so that all powerboats do not have to slow to headway speed, because it isn't like they can go around for they are in a channel.

Some kayakers whether on purpose to make a point or just don't know better find themselves on a busy weekend smack dab in the middle of the channels causing back ups for a dozen boats long which is a saftey issue in itself because this is an area that most people are going on plane speed.

Just a little common courtosey and respect both ways.

Also if you are in big water PLEASE make sure your kayak is not blue with blue life jackets! (no kidding 4th of July weekend, middle of the broads in a chop 2 kayakers doing just that!)

so commen sense as well.
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:22 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=VtSteve;107224].


Therefore, being a very cautious person, when in such a craft, I stick to shoreline routes where powerboats are not a factor in my journeys.



This is what I call common sense.
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by OCDACTIVE View Post
... there are areas of the lake where powerboats can only go, where kayakers and canoes can go anywhere.

It is common courtosey for a kayaker to stay outside the channel so that all powerboats do not have to slow to headway speed, because it isn't like they can go around for they are in a channel.
This makes sense. Thank you for explaining.

Still not sure what to do if I am going ACROSS the lake, as it seems I would need to cross a channel to do so, but i am talking about an infrequent urge, so I think it would be rare. Other kayakers might like going across more often, and, without meaning disrespect, may need to cross a channel to get to the other side.

Why did the kayaker cross the powerboat channel?
To get to the other side......
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:24 PM   #7
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This makes sense. Thank you for explaining.

Still not sure what to do if I am going ACROSS the lake, as it seems I would need to cross a channel to do so, but i am talking about an infrequent urge, so I think it would be rare. Other kayakers might like going across more often, and, without meaning disrespect, may need to cross a channel to get to the other side.

Why did the kayaker cross the powerboat channel?
To get to the other side......

I would agree.. I also Kayak.. However there are only a few places that by going across would you have to cause a powerboat to come off plane. Most everywhere I know of a powerboat would have plenty of room to go around (well beyond 150 ft). These channels I mention, you technically don't have to cut across. Paddle down a couple hundred yards and cross there. Not a big deal.

Now on the weekends an entirely different ballgame, due to congestion. But in those situations I wouldn't be caught dead in the middle of a high traffic channel in a kayak. I don't like being there in a powerboat. Too many uneducated boaters.

If you want to cross the lake during the week or even a Sunday, I bet you would not make one boat have to change course.

Its just a matter understanding the lake. Having crossed my bay many many times on a kayak there is one "channel" or an area that the powerboats normally travel. I see where the easiest place to cross is, wait then go.

As an example: do you remember when Eagle Island was Not a no wake zone? Can you imagine paddleing into there on the weekend? Well on a lesser scale, I see that all the time.. Absolutely nuts when you can easily hug the island on either side right???
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:28 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=pm203;107264]
Quote:
Originally Posted by VtSteve View Post
.


Therefore, being a very cautious person, when in such a craft, I stick to shoreline routes where powerboats are not a factor in my journeys.



This is what I call common sense.

Me too. Plus, for me, crossing open water in my canoe is pretty darn dull compared to the exploration of shallow shoreline areas I cannot get to with my power boat.
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:35 PM   #9
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Me too. Plus, for me, crossing open water in my canoe is pretty darn dull compared to the exploration of shallow shoreline areas I cannot get to with my power boat.
That is why I love to kayak!
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:09 AM   #10
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That is why I love to kayak!
I agree though I have to admit to only getting out a few times a year in it.

My son and I have our former scout troop here next weekend for our annual boating (motorboating , sailing, canoeing merit badges) trip so I will get out some then.

Getting that close to shore, while being respectful of others privacy, is awesome. Whether walking the ice, snowmobile or canoe, the shoreline is fantastic. I love being able to see things I only see from 100s of feet away in the boat.
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:34 AM   #11
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If I read between the lines, the poster is saying respect for others on the water goes a long way. I was taught that as well as observing all right of way laws & policy, and Common sense goes a long way. Been boating on various bodies of water since birth.

I see too many posts of ranting & raging about this & that nonsense.
As the old phrase goes: get a life.
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:12 PM   #12
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I am humbled by the responses and thank you's. I figured this thread would just linger out there and be lost.

You're right no-engine, respect and common sense is pretty much the summation.

I'll only address Shedwannabe's question concerning my opinion of open-water kayaking, because I think it's closest to my view as well as what if someone wants to be in open water in small craft.

Shedwannabe, no, I don't think you should be scared away and unable to go anywhere in your primary means of transportation on the water. There are far too many variables to address for those situations, which is why I didn't expand upon my views.

But basically, in any small craft, but particularly with paddle-powered crafts like kayaks and canoes, special precautions must always be taken everywhere. Especially true in the cold or very rough water, boat traffic not withstanding. I'll leave the common sense and respect up to people out on the water, which is about all we've ever been able to do.

Thanks all, some good thoughts here. Kind of the Golden Rule on the water.
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