It is a lovely Saturday evening in peaceful Pulpit Harbor. There are a few folks out for a row, two kayaks are paddling nearby, and a trim cutter has dropped her hook to windward of us. Although there is 100% overcast, the sun has created enough illumination to cast a golden sheen on the calm water, with just a hint of ripple from the dying breeze.
And then there is this “Picnic” boat blasting out of the harbor, throwing a substantial enough wake to roll Wind Horse, and really get our smaller neighbors going. This is exactly the type of behavior sailors expect from powerboat drivers.
Of course there are a few other things under the heading of bad manners, or perhaps lack of knowledge, that get more polite mariners exercised. Now, we know that no SetSail visitor would fit into this category. But you may know someone who does, so in an effort to educate the lower classes of yachting, we offer the following suggestions.
- Watch your wake. And go slow or at minimum wake speed around other yachts that may be rolled by said wake.
- In a crossing situation with another yacht, back off the throttles, slow down for a few seconds, and let the right of way vessel pass ahead, so as not to throw your wake at his bow. The powerboat driver who speeds up to cross ahead, blasting the stand-on vessel with his wake, is both discourteous and taking a chance of being holed if distances are misjudged.
- When anchoring, give the other yachts room to swing, and do not anchor directly upwind of another vessel, if at all possible. Keep in mind that vessels react differently to the breeze and current, and in light conditions often are facing different directions.
- If you are going to run your genset at all hours, then isolate yourself from the quieter inhabitants of the anchorage. While your generator may be quiet on the boat, it most assuredly will be noisy to the other inhabitants who are close by.
- Finally, know the rules of the road.
We invite comments on this subject from both sides of the aisle.