As a recreational boater you should advise your crew and passengers that everyone is responsible for assisting in those duties at all times. Although it is the skipper"s responsibility, they should also be aware of and be looking out for changes in weather, other boats in the vicinity, dangerous and/or changing water conditions and the continued stability of the boat.
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Control your waste
Pollution laws prohibit throwing garbage into the water. Carry bags aboard and dispose of waste and garbage properly. If you see refuse floating in the water, take the time to pick it up and dispose of it upon returning to shore. Many bodies of water have no-discharge regulations in effect. Check with state/local authorities regarding specific pollution regulations in effect in the area where you plan to boat.
Controlling boat noise
Part of being a courteous boater includes controlling your boat"s noise. All motorboats should be equipped with an efficient muffler, underwater exhaust or other device that adequately muffles or suppresses the engine"s exhaust. No motorboat should be allowed to produce excessive or unusual noise, and no motor should be equipped with any cutout.
Controlling boat speed
All boaters should use caution and operate within the posted speed limits. You should also be aware that under certain conditions, including heavy traffic, low visibility or extreme weather, you must operate at a safe speed according to the conditions.Your wake may cause personal injury or damage.
Reckless or negligent operation
It is the responsibility of the operator to refrain from careless, reckless, or negligent operations on the water. Failure to operate a boat in a safe manner could endanger the lives or property of other persons. Again, be courteous and exercise caution.
Use common sense. If it doesn’t make sense to do something on land, it probably doesn’t make sense to do it on the water. Would you ride on the hood or hang out of the window of a moving car? Of course not, that wouldn’t be safe. So don’t allow passengers to ride or sit on the bow, stern or sides of the boat while underway.
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State and local regulations determine how close to shore, a swimming area or other vessels you can operate. You should be aware of, and obey, speed limits and no-wake zones. Check state/local laws for these regulations prior to boating on an unfamiliar body of water.