By: Captain Bill Jennings
We have all been frustrated by inexperienced boaters who try to save six seconds in a ‘no wake’ zone by blatantly pushing past your boat.
Here is some good news. This is "Whack a Wake Week" and you can now do something to discourage these incompetent boaters.
To be fair, the boaters who make large wakes simply do not know the difference between operating as a displacement hull and operating as a planing hull. They just don’t know that a slight push on their throttle to gain a mile or two an hour will cause their boat to make the largest wake it can produce. But here's a plan that you can use to help stop wake ignorance when you spot it. I encourage every good boater to adopt this simple procedure for one week, to help improve safety, reduce wake shoreline damage and feel better through your efforts.
Here is the plan: When you spot a boater in a 'no wake zone' (9 km/h or within 98 feet of the shoreline.) who is driving with his bow slightly raised and causing a visible wake, give two brief soundings on your boat horn. This will get the attention of the offending driver as well as the passengers. As soon as they look toward your boat, have one of your passengers stand up and with one arm & hand, point to the water behind the wake maker’s boat. At the same time, with the other arm & hand give a thumbs down motion.
Most drivers will react by looking behind their boat and then pulling the throttle back. Of course, some wake makers will quickly look away and ignore your gesture, but even these drivers will begin to get the idea when we all give him the same signal.
This procedure may seem overly simple, but if everyone who reads this plan were to follow it, we would quickly separate the good boaters from the bad, and effectively reduce wake offenses. This would make everyone happy -- shoreline property owners would start loving boats again and marine police would have more time to eat their donuts.