It’s nearing the end of summer cruising season for recreational boaters, who are looking to fit in one more trip away from home. If you’re member of BoatUS, a marina may even give you a discount on fuel, transient dockage or repair work, but most importantly, transient boaters should recognize that they have responsibilities as marina guests. Ignore these duties and you risk earning the scorn of management and being asked to leave. What will get you in trouble? BoatUS worked with the Marina Recreation Association to find out some of the things that could make you a bad guest.
When strangers call: You’re approaching the gate to your dock, and there they are. Workmen with toolboxes, families with ice chests and water toys, other seemingly nice people all waiting for someone with a key to let them in the marina. It’s awkward, sometimes annoying, and always a pain. What do you do? A simple, “I am sorry, but I can’t let you in,” will suffice. If you think that’s too harsh, you could also give the stranger neighborly advice on where to find the marina office, or tell them that the marina will shoot you at sunrise should you let unknown guests in, but either way, allowing strangers access is bad idea for a bunch of reasons.
You’ve got chocolate in my peanut butter: You like country music. The guy in the neighboring slip likes rock-n-roll. This won’t turn out as wonderful as a 1980’s Reese’s “you’ve got chocolate in my peanut butter” TV commercial unless you’re considerate of each other. If you want to jam to loud music, do it out on the water away from others. Back at the marina dock, keep it reasonable, honor the marina’s posted quiet hours and you may find some invites to come aboard and make new friends.
The Fido Hypothesis: Dogs and boats go together, but did you know that a disease-causing bacteria in dog waste is an environmental pollutant? An early 1990’s study of the “Fido Hypothesis” found that at some beaches, dogs helped to raise bacteria levels so high that swimming was prohibited. About the same time EPA placed dog poop in the same category as herbicides and insecticides. That’s right – your dog’s poop is bad stuff. Just like oil, grease and other toxic chemicals, you don’t want bad bacteria leaching into the water we swim in. Don’t be shunned as the “poopie” boater – clean up after Fido.
It goes without saying that being considerate of others, like not hogging dock carts, keeping docks clear, or following all safety rules makes you a welcome guest. If you are a good marina mate and also a Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) member, give yourself a break by taking advantage of the savings offered on marina fuel, transient slip or repair discounts at www.BoatUS.com/map. To join, go to BoatUS.com/membership.