For many, the first warm and sunny days of the year means nothing but lazy afternoons on the boat. Fishing, grilling, chatting, and the works. But for other lakeside aficionados—swimmers, kids, jet skiers—the uncourteous boater can spell the end of a summer good time.


The lake is a community space; everybody should be able to enjoy it. For the sake of the community, it’s a boater’s responsibility to review boating etiquette to ensure that all parties can make the most of their summer. Canvasworks, a Cokato Minnesota boat covers manufacturer and expert in all things canvas, discusses a brief “code of ethics,” of sorts, for summertime boaters below.

Always Clean Up After Yourself

Nobody likes a litterbug—especially if said litterbug dirties up a community space such as a lake or beach. A pristine natural view is quickly spoiled by the presence of cans or trash. Litter also serves as a host for numerous types of bacteria, which is an obvious safety hazard to adults and children alike. Moreover, a fishhook tossed into the water by a careless boater can mean a trip to the hospital for someone else.


Above aesthetic and safety concerns, litter can have a serious environmental impact. Plastic wrappers, as they are carried by currents, can transport invasive species and organic pollutants between bodies of water. They can also directly kill birds, fish, mammals, and turtles if ingested. Even organic waste—items that decompose—is typically not found naturally in aquatic environments and can throw an ecosystem into havoc.


As a boater, it is your responsibility to keep both the community space and environment clean. Make sure all your litter is disposed of in a safe, designated area. Check out our winter storage covers to further reduce the amount of plastic waste associated with boat ownership due to water shrink wrapping.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

You don’t need to have a bunch of boating etiquette rules memorized; courtesy often boils down to being aware that your actions directly affect other people. Practicing awareness is key.


Be aware, for example, of your wake. Make sure to slow down near swimming areas; as much as the children there might beg to be splashed, large wakes can pose safety hazards to them. Also, practice awareness when loading; be aware of those behind you waiting to load, and be sure to hurry up if there’s a line. Finally, be aware of the laws that govern your lake. Memorization isn’t necessary (as stated above), but a cursory awareness of these laws helps keep you and others safe—the biggest courtesy of all.

Need Boat Tops, Boat Canopies, or Boat Upholstery? Contact Canvasworks Today

If your boat still needs some work before your summer boating trip, contact Canvasworks today. We offer a myriad of boat-related protection solutions—anything from bimini tops to pontoon covers. To learn more, contact us today at 320-559-0165.