Boat Etiquette Basics for Michigan Marinas

Looking forward to your next summer vacation on the water? You’re not alone. Michigan marinas are filled with eager adults and children just waiting to have a blast fishing, wakeboarding, sailing and swimming.

Here are a few basic reminders to encourage a healthy marina community this coming summer.


Maneuvering your boat into slips can be tricky enough as it is, let alone when Michigan marinas get overly crowded. Always check and check again as you’re pulling in and out of the marina to look for swimmers, debris, and other boaters. Go slow and mostly stay idling so as not to disturb others.

You also may want to consider backing into the dock to make it easier to come in and out. Much like a regular parking lot, backing in makes it easier and safer for everyone when coming in and out.

The Environment Matters

 Because they are closed areas of water, lakes can become polluted easily, not to mention just the amount of general waste that can accumulate on a crowded marina through the summer. A simple thing that you can do is use biodegradable soap on the boat. Don’t use harmful products like antifreeze or oil-based paints when doing maintenance if possible. And be sure to dispose of harmful materials like batteries appropriately.

Noise Pollution  

Noise pollution is a concern not only for other people but even the other inhabitants of the lake. The environment in and around the lake can be harmed, so try to stick to an idle or sailing whenever possible. This is not only more relaxing but can save you fuel as well. There’s nowhere to rush off to, you’re supposed to be relaxing.

Teach Your Children Well

We all know that kids can be easily excited and we love to see them happy. But this can not only annoy your neighbors, it can be a safety issue. Make sure that they wear solid shoes and lifejackets at all times when around the dock. Let them get their energy out while they’re swimming or wakeboarding, and encourage them to have quiet time when you’re on the beach or in the restaurant and in close proximity with others.

From your boat slip to the last few minutes walking to the car, marina etiquette is crucial for everyone’s safety in Michigan marinas. Remember that a little extra respect can go a long way—and maybe even help you make new friends in the process.


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