Wake Manners for people with big boats

If you are one of the fortunate few on the river who owns a big boat, welcome to the club. We generate a lot of jealousy because of our size so our boating behaviour needs to be impeccable. We don't drive our Bentleys or Hummers like we did our "Volksies" or Minis so please make sure you know how to drive your big boat.

Here are a few simple rules from the “school of cool for big boat owners:

Keep to the middle of the river (Right of centre) when traveling at speed or towing a skier.

Be aware of the wake you leave behind and the effect it can have on others. Above all be considerate.
Never shout abuse or show the finger to someone who complains about your wake. Try and see it from their point of view and either avoid their area or modify your driving. Stop and chat to them. We are all neighbours and should be able to resolve these issues amongst ourselves.  Do not start skiing from or drop skiers off at your jetty. Take off and retrieve skiers from the middle of the river.

When leaving from and returning to your jetty do so at idle speed especially if you are in an area where there are lots of other jetties and boats.

Try and avoid congested or narrow areas of the river.

Get on the plane as quickly as possible without pulling your skier's arms out their sockets. The faster you go the less wake you leave behind.

When your skier falls off, go to neutral and keep your heading until your boat has slowed down. Then go back in gear, turn to the left and go round to retrieve your skier. Do this all at idle speed. The old way of doing things in your 16 ft speedboat with a 125 outboard, where you spun to the left and hit the throttle to the floor just doesn't work. It wastes fuel and time and causes a massive double up wake that spoils the water for your skier and might just swamp some poor guy's boat tied to his jetty a mile away.

Either travel at idle speed or travel on the plane. Pushing revs and a bow wave to match while not getting on the plane is stupid. It wastes fuel and creates a nuisance wake for others. This is the most un-cool thing you can do especially if you do it close to jetties.

Never travel at speed near the river banks or close to other jetties and moored boats.

Never show off overtly. This is the second most un-cool thing you can do. Your boat will do it all for you. You don't have to stress the point.

Make sure you look the part. We need to stand out and wear the coolest gear. If you are old, wear big sunglasses like Onassis and smoke Cuban cigars but never wear a Greek Fisherman's Cap.  If you are young wear a tan or a Breede River Conservancy T -Shirt - and sunglasses of course.

River and Boating Etiquette:

Noise: Have as much fun as you like without negatively impacting on the privacy and tranquility of others.

Play your music as loud as you like on isolated stretches of the river. Don't anchor or drift outside someone elses house late at night or in the small hours of the morning with your music on full volume.

Alcohol: Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal, whether on the road or on the water. Enjoy life. Appoint a designated skipper.

Obey the River Rules. They are there for everyone's protection.

Thank you.

Courtesy of the Lower Breede River Conservancy