Docking Tips for Cottage Boaters

July 29, 2013

Since a lot of our summer time cottages are lakefront rentals, it's important that we know how to be safe on the water. Lindsey from BoatSmart will be guest-blogging with us to bring you a variety of safe boating tips and treasures while we take advantage of being on the dock.

Renting a cottage is a great way to spend your holiday time with your family, your friends or perhaps with both! What’s great about renting a cottage through, rather than staying at a resort or taking an all-inclusive week down South, is you have the luxury of personalizing your trip right down to the meals you would like to prepare, the activities you would like to do and what time of day you would prefer to roll out of bed! When you’re at the cottage, breakfast service doesn’t end at 10:00 am! Your time is your own–so enjoy it!

In the cottage rental scenario, you’ll likely find that cottage owners will leave their cottage ´toys’, like water trampolines, hot tubs, bikes or boats available for guest use. You’ve really scored a great spot if they leave their boat at the dock for you to use during your stay. Just remember that this type of activity requires some preparation–BOATsmart! can help you with that!

For new boaters, be aware that you require a boating license to operate a motorized boat in Canada. Additionally, whether you’re a new boater or an experienced boater, it is always a smart idea to review boating safety before popping the cover off the rental boat. Taking a boating safety course is the best way to do that but if you just want to refresh your knowledge, check out our free, animated refresher lessons online through BOATsmart! Coach:

We would like to provide you with a list of docking tips that you will surely find helpful, especially if it’s been a while since you last sat in the captain’s seat or if it’s your first time as a boat operator. Getting out on the water is one thing, but returning to dock (especially in someone else’s boat) is a different story! Check out these tips:

In order to return to the dock safely, you must consider these 4 factors:

  1. The direction of the wind and/or current (is it with or against your direction?)
  2. The size of your boat and the dock (is there enough space to dock safely? Do you need to shift another boat to make space and avoid a collision?)
  3. The depth of the water in the area (consider the water depth your boat requires to approach the dock, you don’t want the engine’s propeller (prop) to hit bottom!
  4. The amount of traffic in the area (are there other boats or swimmers around the dock? Look all around you and practise situational awareness at all times.
For more information about boating safety and safe docking procedures, including step-by-step instructions, or to get your boating license, visit!

Categories:   Property Owners   Travellers  
Tags:   boating   cottage   docking   safety  

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