If like so many other Canadians, you have visited canadastays.com and found the perfect rental for your vacation, you may have found a rental that includes a recreational boat for you to use during your stay! Or maybe you are borrowing a friend’s boat to use during your lakeside vacation. Whatever the circumstances are, remember these two things: first, you must have your boating license if you will be operating a motorized boat and secondary to that but also very important, don’t forget about rented or borrowed boat etiquette…

Wondering what this boat etiquette involves? Well, as folks who boat, we can recommend a few moves that will make you a considerate boat renter/borrower and will keep you in the good books for future boat borrowing!

  • Re-fuel the boat after using it. If your use it, then replace it. It’s a simple rule of thumb that applies to many life scenarios and the boat owner will certainly appreciate it if you are a considerate and thoughtful boat borrower.
  • Replace the boat cover and ensure that the doors are locked or the snaps done up when you are finished using the boat. Especially if you are leaving the cottage for the day, if it rains, or once your vacation comes to an end.
  • Wipe down the seats! Even if you don’t notice it right away, if you look closely, you’ll probably notice that sandy feet, fishing equipment (especially live bait), and kid’s snacks will leave a trail! You want to give the seats a quick wipe down and the floor a good sweep if you can!
  • Keep your pets out of the boat—the owners will appreciate it because not everybody allows dogs in boats. Additionally, if your dog isn’t familiar with being on the water and becomes frightened, the dog could claw up the seats, jump out or risk capsizing the boat with its frantic movements.
  • Read the nautical charts and understand the area before you cast off from the dock. In fact, read the charts before you even step into the boat! Don’t risk hitting obstacles when a nautical chart is like a roadmap of the lake and can give you the scoop on local hazards. Remember that it’s always worth asking any locals to the area or any nearby cottage neighbors. They may have the information you need to keep the boat undamaged!

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