This seat’s taken

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Presentation, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. Presentation

    Presentation Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Wisconsin - Winnebago Pool chain of lakes
    280 Sundancer, Westerbeke MPV generator
    twin 5.0's w/BIII drives
    Something’s going on and I don’t like it. Unfortunately I’m part of the problem. However I’m going to do my best to do something about it.

    Not to many years ago boaters waved to one another. It did not matter if the boater was a fisherman, sailor, ski boat, house boat, pontoon boat, cruiser, or other type of boat. That’s the way it was. It was a way to say “Hey, we are both using this waterway and we can share it.”

    There is a bridge in Winneconne that allows fisherman to fish from the bridge that is also a road, a unique thing in Wisconsin. After dining at a waterfront restaurant we decided to walk across the bridge and back to show our young kids the fish that the fishermen caught. With three young kids and no fishing poles in hand, people were very nice to us. They showed us their bounty with pride. I was thinking I had misjudged fisherman. On foot with the kids this was a friendly group……until another person with a fishing pole in hand came strolling along the walk way. Remember the movie ‘Forrest Gump” when Forrest was getting on the school bus and all the kids would slide to the isle and say “This seat’s taken!” Well, those kids in that move were nicer then the fishermen on that bridge. Their personalities changed instantly.

    Today fishermen anchor in small narrow paths of navigational waters, or cross 90 degrees to the general traffic flow in a channel and shout that they have the right away because they are trolling. By the way, they don’t if they are not commercial.

    So far it sounds like it’s my goal to bash fishermen. Well, its not. This general lack of courtesy and tolerance is not unique to fishermen.

    Take the local public boat ramp. Although boat ramps have always been a great spot to see mistakes something else is happening. Today boat ramps are an excellent area to observe a general ‘this seat is taken’ attitude.

    Other observations include the boater in the pontoon boat that just loves to tie up in the middle of a 50’ wall. Why not pick one side or the other? The sailboat that is under power and shouting to a small fishing boat that the sailboat has the right of way. Guess what? A sailboat that is being propelled with a motor is a motor boat and has no more right away then any other boat. The go fast boat on the river that narrowly miss kids in a small Jon boat. The house boat that takes its half of the river out of the middle or runs its generator at anchor upwind of kids playing in the water.

    I could go on and on. There are many more.

    Last weekend I got the fist shaken at me. I was on the Wolf River in a wake zone. I passed another boater and startled them. We were both going in the same direction. As I passed them I could see the expression on their face, they were startled. The driver shook his fist at me.

    Did they do anything wrong? In my opinion, yes, they did several things wrong. First, they were going about 8 knots in a runabout boat. What’s wrong with that? Well, the only way to pass them is to do it on plane. If they were putting along I could have come off plane, something I often do when passing smaller boats on a river, and given them a slow pass. To pass them I would need to be going over 8 knots. With my boat, going 10+ knots makes a wake bigger then when I am planing. The second thing they did wrong was they were in the center of the river. This mean to pass them I must pass them between their boat and shore. That area could have been larger if they were on the normal right side of the river.

    Did I do anything wrong? Yes, and I’m upset with myself for it. I should have done the ‘two short beeps’ that although is required by law is rarely ever done in my area. In this situation I am mad at myself that I did not beep. Since I startled them I wish I had come off plane but looking back I would not have known that I was about to startle them. Also, I kept going. Maybe I should have went back to talk to them. Maybe it would have been good to say “Hey, I see I startled you. I should have beeped. I’m sorry. Are you OK? Have a good day.” Or it may have made the situation worse. I’m not sure. Somewhere out there is a guy that owns a runabout that is mad at a boat with the name “Holiday Too” on the stern.

    After this I spent a fair amount of time observing other boaters behavior. I spent time waving, smiling, and enjoying the ride. A lot of waves were not returned.

    I’m rededicating myself to make sure I don’t give a “This seat is taken” attitude even if it’s being given to me. So if you see a boat with the people onboard giving you a wave, wave back or don’t wave back, it’s your choice. Either way I’m going to wave at you because we are both using this waterway and we can share it.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2008
  2. StressAweigh

    StressAweigh New Member

    Jan 11, 2008
    Kent Narrows Maryland
    1997 290 DA
    Twin 4.3 Mercruiser
    Doug well spoken I run into the same thing when I am out riding my Harley I wave at other bikes (not just Harley riders) and most wave back I see alot of other Harley riders that will not wave to another bike that is not a Harley I think (like You) that we should aare all out there enjoying the samething so why not pass on the enjoyment
  3. Cap10Pat

    Cap10Pat New Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    Some good thoughts, some honesty and valuable introspection. But did the basic analysis go astray? I assume you meant to write that you were in a "No Wake" zone, since I've never seen a "Wake" zone. So, maybe the other boater felt he was going the limit in that area. And I would agree. On a narrow river I don't see how you go thru the No Wake zone on plane in a 28 ft boat. I'm not sure it's even safe to buzz somebody in a smaller boat on a narrow (and shallow) waterway with your bigger boat. Certainly uncomfortable. The justification that there is a way it would have been worse, just isn't good enough.
    The picture I got from your description says you probably shouldn't have passed at all. I know you didn't want to be doing 8 or 10 knots thru there, but how would you feel if a police boat of some sort gave you citations for speeding in a No Wake zone and endangering the other boat? Could such citations be warranted?

    Your reflection is a good thing, and contributing it even better. But I feel you came to the wrong conclusion.
  4. First Born

    First Born Super Moderator PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Charlotte, N.C.
    2006 185 Sport
    4.3 L 190 HP
    I took it to be him making sure people understood it was not a "no wake zone" by calling it a "wake zone" :huh:
  5. SeaHarley

    SeaHarley New Member

    Oct 12, 2006
    CYC, Middle River, Baltimore, MD
    1998, 3870 Cruisers Yacht
    SOLD: 1999, 310DA Sea Ray
    7.4, 454 MPI Horizons, in 3870 Cruisers
    (310DA Sea Ray was 5.7, 350 MPI Mag)
    I wave at Sea..... and on my Harley.......
    I get about 80% return on the boat.

    And I get almost a 98% return on my motorcycle.
    I wave at all motorcycles. The ones that do not return it are on other (non-Harley) bikes. Harley riders always wave back.
  6. dpvandy01

    dpvandy01 Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Sep 6, 2007
    Cincinnati, Ohio/Ohio River
    2003 320 Sundancer
    2012 185 Sport
    2014 Sea Fox 256 Commander
    Twin 6.2L Close Cooled V-Drives & 3.0L Alpha 1, 300 Yamaha OB
    Funny you should use the Forest Gump analogy, that's where the Leiutenant Dan came from for me, my name is Dan and I am a Lieutenant but to further the use of Forest, I wave at every boat I pass with the zeal, vigor and enthusiasm that Forest did when he saw Lt. Dan in his wheelchair on the dock. So keep waving Doug and I'll be wavin' my hand way over my head with a big dumb smile and a rather embarassed wife shrinking in the seat next to me:grin:
  7. highslice

    highslice Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Mar 28, 2008
    Table Rock Lake, Hollister Missouri
    270 SLX
    496 Mag
    Bravo III
    That's a well thought out post. I have noticed both a lack of courtesy and a lack of knowledge (sometimes it's hard to tell the difference) creep onto our lake. Some of it is because of the "Cap'n for a day" crowd (renters) who found our cove over the past couple of years. I watched one of those come within 50' of running aground because he was too busy watching the 2 knee boarders he was towing to look at where he was going. He was actually facing the stern. If one of the kids he was towing hadn't wiped out, causing him to immediately pull a ski turn in complete disregard of the other boarder (who immediately wiped out), he would have run into a rock wall. That's just stupidity and lack of knowledge.

    Last time we were on the lake I had the same guy cut me off not once, but twice. Both times I was the overtaking boat. Both times I was even with him when he turned into me while he was looking directly at me:smt021. I had another 30 knots available to me and could have opened it up and beat him to the pass, but why put everyone in danger? I'm still undecided if the was lack of knowledge, or just an A%^hole. He was in a Cobalt, so I lean toward the latter:lol:.

    It's a very distubing trend to say the least
  8. DragonAnchor

    DragonAnchor New Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    Falls Church, VA
    290 Sundancer 2006
    5.0 BIII
    I smile and wave at everyone, whether in the boat or on my bike... I grew up in small towns in IL & WI where everyone knows everyone. Its just natural to wave at folks for me.

    If its returned great, another happy soul out there. If its not, I prefer the "half full" school of thought: "they didnt see me" "they were distracted" "had other issues on their mind" Even when they stare right back at me like I am an idiot for waving at them...

    Just keeps my Karma on the bright side.
  9. Zorba

    Zorba Active Member

    May 21, 2008
    East Harbor, Lake Erie
    2006 340 Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Mercruiser
    I believe what he was stating is that he was in a "wake zone" or a "no limit zone" not a "no wake zone". Rivers are different than lakes in regard to making waves. He was already on plane and slowing down would have created a larger wake. I believe you did the right thing by not slowing down, this would have opened you up to more problems.

    I think the issue at hand is people that are not aware of boating laws/rules let alone boating etiquette. People just buy things because they can not because they love to do something. You painted a very good picture of people who boat because they "can". Those are the the people who don't wave.

    I am 27 years old and can pick out 10 people twice my age in the marina who have a boat just because they can. They are the ones who just look at you when you dock instead of helping, or complain when you clean your fish, or report to management that you parked your car in "their" spot.

    Just keep on waving and you'll find out who is a boater and who is on a boat because they can
  10. promocop

    promocop New Member

    Oct 7, 2007
    2005 390 SunDancer
    8.1 Merc's
    When I rode my bikes (sometimes Harley's sometimes not) I ALWAYS waved and got 95% returns.) Yesteday in my dink in the basin here in SoCal, I saw a group of perhaps 15 kids in their sabats, I made it a habit to wave at each and every one and got 100% return from them! I and them presumalby felt just a bit friendlier in this sometimes sad world of ours. I wave, if someone doesnt return, I sitll feel good that I did my part.
  11. H2ONUT

    H2ONUT Active Member

    Nov 26, 2006
    Shelton, CT
    2000 215EC
    5.0 EFI Mercruiser Alpha
    I will slow down for people fishing if they are "out of the channel", in the channel I am staying at my current speed. What would happen if you stopped in the middle of a highway...

    I have had LARGE led sinkers thrown at us by people fishing. Even a handgun was waved in the air.

    Every weekend we sit out on the deck with the air horn in hand. When people are going by faster than they should, we give a quick blast of the horn, as do others on the other docks. And what do ya hear??? F YOU!

    The island that we anchor at, the same problem, it is marked as a "no wake" zone. Most will slow down, but they slow down to the point that staying on plane would have been better. Again, you give a quick blast of the air horn and hear F YOU!

    Almost no one here waves either.

    Jet ski's... that's a topic for another thread... :smt021
  12. Kameroo

    Kameroo Member

    Feb 1, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    12' Kayaks
    I have noticed that the same mentality that allows people in their cars to do random acts of selfishness is creeping into the way some operate their boats.

    We have smaller kids, and I've noticed that we get a higher wave-return ratio when the cute little ones initiate the waves. They are the hope for the future.
  13. gerryb

    gerryb Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 12, 2006
    Somers Point, NJ
    "On Vacation"
    2006 40 Sundancer
    Raymarine E125 & HD Radar + Garmin 5208
    QSB5.9 380 Cummins
    Believe it or not, in Great Egg Harbor bay in NJ I still would say almost 75% of boats wave. Smaller boats probably more than larger boats but they wave as well. I hope that is a boating tradition that sticks around past this current generation of 'strange people' I see out there..
  14. dpvandy01

    dpvandy01 Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Sep 6, 2007
    Cincinnati, Ohio/Ohio River
    2003 320 Sundancer
    2012 185 Sport
    2014 Sea Fox 256 Commander
    Twin 6.2L Close Cooled V-Drives & 3.0L Alpha 1, 300 Yamaha OB
    Honked and waved in my Father's 71 VW bug growing up and continued to do so when I bought my 73's Super Bettle in 1985. Remember when people use to flash their brights warning of an Officer running radar? Where did that one go?
  15. billandamy

    billandamy New Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    Southwest CT
    2008 205 sport. MonsterTower wakeboard tower.
    5.0 mpi (260 hp) alpha one drive with 19p ss prop.
    Most of the people on our lake are very friendly, they wave, people have given us the "are you ok?" signal when stopped more than once, we have done the same for others if we see them working in the engine compartment floating.

    The exception are the f'n canoe/kayak people in the middle of the lake getting pissed off that boats actually go by them, and the occasional sparkle boat that uses other boats as a slalom course on the way to the next fisshin' hole.

    Generally, I am very happy with the people I have interacted with while cruising around. And even more so with the people I have met in raft ups.
  16. midway

    midway Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Midway, Ga
    04 SeaRay 185Sport, Smart Tabs, Mageln Meridian Gold GPS, Hbird Matrix 87 dept/ff/gps/cp, Uniden vhf
    4.3L 190HP, Alpha 1 1.81 ratio, 14 1/4X21 Turning Point Prop
    Most on the water still wave here in SE Ga. If you are on the road in a pickup truck most pickup drivers will wave and just a few in cars, if in the car just a few will wave period.
  17. water rat

    water rat New Member

    Jul 9, 2007

    I wave at people all of the time. Most of the time people wave back and have a grin on their face. What's not to be happy about when you are out on the water?

    I agree with what you said about the fishing boats. I usually stay at my current speed when they are in the channel. Yes, I know I am responsible for my wake and wouldn't ever put a fellow boater in a dangerous situation, but I get very frustrated with people who fish in a channel and end up forcing everyone else to slow down...
  18. water rat

    water rat New Member

    Jul 9, 2007

    I wave at people all of the time. Most of the time people wave back and have a grin on their face. What's not to be happy about when you are out on the water?

    I agree with what you said about the fishing boats. I usually stay at my current speed when they are in the channel. Yes, I know I am responsible for my wake and wouldn't ever put a fellow boater in a dangerous situation, but I get very frustrated with people who fish in a channel and end up forcing everyone else to slow down...
  19. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    Everyone is friendly where I boat but sometimes I just plain get tired of waving and I don't. I'll always return a wave but often don't wave first. If my grandaughter is onboard I assign waving to her.
  20. ghuskin

    ghuskin New Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    Lake St. Clair, DYC
    SRV225 Cuddy Cabin, 1983
    228 Mercruiser w/ pre-Alpha1 "R" Drive

    You provide a well thought out commentary on boating, as well as, society in general, IMO.

    as for the fishing boats (non-commercial). You must remember the rules for burndened vessels. Clearly, a boat at trolling speed (or drifting/anchored) with lines in the water will be at a clear disadvantage to a boat on plane (or on that can easily get on plane). This does not absolve the fishing boat from common curtesy and/or common sense.

    I also fish (a rather large body of water, i might add). there will often be a cluster of boats in the same vacinity, either troliing/anchored/drifting. All of a sudden, a rather large cruiser, or two, (even jet-skis/bass boats) will have to pass through the middle of this, while a slight adjustment to the wheel will lead them AROUND those of us fishing.

    While I'm pleasure boating, I try to give a wide berth to those that are fishing. there is always plenty of room to go around.

    I don't believe you were "wrong", except that maybe some warning would have been nice. However, I don't feel you should have been treated that way. There's far worse offenses to get upset about!


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