All boaters instantly recognize this No Wake Sign which forces them to slow down after they have been cruising along the water without a care in the world. Annoying most, this sign is seen as a detriment to the fun celebrations. In many instances, boaters will ignore this sign as a way to not ruin their good time with their family and friends. Doing this can cause serious harm to the surrounding area and many boaters because they do not understand the significance of slowing down will put the area at a much higher risk of preventable damage than before.
What does Idle Speed mean?
Idle speed is going the slowest speed your boat can go while still being able to maintain steerage. Idle speed can change dependent upon the size of your boat, what type of boat you own, the wind and the wave currents. If this is the case, then going slightly faster is necessary because you have to be able to maintain steerage on the water.
What does No Wake mean?
Wake is the waves that are caused by a boating vessel when it travels through water. The faster a boat goes the more wakes it will create. So, no wake would mean causing as little waves as possible when passing through the restricted area.
What is a No Wake zone?
A No Wake Zone is a restricted area where boaters are not allowed to produce any wake whatsoever. These areas are typically in lakes, rivers, channels, and bodies of water where you are close to the shore. Typically within a 200 feet radius, a no wake policy is legally enforced by the Coast Guard and other Marine Enforcement.
Why do we have No Wake Zones?
No Wake Zones are implemented as a safety measure. Wake can cause serious damage to the surrounding area through erosion of the land, damage structures, and can potentially lead to other docked boating vessels being damaged through hitting the dock at a significant pace. Other boats in the area can also be put at a disadvantage if you are going too fast because many small boats cannot handle large waves and can be tipped over leading to poor swimmers fighting for their lives.
Another thing that will unfortunately be fighting for their lives because of heavy wake are manatees and other marine wildlife, especially in Florida waters. Up until just a couple years, manatees were actually endangered in the United States. Many conservation efforts have taken place to ensure the safety of these precious animals and other animals that are impacted by the carelessness of boaters. Manatees will often be found with deep flesh wounds on their backs and sides from propellers when boats are speeding by in the area. This is why you should take extra precaution when traveling in these areas to protect such a beautiful creature.
How you can help
The most important action you can do when you see one of these signs is to not neglect them. They are there for a reason.
If you want to do more for the conservation of Manatees, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission partakes in great efforts to ensure their safety. You can visit their website here to find out more - http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/manatee/
If you want to purchase a Marine and Navigational Aid from our website to ensure the safety of boaters and wildlife, click here - https://www.municipalsigns.com/collections/navigational-aids