With the New Year finally upon us, for the boating industry, that means one thing – boat show season is here. With countless shows spread out at docks and convention centers all throughout the country, boaters have all sorts of opportunities to check out the latest and greatest in the industry.
From mega yachts to small personal watercraft, there’s something out there for everybody; and whether you’re headed to your favorite show to buy a new toy or just to check out everything the show has to offer, remember to always follow proper boat show etiquette.
For example, when boarding a boat, there are a few things to remember:
- Generally, you should have permission to board the vessel before doing so. Either wait to be invited by the host or ask if it is OK for you or your family to step aboard.
- Once you’ve received permission, be sure to take off your shoes before boarding. Rubber soles can leave behind all sorts of marks on the shiny, white fiberglass of new boats, so it’s always a good idea to take yours off so you don’t damage a vessel that another boater will eventually call their own. For this reason, it’s usually a good idea to plan ahead to wear a comfortable shoe that is easy to take on and off.
While touring a vessel, there are some more simple tips to follow as you check out all the bells and whistles:
- Refrain from using your cell phone while touring a boat or yacht. If you have to take a call or reply to a text or email, step off of the boat and do it back on the dock.
- If you want to demo a boat or other watercraft, only do so if you’re truly interested in purchasing. If you have an idea of what boats you’re interested in ahead of time, work with your dealer prior to the show to set up an appointment to take it out while you’re there. That will make things easier for everyone.
- Don’t ask to use the head or bathroom on any of the boats. Be sure to find a restroom back ashore if you need to go.
Lastly, if you have children with you, there are a few extra points to keep in mind as you head out on the docks:
- Many floating docks do not allow strollers, so be sure to plan accordingly.
- Ensure your children keep their hands and feet to themselves at all times. As we all know, boats have all sorts of expensive equipment on board, and the last thing you want to do is damage something.
- Finally, remember to keep safety in mind at all times! Many boat shows, such as the world-famous Miami International Boat Show, feature Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Stations set up throughout the show where children and their families can borrow a life jacket for the day, free of charge!
The most important thing to remember when heading out to your favorite boat show is a simple one – HAVE FUN! There’s nothing quite like perusing the docks as you check out the latest and greatest in boating technology, and if you keep the above tips in mind as you head to the show, everyone will be sure to have a great time.
Are there any other etiquette tips you like to follow? Share yours in the comments below!