A phrase the Smith Mountain Lake Association uses is “watch your wake, share the lake,” said SMLA member Randy Stow last week.

Boating courtesy was a topic discussed at the 2019 Smith Mountain Lake Association Annual Meeting on Thursday. The gathering, held at Trinity Ecumenical Parish, was open to the community.

“Boating courtesy is recognizing how our behavior impacts others and then operating in a way to minimize adverse conditions,” Stow said.

Stow noted the Water Sports Industry Association advocates for a buffer of at least 200 feet from docks and shorelines; other stances urge boaters to be mindful of the volume of their music and avoid operating in the same area.

Stow said that SMLA is trying to reinforce the same message through education, billboards and banners, such as those posted at certain marinas around the lake that urge boaters to “wake responsibly.”

The SMLA also wants to call attention to certain actions such as driving in circles or bass boats that start a rapid acceleration in tight coves, he said.

“Know your wake-producing profile, and share with others in a non-confrontational way,” Stow said. “Social pressure can be a game changer. And also remember that the normal rules of the road … still apply when you’re engaged in towed waters ports.”

-For more information, see the August 7 edition of the Smith Mountain Eagle-

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