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Old 10-26-2017, 09:34 AM   #1
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AICW no wake zones

Being new to the Trawler world, I am not quite sure about rules or no wake zones. Is it easy to tell an official no wake zone that is enforced by the authorities versus that of a homeowner who just wants you to go slow?

We just went through the myrtle beach area. There were lots of homes along the I CW. There are also lots of no wcake signs. We had a homeowners coming out and yelling at us to slow down. Most of the time there was nothing in the water but a dock. We are on a slow Trawler. We typically travel at 8 kn. Our wake might be all of 8 to 10 inches.

It seems to me that owners along the I CWR are akin to somebody building a house next to a highway and then complaining about all the noise.

I would appreciate reading any insights and or legal views on what is required by a boat owner.

Thanks,

Gordon
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:39 AM   #2
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Legally, nothing really, but that won't stop someone from litigating especially if there is real damage or injury. Common sense and courtesy wise, what's the big hurry? We went through that area a lot and tried to be kind. A "real" no wake zone will be marked on a freestanding piling or buoy. Never hurts to call your towing provider or the CG if in doubt.
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:48 AM   #3
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On this boat, we must slow to about four knots before we see no wake. I can understand someone being upset with a 60 foot sport fisher flying through at 20 kn. But our minuscule wake, even at cruising speed, does very very little but people seem very very upset.
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:51 AM   #4
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Wait until you get south of Charleston if you want to see "No Wake" signs.

It's hard to tell what's official. The "No Wake" buoys in the water are usually official but it is possible to buy them and put them out yourself. Of course these are not enforceable.

In SC, I see official No-Wake signs mounted on posts in the river (not on private docks or buildings). These have a SCDNR logo on them. There are also a lot of "Slow Speed you are responsible for your wake" signs that appear to have a SCDNR logo on them. These are mounted on private docks and buildings. My guess is that a homeowner can buy and install these. "Slow speed" is subjective and in theory, we are responsible for our wakes regardless of any signs.

Then, there are the obvious homemade signs and they can be pretty much ignored. Homeowners yelling at you can be ignored as well, especially if your wake is 10". That doesn't mean some won't have the USCG or SCDNR on speed dial and call to report and exaggerate the size of your wake.

I have seen and been passed by boats (mostly sport fishers and sport cruisers) throwing three and four foot wakes on that narrow part of the waterway. These boats give us all a bad name.

If you see people on their docks or boats, you might as well slow down until you get past them. It's courtesy if nothing else. Look back at your wake and see how big it is when it gets to the shore. If docked boats are rocking you might consider slowing down a bit in populated areas.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:34 AM   #5
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Might be worth a few definitions. I can't find the reference, but was under the impression that the federal definition of "no wake" was "level trim in displacement mode". Simply, if you pull the throttle back and the bow drops, you're probably not meeting the definition of no wake.

Second, a wake typically has a breaking wave. On my 45' trawler, 8 knots is a wake; 7 knots is a tall wave; 6 knots is a modest wave; 5 knots produces ripples.

In this day and age of everybody has a cellphone camera, it's not how fast you are going, it's what your wake is doing. Remember, DNR Police work for the locals, not you. Slow down or go out in the ocean.

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Old 10-26-2017, 11:36 AM   #6
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Two words...

Palm Valley
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:42 AM   #7
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Two words...

Palm Valley
There's a cure for that: St. Johns Inlet, St. Augustine Inlet.
One of those stretches of the ICW that were "Been there, done that, one and done" for us.
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:14 PM   #8
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As posted, its what someone can prove that you were causing a hazardous wake.

Some complain about rediculously small wakes and yes, even North Carolina is fed up with new waterfront prooerty owners thinking thet all deserve no wake zones.
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Old 10-26-2017, 05:07 PM   #9
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As posted, its what someone can prove that you were causing a hazardous wake.

Some complain about rediculously small wakes and yes, even North Carolina is fed up with new waterfront prooerty owners thinking thet all deserve no wake zones.


There is a guy down Adam’s Creek just before the 101 bridge that gets his jollies buy pretending to report wakers on VHF. The only no wake zone in the ICW anywhere near there is the Morehead City turning basin. There is a courtesy spot in from of Kenny Bock’s place and Jarrett Bay. There is a website with the official ones marked on a map. I will see if I can find it.

Anyway, that guy (and ones like him) really pisses me off. To me, it’s like moving near the airport and complaining about the noise. You want an ICW waterview? Yea... you better own the wakes buster.

**edit** Here is the map for NC. There may be one for SC or other states. Zoom into a place like Morehead City. You will see the no wake zones marked. Those are the official ones. The rest is up to you.

https://ncpaws.org/wrcmapbook/baa.aspx
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Old 10-26-2017, 05:44 PM   #10
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Anything that moves thru the water will make some wake by definition, the question is how much wake is acceptable. In the Bahamas you often hear, “mon, it’s only water” as the native boat goes by at 30 knots.
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Old 10-26-2017, 05:45 PM   #11
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Based on that NC map and the number of areas I would have guessed would be no wake areas is quite different.

Certainly no where near.the amount of zones that the no wake signs posted on docks would have you believe.

I read someplace in NC law that says you can be fined for putting up an unauthorized no wake sign.

Too bad they dont enforce that, they could get enough money to keep dredging all thise shallow spots.
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Old 10-26-2017, 05:46 PM   #12
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FL has some consistency with definitions: Idle Speed No Wake, Slow Speed Minimum Wake area, Resume Normal Operations at the end of a restricted area.
https://www.boat-ed.com/florida/hand...ulatory-Zones/
They do have some winners though. Like signs split down the middle, May-Oct is one rule, Nov to April is another rule except on weekends and holidays its Idle Speed. Some have Exclusions, some have Inclusions.
Even at 7 knots we have to stop for a couple! What did that say?
We should have a Most Confusing Speed Zone sign photo contest.
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Old 10-26-2017, 07:04 PM   #13
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I like the Florida definitions even though they do make it complicated. Looking at the ICW as a whole, I agree somewhat with not understanding someone buying a house on the water and then expecting no boats.

I think the minimum wake is appropriate in areas where you're afraid you'll bother someone. Then the no wake in areas there are legal restrictions.

You will always have the problem of someone bothered, but just use good judgement. We've been yelled at when in our RIB. Now, an 11' jet RIB going 40 knots makes virtually no wake. You can see their boat doesn't even rock the least bit, no wake reaching it, but they yell about wake just based on speed. We could slow down enough that the stern digs in and then make a wake.

I will do everything I can not to put any other boat in harms way. I will not slow to a no wake speed in a long stretch of ICW for a single dock with no boat. I will cruise at a speed giving very moderate wake.
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Old 10-26-2017, 07:34 PM   #14
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I have noticed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom.B View Post
There is a guy down Adamís Creek just before the 101 bridge that gets his jollies buy pretending to report wakers on VHF. The only no wake zone in the ICW anywhere near there is the Morehead City turning basin. There is a courtesy spot in from of Kenny Bockís place and Jarrett Bay. There is a website with the official ones marked on a map. I will see if I can find it.

Anyway, that guy (and ones like him) really pisses me off. To me, itís like moving near the airport and complaining about the noise. You want an ICW waterview? Yea... you better own the wakes buster.

**edit** Here is the map for NC. There may be one for SC or other states. Zoom into a place like Morehead City. You will see the no wake zones marked. Those are the official ones. The rest is up to you.

https://ncpaws.org/wrcmapbook/baa.aspx

... at least in North Carolina, I have seen what appeared to be official looking signs around both ramps only. I wonder if that holds true in other states as well.
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Old 10-27-2017, 05:11 AM   #15
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"Official" buoys or not, you should always pass active boat ramps at no wake. Take it easy if they are not busy and have floating docks as well.

In general, use the Golden Rule.
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:24 AM   #16
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... at least in North Carolina, I have seen what appeared to be official looking signs around both ramps only. I wonder if that holds true in other states as well.
I am sure, but boat ramps are actually NW zones anyway. However, knowing what to look for and armed with knowledge like the map I linked to, you don't have to waste time or money to the waterfront snobs if you don't want to.
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:38 AM   #17
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You don’t have a choice of Slow Speed OR Minimum Wake. It’s both. Can’t pick which half to comply with. Agree 100 percent on the size of a RIB wake height.
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:47 AM   #18
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Remember a lot of the Slow Speed/Minimum Wake zones down here are for manatee protection rather than docks - so speed does matter regardless of wake size.
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:51 AM   #19
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Remember a lot of the Slow Speed/Minimum Wake zones down here are for manatee protection rather than docks - so speed does matter regardless of wake size.
Slow speed/minimum wake is different though than some of the No Wake zones that say nothing about speed, although in retrospect I think most if not all states do define no wake as minimal speed.

That said, we go slow in all minimum and no wake zones. But not going to go slow for the guy with a house on the side of the ICW who thinks we should while no boat in sight or go at 6 knots to pass a 50' trawler in an open expanse of the ICW. And not going to pay any attention to those self posted signs that someone just decides to put up.
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:13 AM   #20
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Remember a lot of the Slow Speed/Minimum Wake zones down here are for manatee protection rather than docks - so speed does matter regardless of wake size.
Last time I was down there, I noticed that manatees have very good taste in real estate. The manatee zones are prominent along the better neighborhoods. There aren't nearly as many in the areas of lower property values. Those manatees are pretty clever animals!
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