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Mind Your Wake

Cottagers derive a great deal of enjoyment from a host of boating activities. Those of us with our pleasure craft licences studied specific rules of the water geared to safe & responsible boating so most of us are familiar with general boat safety & etiquette. However, we may not be as familiar with the impact of boat wake.

Impact of Boat Wake
The larger the wake, the greater the potential for undesirable side effects:

  • Loons, & other birds that nest along the shore, choose locations that are protected from waves generated by the prevailing winds. However, boat wake, which can come from any direction, can & does drown the nests & the young, particularly in May & June.

  • Inexperienced swimmers & young children are not usually in the water when wind-driven waves are high. However, they can be toppled by the size & energy of boat wake.

  • Boat wake & prop wash can churn up sediments in shallow water which releases dormant nutrients that promote weed growth & algal blooms.

  • Boat wake can cause erosion.

  • Boat wake can cause docks & moored boats to rock severely & pull mooring hardware.

How You Can Be Wake Wise

1. Be aware of the size of your wake during displacement, transition & planing speeds.
2. Position your passengers through-out the boat in order to reduce the time spent in transition speed.
3. Look behind you to see & understand the impact of your wake on shorelines, docks or other structures. Adjust your speed & direction to minimize the impact.
4. Respect the shoreline zone. Reduce your speed to less than 10 km/h within 30 metres of any shore including the narrow channels between islands.
5. Water-ski, tube, & wake-board well away from all shorelines. Try to make use of the entire length of the lake. 6. Consider the size of the wake produced when purchasing a new boat.

Re-Printed in part from Pike Lake Community Association, 2013. Found on the FOCA website. Full article here.


KLCA Boating Safety and Navigation


The KLCA asks all boaters to be respectful of one another and know the effect of their own boat wake and wash.  

We must be mindful that we tend to be far away from our own cottages when our boat speed increases, or when our boat wake and wash has the biggest effect on other cottagers’ docks and shorelines. The link below has more information from the Muskoka Watershed Council.

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