A common question from boating novices is the one that inquires about "No Wake" zones.
"No wake" indicates that a vessel is traveling at or beneath an idle speed, a pace at which the boat and its wake, a term used for waves, aren't likely to cause injury or damage to another person, boat or property. What has become somewhat controversial about "no wake" scenarios is that the designs of many boats aren't exactly conducive to them, especially if the hull of a boat comes with a deep-v. Also, operating stern-drive vessels can lead to further engine complications that exacerbate the situation.
Nevertheless, none of these realities make adhering to "no wake" zones impossible.
First, most boats have two separate 5 mph speeds. One involves the throttle being adjusted forward of neutral for what is known as "idling in gear." This is where the engine is turning at roughly 600 rpm. The other, and more broadly known, 5 mph involves the engine spinning at about 1,300 rpm, where there is more thrust but the boat is squatting, which means a larger wake even without increased speed.
The difference is as significant as your respect for the federal law, which requires you acknowledge wake regulations. Here is another tip to consider when looking to reduce your wake:
Act quickly: Slowing down in advance is your best option for successful compliance. Some may even consider it your only option as backing off the throttle just as you're lining up next to a small boat likely means that you are already in the zone with a prominent wake.
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