An estimated 9.4 million Canadians will be heading out onto the water this summer, and more than half of those who went boating last year did not own a boat. Here are insider etiquette tips from Discover Boating Canada to help you navigate being the best boat guest – and to ensure a repeat invitation:
1. Dress the part. Nautical attire has been a classic fashion trend for decades for good reason. Not only are boat shoes one of summer's hottest trends, but the soles are specifically designed to provide good grip on slick surfaces and avoid leaving marks on a boat's decks and interiors.
2. Learn the ropes. Don't be afraid to talk the talk and walk the walk while on deck. Get up to speed on your nautical lingo at DiscoverBoating.ca and even learn a few knots so you can lend the captain a hand and wow your fellow sailors. Simply ask the captain how you can help and you'll make the perfect first impression.
3. Chip in. Bringing snacks and beverages might seem like a no-brainer, but win over the boat owner with mess-free items that won't easily melt or stain. Dark coloured beverages or foods are a no-no. Go the extra mile and bring sunscreen for the group, create the perfect on-water playlist or pitch in for fuel.
4. Capture the moments. What better way to say thank you than with memories of your time on the water. Bring along your camera or smartphone to document the adventure and share with your boating crew (but be careful nothing goes overboard—plastic bags can ensure electronics return to dock with you). You can also share pictures of your on-water adventures with other boaters on Discover Boating Canada's social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Whether boating for the first time or already a nautical pro, a little common sense and research makes a difference in your on-water experience. It will also ensure your first invite out on the water won't be your last. DiscoverBoating.ca has everything you need to know before you set sail.