The Federal Navigation Rules are a guide to boaters on the safe operation of their vessel. Boaters must follow all state and federal rules, regulations, and laws applicable to boating in Florida.
Even though boaters must be familiar with and follow all Florida boating rules and regulations, including the Federal Navigation Rules, it is essential to remember that these rules are intended to serve as guidelines for boaters under normal circumstances.
Boaters are responsible for taking necessary action to avoid immediate danger if a potentially hazardous situation arises. In order to maintain safety, boaters must remain alert while underway – being aware of other watercraft, visual and sound signals, diver-down flags, skiers, obstructions, etc. Additionally, they should always keep their wakes to a minimum so as not to create hazards for other vessels.
Furthermore, the following situations should be taken into consideration:
It may be necessary to slow down when operating in restricted speed zones marked “Idle Speed – No Wake” to ensure that the vessel does not produce a wake and that those who tend to plow are not concerned about breaking their hardware.
Speed zones marked as “Slow Speed – Minimum Wake” require vessels to be entirely off the plane and ultimately settled in the water before entering. Any wake created within these zones must be minimal. It is illegal for a vessel to travel at “Slow Speed” if the bow is slightly elevated while in one of these zones.