What is the proper etiquette for entering a Raft Up party? What unspoken guidelines are there for boating parties?

I was recently at Lake Powell with my speed boat and we came up on a cove that have a raft up party in full swing. I did not enter because I was not sure what the proper etiquette was.

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Categories: Dear UBI

3 Responses

  1. Boatin' in VA! says:

    jims is on the $$$ with the answer. It is always customary to ask before one tries to raft up or is invited to do so. So there are two ways of handling this.

    Ask first…if you have a radio you can hail the raftup on 16 and see if anyone responds. If nobody does you can get within hailing distance and ask if you can tie up. Please don’t say "Hey…can I join the party"

    If neither of the options above are appropriate you can also anchor close by and then walk, float or swim over to the raftup. Introduce yourself and get to know some of the people first. Most boaters are extremely friendly and someone more than likely will ask which boat is yours. Tell them yours isn’t part of the raft and point it out to them. Chances are you then will be invited to bring her over.

    It’s kind of tough at times to work your way into a smaller raftup but one that’s got 100+ boats shouldn’t be that big a deal to get a invite to join in. That’s the key though…an invite to join in.

    Good luck and have fun! OH AND ALMOST FORGOT…check the web and see if there’s a group with a web site too. Most that are that big are definitely going to have one.

    ADDED NOTE: great add Jason. Having the proper equipment on board does also pertain to lines and fenders. Anyone joining a raft should ready these "before" joining. Adjustments can be made once a part of it but to have the fellow boater you are tying up to wait while you scramble to get everything done is not what you want to do.

  2. jims says:

    Idle up within hailing distance, shut off your power, and ask if you can join in. If yes, then usually you should tie off to the downwind boat, unless otherwise directed. Enjoy the party, make sure you have a designated driver.

  3. jason s says:

    Two great answers…let me add one thing.
    Make sure you have the proper lines and fenders to tie up without asking to borrow lines, fenders, etc. Not that most boaters wouldn’t let you use a fender for an hour, but tying up without bothering to protect my boat from yours and causing scrapes/bumps, etc is (in my opinion) not only amateurish, but also inconsiderate. (Be prepared)

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