The Purpose of Wake Zones

If you have ever found yourself boating around on any major waterway, you have no doubt seen the wake signs standing out of the water that almost look like the speed signs on our roadways. What are they and what do they mean?

What is a wake?The Purpose of Wake Zones

A wake is a disturbance of the water resulting from a boat or jet ski moving through the water at high speeds. In other words, it’s the waves that are created by traveling through the water. Your vessel’s wake makes turbulence in the water that could impact other vessels, people, or nearby sea life. If you have ever stood on the beach and looked out at a fast-moving boat, the waves that it displaces are its wake.

Why do we regulate wakes?

When a watercraft creates a wake, it disrupts the water in such a way that it can create large waves that can be harmful to nearby animals and people. If multiple boats are creating large wakes in the same small area, it can result in a cacophony of waves that could make other vessels unstable or create large, amplified waves that can disrupt local marine life or wash up on shores or against waterfront properties.

This is why we have “No Wake” and “Slow Speed” zones. Let’s dive into what these zones mean to you when you are out on the water:

No Wake Zone

A “No Wake” zone means that boats must reduce to the slowest speed they can travel at while still maintaining the ability to steer and make forward progress. When vessels move at these speeds, they produce a minimum wake. These are common in crowded, narrow areas like channels or confined harbors.

Slow Speed Zone

In Slow Speed areas, you may move at a slightly faster clip, but you should still be maintaining a minimum of wake production. The Boat Florida Course site suggests that as a rule of thumb, if the bow of your boat is elevated above the water, then you are going too fast.

At Woody’s Watersports, we encourage you to be safe and have a fun time when out on the water. That’s why we supply our customers with some of the best jet skis and other personal watercraft rentals. So plan your day full of fun on the water with Woody’s Watersports today by calling 727-391-0200 to make reservations.

Written by Woody