Watch Your Wake

July 2022 – wake developments and research, as reported by FOCA’s partners at Safe Quiet Lakes, in their most recent e-news:

  • Tennessee became the first state to pass a watersport law, effective July 1, that specifically addresses wakesurfing and wakeboarding and distance from shores
  • Quebec homeowners along Montreal’s South Shore of the St. Lawrence River have launched a $50-million class action lawsuit against the federal government that alleges they have experienced worsening shore erosion than would have occurred through natural processes due to ships
  • In February, the University of Minnesota released the findings of research on waves produced by four recreational boats — two wakesurf boats and two typical recreational boats – that determined wakeboat waves were stronger and more forceful, and required distances greater than 500 feet from shore to dissipate.

August 24, 2021 – The risk of “rock ‘n’ roll” boating (Boating Industry Canada)

July, 2021 – FOCA, along with the Muskoka Lakes Association, and Safe Quiet Lakes have collaborated on a short video about being #WakeAware.

Watch the video from the landing page of the Be #WakeAware website, and share it on your association webpage or social media platforms. We can all do our part!

Related Media:

August 11, 2021 – Battling the speeding boats and big wake problem – (Cottage Life; updated from 2020 posting) including a link to a new podcast “Slow your boats” with the president of Safe Quiet Lakes

August 10, 2021 – Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations raise awareness on boat wake damage (; also posted to

July 6, 2021 – Do we need laws to control excessive boat wakes? (Cottage Life)

June 13, 2021 – Water fight: Why wakesurf boats are making waves in cottage country (Ottawa Citizen)

August 2020 – Safe Quiet Lakes hosted a webinar with Transport Canada about Signs and Buoys (YouTube; 1 hour)

July 2020 – Safe Quiet Lakes hosted a webinar with the Muskoka Lakes Association on the subject of wakes, speed and noise (YouTube; 30 minutes)

waterskiingWatch Your Wake: Click below to read the document, provided with permission from FOCA members Pike Lake Community Association in Tay Valley Township, via the Lake Networking Group in Eastern Ontario. We encourage you to share the information with other interested groups. This is a timely reminder about being courteous and safe on the water, and a great example of grassroots “R and D” and sharing good information within the waterfront community!

Watching Your Wake (pdf; 5 pages) – please credit FOCA and the Pike Lake Community Association (2013)

Avoid the Shore – Ride the Core – A campaign from Idaho, U.S. where they urge “Love your Lake – Watch your Wake!


June 2021 – FOCA member group, the Baptiste Lake Association has created their own sign to encourage good wake etiquette on their lake! This post was copied from Facebook.

As reported in the Spring 2021 edition of “Shorelines”, the newsletter of the Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA):

The MLA began a pilot project last summer that involved providing, at member request, a no wake sign suitable for placement on private property. This project was an expansion of Safe Quiet Lakes’ (SQL) Wakes and Speeds Traffic Calming project that started last spring on the Indian River/Mirror Lake. … We feel the no wake signs will indeed promote awareness and be a great tool to encourage traffic calming in areas of our lakes that need it most. In Muskoka a vessel must limit its speed to 9 KMH within 30 m of the shore or of a dock, pier, raft, floating platform or another vessel that is anchored, moored or underway, and does not apply to a vessel moving perpendicularly away from the shore while it is being used for water skiing or kite flying while the water skier or kite flyer is in the process of taking off.

If you are interested in getting your very own co-branded MLA/ SQL No Wake sign, please use one of the following options to purchase your sign for $20.00 each and arrange for a contactless pick up! Call the MLA office at 705-765-5723, email or purchase in the MLA online store: Should you want your sign shipped to you, we are happy to do this, however postage fees will apply.

Additional Resources:

Visit Safe Quiet Lakes for more information on  “wake etiquette” and safe & responsible boating

Impacts of Motorized Craft of various horsepower (PDF, 2 pages; New Hampshire, 2019) – this is one of several resources listed on the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services webpage:

Wakeboat Etiquette: Boats designed to make jumbo waves for riding can cause problems for other boaters and property owners. But there are steps you can take to minimize conflicts. (BoatUS, 2019)

5 Keys to a Calm lake –  and Neighbours (Cottage Life blog)

Wakeboarding (pdf; 2 pages) – Have Fun While Making the Right Choices (Lake of the Woods POA)

Boat Right, Be Polite (2005) (pdf; 2 pages) Fact Sheet  (Lake of Bays Association)



Michelle LewinWatch Your Wake