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Another Wally Encounter


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I was in Lake Havasu with my family this past week. We had a great time. Mid-week/off peak season is awesome. We practically had the lake to ourselves. Weather was low 100's and the water temp was about 85 deg. My 9 year old popped right up on her wakeboard the first time and could not get enough. My 6 year old got up on a set of tethered skies. My wife got up on a wakeboard for the first time. And I finally did my first wake to wake jump(I'm 40 mind you).


I was traveling south in the channel just north of the London bridge. This channel is a no-wake zone so speeds were not a factor. I was on the right hand 1/3 of the channel traveling south. I see another ski boat coming at me traveling north at about 100 feet away. I see that there are several adults in the boat with an older woman (about 55) wearing a white vail on her River cowboy hat standing on the boat and having a good time. The boat was on my side on the channel and coming straight for me. I could not go any further to the right because there were other boats moored on the shore. At about 50 feet out, I decided to move to the left towards the center of the channel to let this boat go by because it was obvious the driver was not paying attention to me. At about 25 feet, the driver finally looks at me and throws up his arms as if to say, "What's your problem?" I motion with my arms to point out that he was on the wrong side. We pass each other on the starboard side of each boat by about 5 feet. I yelled at him, "You're on the wrong side!" I was expecting an "F" bomb or some other stupid remark. The boat just keep going.

Now I started drifting to the left side of the channel. I had to get back over to the right side before I affected some other boat. I was a little miffed because another boat was coming north and I had to move out of his way. The driver of this boat started to Mad Dog me because I was in front of him.

I have been boating many times in the past as a passenger on my friends boat and have been paying attention to the rules of boating. I have been a proud Malibu owner since this April.

Was I the Wally? Were my actions appropriate? What could I have done differently? Any and all input will be appreciated.



Edited by Clutch-n-Throttle
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not being there it is hard to say whether you did the right thing or not. I think i would have stayed on the right, popped it in and out of neutral and as the guy gets too close without noticing you, gently touch the horn. I would probably not have called the another boater out, that channel can get pretty crazy, stuff happens.

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A boaters safety course usually helps, I took one a long time ago but it still doesn't put you in a situation like what you just explained. There are many circumstances where you have to make the right (common sense) maneuver and hope that nothing bad happens and nobody gets mad but that's not always the case.

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If the other driver wasn't paying attention I think you did the right thing.

When I was teaching my son to drive I had two things I told him to always keep in mind.

1. Always keep your head on a swivel.

2. Know the rules, but assume that the other people out there don't know them. Sometimes you have to do the "right" thing rather than following the law.

It's sad, but even at 11 years old my son was probably a better and more responsible driver than 75% of the other people on the water. There's way too many people out there that don't have a freakin' clue and, worse yet, have not intention on learning.


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All I know is you handled it better than I would have..

My response would have been..."KIDS, EAR MUFFS", followed by as many explicitives I could spurt out at the MORONS who don't even deserve to own a boat. But that's just me...I'm kind of a butt-hole when it comes to Wallys. Whistling.gif

I'm surprised I haven't been shot yet...hahaha!

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Hey...you followed the boating rules/law all the way up until those rules/laws were not going to protect your safety any longer. I say you did just fine. Next time he/Wally gets miffed, just start laughing at them: p!$$es them off even more, and you feel superior to the lesser species...which didn't sound too hard to achieve considering he had a passenger with a veiled cowboy hat. (What's with veils/wedding on the river these days anyway..guaranteed incident)

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I agree with bumping in and out of neutral to keep the boat straight and under control keeping proper position in the chanel and use one blast on the horn to alert the other driver you will be passing on the right. I think use of the horn is proper procedure but unfortunately the Wally probably would not understand a blast or two blasts on the horn and will probably take it the wrong way. I think using the horn, properly, is a courtious way of alerting other boaters your intentions.

When proper use of the horn fails, I have found that laying on the horn at the same time as holding up my middle finger is effective at getting my point communicated (just kidding and really would not recommend this unless you are well prepared for altercation).

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