Florida Lakefront Properties

Do I have to drive my boat counter clockwise on a lake?

No, Florida does not have any written law dictating that boaters must drive in a counter clockwise direction. It is however considered an “unwritten” law that boaters etiquette is to drive in a counter clockwise fashion.

If you are an avid wakeboarder or skier, you know that the general rule of thumb is to drive the boat in a straight line, turn around 180 degrees at the end of each pass, and run the same straight line again. This prevents the wakeboarder or skier from encountering the ripples from the wake that the boat makes. Running in a counter clockwise fashion on a smaller sized lake will quickly destroy the water (make it very choppy) for the person wakeboarding or skiing.

It is advised and generally understood if you are merely taking a joy ride and cruising the shoreline of a lake that you do so in a counter clockwise direction. Don’t be concerned with the boats that are pulling skiers in a straight pass fashion. They are merely seeking to keep the water as calm as possible AND as a general rule of thumb, they are very aware of their surrounds since they have skier(s) in the water.

Don’t be a hero and track a boat down that is driving back and forth in a straight line and tell them to drive in a counter clockwise direction, because you are sure to create a confrontation with a driver that is likely already very well aware of their surroundings and familiar with commonly known boaters etiquette.

Pulling riders on tubes is a big water activity these days. When pulling riders on a tube, adhere to the counter clockwise rule. Obviously, you will be doing some zigzagging as you will want to make the tubing experience a fun one.

ALWAYS be on the look out for boaters that ARE NOT driving in a counter clockwise direction. Especially, when approach sharp corners or corners with little to no visibility as to what is around the corner. The number one and primary reason for this general rule of thumb is to prevent head on collisions of boats and other watercraft (such as jet skis). Overall, this is a good standard to follow and it is highly suggested that all boaters follow this “unwritten” rule.