Vessel Control and Water Safety

Keep those in and around your boat safe.

Idle Speed “Idle Speed” means the lowest speed at which a vessel can operate and maintain steering control. The actual speed will depend upon the design of the vessel and on the vessel’s load, wind direction and speed, and the sea conditions. For personal watercraft “idle speed” is the minimum speed necessary to effectively transverse breaking water. For a non-motor propelled vessel, idle speed means that speed necessary for steerageway.
Slow Speed “Slow Speed” means the speed at which a vessel proceeds when it is fully off plane and completely settles into the water, and not producing a wake that endangers other vessels under the existing circumstances.
A vessel in a slow speed zone:
  • That is operating on a plane is not proceeding at slow speed;
  • That is in the process of coming off plane and settling into the water in which action creates more than no or minimum wake, is not proceeding at slow speed.
  • That produces no wake or minimum wake is proceeding at slow speed;
  • That is completely off plane and that has settled into the water is proceeding at slow speed.

Please Note:

  • Ingress and egress to the beaches shall be perpendicular to the shoreline and parallel cruising of the shoreline is prohibited.
  • Personal watercraft and jet boats are subject to the same Rules of Navigation required for all vessels.
  • Boaters are always responsible for their wake and any damage caused by it. Reference: Lee County Ordinance 08-14

The following areas are hereby designated as Areas of Regulated Water Activity and limit boats to idle speed:

  1. All waters within 500 feet of the shoreline from all beaches whether or not so designated with appropriate signs
  2. All waters within 500 feet offshore from any water-oriented structure, whether or not designated for such purpose by appropriate signs
  3. Any area designated as an official “NO WAKE- IDLE SPEED ONLY” area that is so posted in such a manner and place that it may be reasonably expected to be seen and read by a person in operation of a vessel within the area
  4. All waters within 100 feet of the Sanibel Causeway