LAKESMARTS: Boat and Water Safety

It is the responsibility of all watercraft owners and operators to learn and understand good boating and water safety practices. Boaters are responsible for knowing the rules (Prior Lake Ordinance Section 703).

Quick Guide:

1. No towing in all NO WAKE zones.

2. No wake within 150’ of shore.

3. Speed limit 40 mph – Sunrise to ½ hour after sunset (weekends & holidays, Memorial Day to Labor Day.

4. Speed limit 20 mph – ½ hour after sunset to sunrise (all times during the year).

5. Operate your watercraft at a “slow-no wake” speed when you are close to swimming areas, docks, rafts, moored watercraft, and fishing boats or when signs or buoys direct you to do so.

6. Slow-no wake means that you should be operating at the slowest possible speed to maintain steerage, but not greater than 5 mph.

Common Courtesy Guidelines:

1. Be mindful of your wake. Stay towards the middle of the lake when wake surfing, wake boarding or operating at bow high altitudes for extended periods of time. This will help reduce the impact of larger wakes on the shoreline and moored boats.

2. Be polite with volume levels. Boat sound systems operating at high levels can easily be heard by the shoreline and other boats. Tower speakers will maximize this effect and can cause frustration with people on the shore.

3. Change it up. Vary your location on the lake when engaging in watersports for long periods of time. This will help minimize the effects of wakes, sound and traffic in one single location.

4. Right of Way. Give paddle sports and sailboats plenty of leeway. These activities have less control than a powered craft and can be more impacted by boat wakes.

Know Your Buoys!


For more information on boat and water safety and education courses, visit The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) at: