Horseshoe Lake Property Owners Association (HLPOA)

Boat Right – Be Polite

Boat Right -Be Polite is the focus of a boater education program that the Horseshoe Lake Property Owner’s Association is adopting for the 2020 Boating season.  This program was originally developed by the Lake of Bays Cottagers Association in partnership with the Federation of Cottager’s Association (FOCA).

Foundational to this program is the belief that everyone has the right to enjoy a safe, fun time on the water. This means that everyone also has a responsibility to respect and share waterways with wildlife, swimmers, divers, other boaters and watercraft ranging from sail boats to float planes.

Boat Right reflects the laws of recreational boating, which are spelled out in the Transport Canada – Safe Boating Guide ( We encourage you to keep a copy at the cottage and re-read it every year for a valuable refresher.  Remember that the speed limit is 10 kilometres per hour within 30 metres of shore and be sure to obey signs where posted.  Breaking the laws related to boating are criminal offences that carry fines and other potential consequences.  For example:

  • ·        Operating a boat in a way that is unsafe, careless or dangerous to the public is a Criminal Code offence subject to a fine of up to $500.00.
  • ·        Boating while intoxicated carries similar consequences as drinking and driving including suspension of your driver’s licence.  Learn more:

Be Polite summarizes the best practices we should all be using on the lake while boating in a variety of ways.

We hope that you will review the information below and share it with others who may use your cottage or are accessing the lake by boat. Horseshoe Lake has several narrow and unique channels where respecting and paying particular attention to these regulations and guidelines is critical for the safety and enjoyment of everyone.

When Water-Skiing, Wake-Boarding or Tubing:

Your first consideration in any of these activities should be safety and if you are operating safely, you're much less likely to annoy your neighbours as well.

Boat Right

·        Towboats must have an operator, a spotter and a seat for each person being towed.

·        Do not tow before sunrise or one hour after sunset.

·        Those towed must wear an approved personal flotation device.

·        Know and obey the right-of-way rules.

·        You can take off from shore at speed provided you drive straight out from shore.

Be Polite:

  • ·        Keep well beyond the 30-metre limit to avoid swimmers and boaters near shore.
  • ·         Don't swing your riders in front of other people's docks. Drop them outside the 30-

metre limit or come in and out perpendicular to your dock.

  • ·        Avoid multiple runs in the same area. Vary your route to share the pain.
  • ·        Keep a safe distance from other tow boats, which stop and turn unpredictably.
  • ·        Don't tow around canoes, kayaks, sailboats or small outboards. They may cross your rider's path, and your wake can capsize them.
  • ·        Concentrate! Most boating incidents are caused by operators not paying attention.
  • ·        When wake-boarding and tubing especially – stay at least 300 metres off-shore ie stay in the middle of the lake. Your wake is damaging to docks, moored boats, the shoreline and wildlife habitat.  The 30-metre limit is not enough for your wake to dissipate.
  • ·        Repeated runs in front of the same cottages is profoundly annoying because of the swells and noise, vary your route frequently.
  • ·        If you are making waves for tubing, do so in the middle of the lake a safe distance from other boats and the shoreline.

When Using a Personal Watercraft:

If you are operating a personal watercraft, your boat is designed for joyriding, so go out and have fun.  But be careful. Personal watercraft are involved in a disproportionate share of boating accidents.

Boat Right

·        Operators must be over 15 and have an operator's card on board.

·        When towing, you must have an operator, a spotter and a seat available for each person

being towed.

Be Polite

  • ·        Keep well away from small boats and people, as well as our loons. Buzzing or circling around canoes and kayaks or swimmers poses a safety hazard.
  • ·        If you must do repetitive doughnuts, go to the middle of the lake.
  • ·        Avoid manoeuvres close to other vessels, even if they're friends or relatives.

When using a Noisy Boat:

Boats with through-hull exhaust and little or no muffling are also a source of annoyance to others on our lake. It is so bad that small vessel regulations have been passed to control them. In the Lake of Bays survey, 70 per cent of respondents said noisy boats disrupted their cottage enjoyment. 

Decibel Coalition October 2022 NewsLetter Decibel Coalition Newsletter.pdf

If you want to report unsafe boating practices to the OPP,

call 1-888-310-1122 or dial 911 and make sure you have the facts available when you call.

Horseshoe Lake Property Owners Association
P.O. Box 3, Minden, Ontario K0M 2K0

Join us on Facebook and Instagram


The HLPOA acknowledge the lands and waters on which we meet, are the traditional homelands of the First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples. Our beautiful lakes are fed from the north and flow to the south. We therefore acknowledge the Algonquin and Mississauga peoples as well as the governance of the Williams Treaties. We wish to express gratitude to Mother Earth, the resources we are using, and honour all Indigenous people who have been and continue to live on these lands.


Horseshoe Lake Property Owners association is committed to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion in which every member, their family and friends are treated with respect and dignity.

© Copyright 2024 Horseshoe Lake Property Owners Association

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software