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White Iron Chain Of Lakes Association

News & Updates Blog

Boating Guidelines; Rules & Safety

Enjoying Minnesota’s lakes and rivers by boat or canoe is a wonderful privilege. That privilege comes with serious responsibilities. Fun boating is safe boating, so please follow the Minnesota DNR Boating Guidelines and contact the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) with any questions you may have.



  • When overtaking another watercraft going in the same direction, the craft being overtaken must maintain course and speed.
  • The passing watercraft must keep a sufficient distance to avoid collision or endangering the other craft from its wake.


  • When two watercraft approach each other “head-on,” each must alter course to the right to avoid collision.
  • If the two watercraft are far enough to the left of each other, no change in direction is needed for safe passage. Both watercraft will maintain their course and speed to pass clear of each other.
  • Keep to the right in narrow channels.


  • If two watercraft approach each other at a right angle, the watercraft to the right shall have the right-of-way.

Nonmotorized Craft

  • Nonmotorized craft (sailboats, canoes, etc.) have the right-of-way over motorized craft in all situations, except when the nonmotorized craft is overtaking or passing.
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