This thread continues to demonstrate how Sailnet never fails to create a heated debate about the most trivial topics.
I was always taught (by my grandfather, my father, and multiple sailing mentors) that waving is considered common courtesy on the water, and failure to wave can be considered a sign of distress. If a Coastie goes by, I strongly suggest that you wave, or your likelihood of being boarded goes way up. I don't wave to big tankers or ferry boats (unless the passengers wave to me), but in general if I can see the face of someone on the boat, I wave. I consider it a good safety practice, because I'm looking for acknowledgment that the captain of any recreational vessel knows I am there and will (hopefully) steer around me if I'm under sail.
I just love the video in this post
. It captures perfectly the spirit of boating, and how a friendly wave is unique to boating and a bit odd and inappropriate in other settings.
Frankly, I think the OP is sounding rather old and crotchety. I'll keep an eye out for him on the water so I can wave extra enthusiastically just to annoy him.