Spending time with your crew on the water this summer? There’s no better place to be! Boating, a longstanding American pastime, has seen a surge in popularity as millions of people recognize it gives you the freedom to explore and is one of the most fun, relaxing ways to escape stress on land. Plus, studies show being on the water improves health and wellness. It makes sense why a record number of newcomers purchased their first boat over the past two years.
Whether you’re new to boating or an experienced captain still navigating best practices for enjoying a day on the water, remember it should be fun — not intimidating. Understanding the basics on what to do and what to bring will help make you a safer, more confident boater while creating lasting memories.
“If you are looking for fun and adventure this summer, on the water with friends and family is where it’s at. There’s nothing more enjoyable and relaxing than a day on a boat with your favorite people,” said Ellen Bradley, senior vice president of Discover Boating. “Before you take the helm, learning the basic boating essentials will help ensure a fun and safe experience for all involved.”
Discover Boating is a helpful one-stop resource for everything from finding the boat that’s right for you to maintenance checklists and how-to’s, boating destinations and boating education topics. Additionally, with Discover Boating’s new Dealer Finder tool, you can conveniently locate and connect with verified boat dealers in your area.
Below are five tips from Discover Boating to improve your nautical know-how in no time to ensure the best possible experience on (and off) the water.
1. Learn the rules of the water. It is important to have the boating information and certifications you need to be a safe and responsible boater. By consulting Discover Boating’s safe boating tips, developing a safety checklist and obtaining the necessary training or certificates in your state, you not only protect yourself and your passengers but also other boaters on the water.
2. Take a class. Take the helm and become a confident boater. Sign up for a boating lesson to hone your powerboating, sailing or watersports skills by mastering the basics while having fun along the way. On-water training courses, watersports camps, youth boating programs and more are offered across the U.S.
3. Visit a boat show. Boat shows are an ideal place to immerse yourself in the boating lifestyle and provide a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with – and shop – a variety of boat dealers and marine product companies all under one roof. Most boat shows also offer educational opportunities (often complimentary) whether you’re a seasoned skipper looking to improve your skills or a new boater looking for tips on everything from boating safety to navigation and boat operation. Find a boat show in your area.
4. Look for the seal of approval. When shopping for a boat, whether at a boat show, online or at a dealership, check to make sure it is NMMA Certified. NMMA Certified boat and trailer manufacturers have been independently inspected to ensure they meet strict industry standards for safety and construction, as well as all federal regulations. Look for the NMMA Certified sticker near the helm of a boat.
5. Preserve your boat with proper maintenance. Similar to car maintenance, there are a few areas that require regular maintenance by the owner, and a few areas that require maintenance at routine intervals, which most leave to the professionals. Prepare a boat maintenance checklist that covers everything from engine needs to cleaning to electrical systems to ensure your boat has a long lifespan.
Enjoy your next boating adventure and be sure to use the social media hashtag #SeeYouOutHere to share your favorite moments on the water.
Visit DiscoverBoating.com for resources, storage options, tips and how-tos for getting on the water, boat shopping, safety and more.