Is Boating for You?by Sam Owens on November 21, 2017
Not everyone has the chance to grow up with a boating family. I was lucky enough to have grandparents and parents expose me to the excitement of boating from an early age. Sharing that with my family and friends has become a passion of mine. If you have a desire to experience life on the water there are many ways to get started.
Friends are a great way to get on the water for the first time. Boater’s love showing newbie’s the ropes but don’t forget some basic manners. Taking your shoes off before boarding, offer to pay for part of the fuel bill or bringing their favorite bottle of wine. All of these things will show respect to your hosts and maybe get that second invite! Plan your first outing on a fair weather day, which gives you a chance to find your sea legs.
Keep an eye on local boat dealers for what they call Demo Days. These events consist of 2-5 boats docked on a local body of water allowing you to take rides and ask questions. Representatives of the dealership will act as boat captains assisting with everyone’s day of fun. You will find no better opportunity to experience multiple types of boats and the activities they offer. Boatdipity and its social sites keep track of Demo Days so make sure you subscribe to track upcoming dates.
Maybe you want to take the family out for a day of fishing. Check with your local marinas for fishing charter companies. These groups will provide the boat, crew, fishing gear and licensing for a day on the water. Fees do vary and are usually charged per person so check with the provider.
Renting is another option offering everything from paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, small sail and powerboats. My suggestion prior to this step is to consider taking a boating safety course. Check out our blog on Do I need a license to drive a boat. Some are offered as free online programs while others dive deeper into details and charge fees. Your goal is to understand what other boaters are doing and how they should operate when around your type of boat. Consider it a “defensive driving” program for boats.
Rental companies are starting to gain popularity across the country allowing access to larger boats for a yearly membership cost. Like renting a car, if your time and finances are limited this may be a good option. It also gives you the chance to “try before you buy”. Most companies require proof of completing a boating safety course, as you will be captain of the ship while on the water.
Start making your own memories and get on the water. Share them with Boatdipity on social and see adventures others have experienced.