So you finally bought that boat you’ve been eyeing for years. And now that you have your dream boat, you’ll want to take it out for a spin. Boating offers so many opportunities to have fun, whether you want to fish or engage in water sports.
Whatever you choose to do, there are some basics that every boating beginner needs to know before they dive in and take the wheel.
Boating Beginners Take Note
Know the ropes
Just like you can’t hop into a car and start whizzing around town the first time you drive one, you can’t operate a boat without the knowledge and practice that go into it. The best way you can learn the basics and emergency procedures is to take a course.
We can help you with that; Boater’s Academy provides boating knowledge that’s recognized by the US Coast Guard and available in over 40 states. Learn basic operations and safety regulations through our online boating safety course and get your certificate. You can make use of the free study guide to start building your boating knowledge in the easiest way possible.
By learning the basics of boating, you’ll have the information you need on sailing terms, how to maneuver and handle the boat, and what procedures to follow in emergencies.
Check the weather
Before you leave for your boating excursion, it’s advised to check the weather forecast. Boating is most enjoyable – and safest – when it’s done on warmer days. If there is a chance of rainfall, it’s best to postpone your plans to a later date. No matter how much you think you won’t be affected by the rain or cold, taking the risk – especially as a beginner – is not advised.
The US Coast Guard provides a list of safety equipment that every boat should always have; this includes life jackets, visual distress signals, sound producing devices, and fire extinguishers. It’s better to stock up on first aid, ropes, tape, and snacks when you go out on your boat so you’re prepared for whatever situation befalls you.
It might not seem like an important decision to make, but the attire you choose to wear on your boat plays a part in the whole experience. It’s usually advised to layer up so you can ditch a few items of clothing if it starts getting too warm. Being prepared for all kinds of weather changes is imperative to an enjoyable boating experience.
The kinds of fabric you wear are also something to look out for; wearing denim or silk is not a good choice because they get increasingly uncomfortable as they get wet.
Secure your valuables
You may think your cell phone, wallet, and keys are safe because they’re in your pocket. You may want to reconsider that. If you go overboard or get splashed, you risk ruining your possessions. It’s best to stow away these valuables in a water-proof bag so they’re secure.
Now that you’re armed with the basics, you’ll soon go from beginner to pro in no time!