Summer is boating season. Sure, you might use your boat throughout the rest of the year, but summer is when the experience comes to life. So, whether this is your first summer on the water or you have been boating for decades, a few essential summer boating tips can always help you get more from the experience.
Get a Head Start
You’ll want your boat to be in top condition when summer arrives so you can get the most from each trip. Don’t wait until the weather warms up to take care of any maintenance and repair tasks, like sealing up end grain or protecting the hull’s finish. Spring is a great time to do this work, so you don’t have to stress about getting it done when you’d rather be on the water.
Think Safety When Packing
Before you head out for a day of fun, be sure to pack your boat with some essentials to keep everyone safe. The following list is a good starting point:
- Life jackets. You should have a suitable life jacket on board for every person who will be on the trip. No exceptions.
- Water. It can be hot on a boat during the summer. And, even though you are surrounded by water, there might not be a safe supply of drinking water available. Pack some bottled water for your outing to stay away from dehydration issues.
- Sunscreen. Many boats offer nowhere to hide from the sun. Sunburns are not only painful, but they can be harmful to your health as well. Stock up on sunscreen and reapply periodically if you are out for an extended time.
- Communication device. Hopefully, your day on the water will go off without an incident. If something does happen, however, you need a way to communicate with the shore (or other boats). A cell phone can work in areas that have service, but an onboard radio might be the better choice.
Pay Attention to Traffic
One of the few downsides to summer boating is the traffic you are likely to encounter on the water. Driving your boat on a busy day is much like driving your car on a crowded freeway. You need to pay attention to others on the water, give other boats plenty of space, and obey the speed limit that is in place. Sharing the water in a courteous manner will help everyone have a more enjoyable day.
Try One New Destination
It’s great to get familiar with a body of water that you can revisit time after time. With that said, don’t let your boating adventures get stale. Make it a goal to try out at least one new destination each summer. Even if it’s just for a short ride, trying a new place can open you up to experiences you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Add Some Toys
Depending on the kind of boat you own, adding a few water toys can make the experience more enjoyable for the whole family. You could look for a tube designed to be towed behind the boat, or even just some inflatables that can make it more enjoyable to swim off the side when the motor is off.
Dress the Part
It’s easy to think that you will just wear some shorts and a tank top or t-shirt when out on the water for a summer day—but that might not be the right choice. For one thing, you’ll expose a lot of skin to the sun, and it might be hard to protect yourself (even with sunscreen). Also, early in the day or late in the evening, the air might not feel as warm as you expect out on the water, even if it is a warm day on land.
It’s About the People
Boating is great, but it’s fun on another level when you spend your time on the water with the people who matter most in your life. So, as you schedule your boating adventures, be sure to call the friends and family who will make each trip one to remember.
We hope these essential summer boating tips assist you! To get your boat in top condition for the season, be sure to browse all of the fantastic products here at BoatLIFE.