5 Tips for First-Time Boaters

If you’ve never hit the water by boat before, you may be nervous about your first-time boating experience. You have an exciting adventure ahead, but it’s going to be more important than ever to be prepared for your first time. You’re going to want to pack appropriately, be aware of the weather, dress smart, and have your essentials on board.

first time boater - baby boy

You’re also going to want to make sure you’re aware of your timing when using the boat ramp and docking. Take a look at these 5 tips you’ll want to make note of when it comes to your first-time boating experience.

Packing essentials

First things first for your boat trip, is going to be to pack appropriately. You’re going to want to make sure you have some safety items on board like a first-aid kit, sunscreen, and a toolbox since you could have an injury or a mechanical problem when you’re in the middle of a body of water.

Next, take valuables with you such as cell phones, keys, wallets, and a place to secure them in a waterproof spot. Then you’re probably going to be thinking about what kind of food and drink your group is going to want while on the water.

While you have taken food and drink orders, make a point to bring more food and water than you think you’ll need because boating can make you hungrier than you expect and you won’t have a way to restock when you’re out on the water. 

Lastly, be sure to pack sun protection in the form of layers of clothing. You may be ready to hit the water in your bikini or trunks, but you may get cold when the wind kicks in and you may end up in the water which is colder than the air.

What’s the weather like?

Next, you’re going to want to keep an eye on the weather. While you may live in an area that is generally sunny, you should be checking it consistently the day you are supposed to head out. An unexpected storm could put you in danger, especially as a new boater. Beware of the weather and avoid going out in high winds or a storm.

Go out with the right boat

While you may have just assumed all boats are the same, you are going to want to choose the right boat to go on the water with. A cruising boat is perfect if you’re just entertaining and what to relax, but it’s not ideal if you are trying to fish or do watersports. Take the right boat out for the right occasion.

Get trained

One of the best things you can do to stay on the water is to prepare ahead of time with proper training. Operating a boat is not like driving a car and you’ll need to understand the basics of driving, docking, and handling currents, weather, waves, and tides.

You’ll also learn how to be aware of your timing by planning ahead because you don’t want to hog the boat launch ramp for long causing delays for others trying to use it. You’ll also learn the importance of wearing your life jacket and going slow when docking since rushing could lead to damaging yours or another’s boat.

Don’t overload the boat

Lastly, you can never be too careful about how much weight you have on the boat. You don’t want to overload your boat with too many guests or equipment. Be sure to take the time to learn how much weight it can handle so that you don’t end up in a dangerous situation.

These 5 tips are the best places for a newbie to start when it comes to your first boating experience on the water!