Boating is an exciting yet challenging task for beginners. There’s so much to explore and experience. But, at the same time, a lot might go wrong. If you’re a novice at boating, don’t worry, and read on for the best boating tips!
Prepare Your Boat
Perhaps, the most crucial thing to do before getting into the water is to prepare the boat. It doesn’t matter whether the boat is brand-new or has been sitting in storage for a while. An examination is a must! It may have hidden repairs and maintenance work, especially if you’ve been using it for training. This can be a disaster if left unnoticed and untreated. So, always examine the condition of the boat prior to making any plans. Besides damages, also check if the boat needs a cleaning session. Some commonly-owned boats in the US are very easy to clean, like the pontoon boat. Pontoon boat cleaning doesn’t require any professional assistance. You can do it all by yourself. Here’s how to do it in 3 simplified steps:
- Use soap and water to rinse the boat. You can use it for all parts, though you’ll require a special cleaner for the aluminum toons.
- Scrub any buildups with a soft bristle brush or cloth.
- Polish the metal and wax coat the fiberglass parts of the boat.
Check the Weather Forecast
Once in the water, you definitely cannot protect yourself from an upcoming storm or hurricane. Even if it’s just bad weather, things can be very difficult to handle for beginners. The lack of experience, coupled with the unpleasant weather, is the perfect recipe for disaster! It’s why checking the weather forecast of the location is mandatory before you go boating.
Visit the NOAA (National Oceanic and Administrative Agency) for all weather updates. Only take out your boat when the wind is 5-knot or less. A knot refers to the unit of measurement for wind. At 5-knot or less, the surface of the water is calm. There’s no choppiness to cause you trouble.
Ensure Validity of License
If you don’t have a boating license, chances are that you cannot use the boat anywhere in the public waters. The license certifies that the individual knows the basics of boating, equipment, and safety. So, even as a beginner, we assume you would’ve got a valid license ready to use when you go boating. There are many NASBLA-approved (National Association of State Boating Laws Administrators) services that issue the license. You register with them, train, and get a license that permits you to use the boat in all states.
Gather Your Boating Supplies
You cannot just hop onto the boat and expect to have a great time. There are plenty of things that you may need to survive unexpected situations. For example, having a toolbox will help fix minor repairs in the boat quickly. Similarly, a first-aid kit will ensure you can tend to wounds in case of any emergency. Even if situations aren’t risky, you’ll require items to have an enjoyable time. These items include food, water, games, etc.
So, before you go, make sure you’ve got everything prepared and stored in the boat. Also, bring along extra supplies for guests (if any).
Boating is an outdoor activity with a lot of sun exposure. Therefore, you would want to wear something light, airy, and comfortable. However, remember to pack some thicker clothes, too. The temperature significantly drops on the waters as the evening approaches, and you may not always make it back on time.