Boating is very much a specialty hobby that requires knowledge, certifications, and experience.  But the only way to get experience is to take the plunge and get out there! If you’re a rookie boater, here are six tips to help you navigate your first boating season. 

  1. Don’t ever forget to check the weather.
    You can never check the weather too many times! Check a few hours before you leave, right before you leave, and while you’re out on the water. Remember that storms can sneak up on you out of the blue. If you’re a new boater, you don’t want to get stuck in dangerous weather.
  2. Layer, layer, layer.
    It might be warm at the marina, but if the breeze picks up on the water, it could get cold. Bring long sleeve shirts, a waterproof jacket, and more. Better to be overprepared and have whatever you need on hand than to get stuck in cold weather. 
  3. Drive slow when docking.
    The last thing you want is to rush and damage your boat, the dock, another boat, or even a person. If you aimed incorrectly and your docking job isn’t going well, don’t be too proud to back away and start over. This could save both your boat and another boat from unnecessary damage.
  4. Make sure your valuables are secure.
    Cell phones, keys, wallets, cameras, GoPros, drones, and more should all be safely secured away from the water. Otherwise, they have a way of getting wet or falling in the water.
  5. Wear a lifejacket.
    Most boating accidents aren’t lethal when passengers wear lifejackets. When passengers don’t wear lifejackets, tragedies often occur. It’s easy to wear a lifejacket, and it could likely save your life.
  6. Have an onboard first-aid kit and tool box.
    When you’re out on the boat, you can’t quickly access a doctor. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared with a first-aid kit. It’s just as important to have a tool box onboard. If a mechanical problem arises, you don’t want to be stuck on the water for hours. If you’re ready with spare parts and tools, you might be able to fix the problem yourself.