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Boating for Beginners: 7 Important Things You Need to Know

Statistics indicate that more than 142 million Americans went boating in the year 2016. These figures will continue to grow steadily as more people discover the unforgettable experience boating presents. If you have not yet explored the calmness of cruising deep into the waters, then you may be missing out big time. Boating for beginners can be fun and refreshing. 

But as a rookie, there are things you need to know before taking your first venture out on the boat. For most experienced boaters, cruising deep-sea seems to come naturally.

However, if you’re looking to have a safe and fulfilling first boating experience, here are some critical boating for beginners tips to consider. 

1. Focus on Training 

Boating can have a fair share of safety hazards for beginners. Prior training is essential. Intense exercise preps you for any eventualities when boating.

Most experienced boaters are a product of consistent training. Before you take the risk of going it alone, you need to give yourself time to learn the ropes. You’ll find various options on the internet of trainers you can rely on for instruction and support. 

At GBC All new memberships come with a complimentary one-hour orientation with one of our U.S. Coast Guard–certified captains. And if you would like more instruction on how to drive a boat, we can also organize more lessons.

Once you have gone through the right training, you can venture into the waters confidently.

2. Get the Right Paperwork

Getting the right licensing and registration is vital before you can navigate a boat. But is this necessary? 

Well, yes, you need to consider the type of boating activities you intend to engage in and the exact area of operations. Then do your research on the legal and regulatory dynamics in the specific jurisdiction.

You also need to consider the cost of this paperwork in your particular state before beginning the process.  If you’ll be sailing on an inland waterway, you need to consult the appropriate navigation authority in your area too. This is because some waterways have special licensing regulations that may land you in trouble as a beginner.  

However, if you’re a member of a Boat club, you may be eligible for exclusive boating rights. Such rights spare you the hassle of having to apply for a separate license. 

Depending on the season, you may decide to moor your marina from time to time. Docking your boat in such cases may require specific licensing considerations, depending on your state.

You may need to do your research to ensure that you have the right licensing before embarking on a boating expedition. 

3. Always Check the Weather 

Nothing can be as disastrous as driving a boat for the first time under extreme weather conditions. The rule of thumb in boating 101 is that you should never head out boating when it’s raining, more so as a beginner. These stipulations exist to ensure that your safety comes first while out in the waters. Read our article on Boat Safety Tips for more information on how to be prepared before and during your trip.

Never underestimate the impact that light showers can have on your boating experience. You should pay specific attention to weather forecasts or at least wait until its summer. 

Weather conditions can put your life in danger as a beginner.  It’s your responsibility to ensure that you navigate under favorable terms as a safety precaution.

4. Dress for the Occasion 

Boating is primarily an outdoor activity that requires comfort. Your choice of dressing can be the source of a regrettable experience. Now that you know your own body’s needs, it would be critical to prepare appropriately for the experience.

As a beginner, you don’t know how well your body will respond to the outdoor weather. Consequently, it would be prudent to have a warm change of clothes. This would cushion you in case the cold weather conditions affect your body temperature while out there.

5. Always have a “Float Plan” 

This is not a mayday call but, yes. It would be best if you took every safety precaution necessary as a beginner. Before going all out into the waters, it would be necessary to have a float plan to guide you back to shore. Such a move would be to caution you in case of any eventuality while navigating.

Float plans have been critical lifesavers overtime. Even among experienced boaters, having a float plan as part of the expedition has become standard practice. It would be best if you considered having a float plan near you at all times during the outing to minimize the risks in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Planning your trip with your local Boat Club can help cover this necessary safety need.

6. Always Have a Life Jacket

As a beginner, boating can be all fun and games until the boat capsize. It is advisable that before beginning your boating experience, you also learn how to swim. This would ensure a consideration of safety in case of an emergency.

But even as a seasoned swimmer, you should always have your life-jacket on. Most beginners complain that lifesavers may be uncomfortable especially during summer. While this is true, your life must always come first. 

Wearing a life-jacket ought to be a standard requirement in boating for beginners.

7. Having a Toolbox Is Necessary

How well can you handle a mechanical issue? As a beginner, facing mechanical faults on your first voyage can be extremely frustrating. But you don’t want to be stuck on the water for hours wondering what to do.

Granted, you are not a certified mechanic. But you need to have basic knowledge of the boat’s operational process. Such experience ensures that you can handle probable mechanical failures on the go.

Most of the mechanical faults may be resolved within minutes if you have the right tools. You should also have spare parts with you to ease the process of repairs. This also necessitates the need to know your way around the boat’s functionality.

If you are keen on a drama-free voyage, you can get a boat rental instead at friendly rates from a reputable Boat Club. You’ll get to enjoy the delight of well-serviced, reliable boats with standby or emergency personnel as well as boats fitted with spare parts and toolboxes in case of mechanical failures.  

Nothing Beats a Boating Experience Under Favorable Conditions

Driving a boat can be a thrilling experience as you venture out for your first voyage. Even then, there are critical tips for boating for beginners you must consider. 

Your safety may be at risk during such outings, but with these guidelines, you can drive a boat with minimal concerns about probable mishaps. Once you take cognizance of these tips, your initial boating experience will be smooth and fun.   

Are you looking for an unforgettable boating experience? Contact us for well-maintained luxury boats.  


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