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New Member Orientation – 5 Things to Learn

Whether you’re a new boater preparing to cast off for the first time with Gulfstream Boat Club or a seasoned veteran at the helm, our New Member Orientation is a fun and practical way to gain confidence on the water and an understanding of the vessel. Education is the key to becoming a better, more knowledgeable boater.

During orientation, a team member will explain to you a few important pieces of knowledge to take along with you on your adventures. There’s no better way to learn basic concepts, practice docking skills and get some valuable time on the helm!

Here are a few things you’ll take away from your 1 hour New Member Orientation with a Gulfstream Boat Club captain.

5 Things to Learn at New Member Orientation

Boating Navigation : Channel Markers, GPS, Depth Finders

So how do you get from point A to B safely? Just as when driving on the highway where there are signs to help you get from one place to another, on the water there are aids to navigation.  These are buoys, day marks (signs) and lights. These tell you where the channel is, which way to turn, what to avoid and give you useful information.

Your next most valuable piece of of knowledge is how to use the onboard GPS system. Using a Marine GPS (Global Positioning System) is usually the most efficient, easiest way to navigate a boat. During your New Member Orientation we will walk you through the basics of how your Marine Chartplotting GPS functions and teach you how to plot a course. Being familiar with your GPS will improve your confidence as a boater and make your time on the water more fun and safe.

Boating Safety : Lifejackets, Flares, Sound Device Instruction, Boat Registration

Every boat has adult-size life jackets to match the boat’s maximum capacity. We also have throwable flotation square, flares, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, dock lines, and some boats come with fenders. During your New Member Orientation we will show you where to access the emergency and safety equipment, when to use them, and how to properly use them.

A child under the age of 6 must wear a USCG-approved Type I, II or III personal flotation device while onboard a vessel under 26 feet in length while the vessel is underway. “Underway” is defined as anytime except when the vessel is anchored, moored, made fast to the shore or aground. We have youth and child-size life jackets available. Simply tell our staff how many you need when you make your reservation or arrive at the dock!

Boat Docking : Knots, Line Handling, Using Fenders

One of the most used piece of information you will learn in your orientation will be when and how to tie knots, lines, and using fenders. Learning how to secure your boat to docks, piers, and other boats will allow you the freedom to explore beyond the helm. Tying up your boat to a dock is a basic skill that will become easy with a little practice and experience. When a boat is properly tied up at a dock, it will not only be secure. It can’t float away—but will also be protected from damage and not able to damage other boats.

Boating Steering : Throttle control, trim tabs & turning

Using a steering wheel on a boat is very similar to using a steering wheel in an automobile. You turn the wheel, and the boat follows—mostly. However, you need to always remember that there are other factors influencing a boat’s direction of travel, like wind and current. As a result, boats may handle differently in different conditions and a turn of the wheel may not always change the boat’s direction exactly as planned. During New Member Orientation, we will discuss maintaining a proper lookout, when and how to use the throttle, trim tabs and more.

Anchoring : Sandbar Anchoring, Shallow Water Anchoring

An anchor isn’t just for passing the day away from the marina. It is a key piece of safety gear. Anchors work by digging themselves into the seabed and if not properly set, they can cause trouble. We will show you where the anchors are stowed, how to tie them properly, and other situational advice for making the most of your time anchored.

Find Your Ideal Vessel to Boat with Confidence

hoosing a Membership gives you a chance to experience different makes and models. With a fleet that includes center consoles, dual consoles, skiffs, bowriders, and pontoons, Members have a chance to determine which style is best for them and their families. Feel free to try different boats to see which is the best fit for you or your family!

New Member Orientation with Gulfstream Boat Club

Spending a day at the helm of your own boat is one of the most liberating things to do. From driving to docking, and sandbars to sunset cruises, our New Member Orientation is designed to make your day on the water the most enjoyable! For more information about reserving a boat, joining as a new member or to tour our clubs, give us a call today! (888) 702-2256



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