It’s the time of year to break old habits, put the past behind us, and start anew! While you already may have some personal goals for self-improvement this year (more exercise, more reading, less spending) why not make some commitments to become a better boater? Here are 10 New Year’s Resolutions to help you make the most out of the coming year and make you the savvy boater that you’re meant to be!
Try something new
1. Try wakeboarding, waterskiing, or tubing
You spend most of your time behind the wheel, this year try spending some time behind your boat! There are plenty of resources online to show you different techniques for getting up on the water, but the best way is to just go for it. Find some friends with gear, or rent or buy a board or skis and face your fears. Alternatively, consider checking out boat tubes and towables to get your kicks.
2. Visit a boating location that you’ve never been to before
It’s easy to get caught up fishing and boating your favorite spot each season. This year, be adventurous and check out a location you’ve never been to, or one you’ve always wanted to go to. To find out fishing and boating locations near you, check out Takemefishing.org’s helpful guide.
3. Pick up a new boating skill
New boat owners and experienced seamen alike still have much to learn when it comes to boating. For any topic – boating terminology, knot tying, piloting, charting a course, maintenance, and hundreds more – you can find a boating book to pick up a new skill this year. Take a look at what Amazon has to offer and learn something new today.
Spend more time in the water
4. Take your boat out at least once a month
Boating is a great way to de-stress, to hone a skill, and spend time outdoors and in nature. Why not spend as much time relaxing on the water as possible? Make a commitment this year to take the boat out at least once a month. Whether its during fishing season, just warm enough to be on the water, or deep into the summer months, get as much use as you can out of your vessel!
5. Spend more time with friends and family
On a related note, while you’re out boating, take the time to make memories with friends and family. Take your loved ones out on the water and spend some quality time. Invite Dad out for a fishing trip this season, or teach your son or daughter how to reel one in.
Learn more about boating
6. Study marine navigation and learn how to read charts and plot a course
Unlike driving in a car, you can’t just pull over and ask for directions when sailing or cruising ocean waters. Understand how to read nautical charts, learn the international signs and signals, and study how to plot a course and make corrections. If your electronic navigation ever becomes lost or malfunctions, you will be set and safe. Start with this helpful guide from About.com on marine navigation.
7. Set up and stick to a maintenance schedule for your boat
Rather than wait until something needs to be fixed or replaced on your vessel as the year goes on, take stock of your boat’s status in the beginning of the year and schedule maintenance for areas that need it. Make notes of things that need occasional replacement and long term upkeep, and make time to service your boat. Check out Discover Boating’s maintenance tips to start, and do more research to keep your vessel in tip top shape.
Practice boating safety
8. Enroll in a boating safety course online or locally
Become a safer boater in the coming year by taking a boat safety course. The US Coast Guard lists some great resources for learning boating safety online and has a database you can browse to find a boating safety course near you!
9. Buy and wear a life jacket when you’re out on the water
Here’s an easy one: Practice safer boating by buying and using a lifejacket. Drowning fatalities would be dramatically reduced if more boaters wore lifejackets. It’s a simple solution to a real problem, and you can do your part to promote safer boating. If you don’t already own and use a lifejacket, check out Savvy Boater’s collection of life jackets and PFDs and pick one up today.
10. Consider buying an Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)
If you are an off-shore boater, boat in places where there aren’t many boaters, or in your time boating have seen many boaters in distress, you may want to consider purchasing an EPIRB. In emergency or accident situations these devices send out distress signals via satellite to identify the boat’s position and alert emergency services. Learn more about these here.
Whatever your resolutions, we at Savvy Boater wish you a Happy New Year filled with good times and great boating and hope to be a part of your year to come!