A boating adventure is one of the best ways to experience an unforgettable vacation. Whether heading out for a day trip or a weekend escapade, proper preparation is essential to ensure your safety and guests’ enjoyment.
This guide will help you plan the perfect boat tour to make your vacation a memory for a lifetime!
Know The Weather
The weather is the most important factor in a boating trip’s success. High winds, lightning and rough seas can quickly turn a fun day of boating into a life-threatening experience.
Finding a reliable marine weather forecast (available on radios or online). Before going on a boat tour, frequently check the upcoming weather conditions to ensure you’re staying away from areas where sudden changes in the water and air can produce dangerous situations such as thunderstorms.
Look for towering clouds with an anvil-shaped top, characteristic of ominous storms. Listen for the telltale clap of thunder to help you calculate how far away the lightning is. Also, pay close attention to tidal information affecting your trip, especially near river entrances and crossing bars.
Know The Tides
It’s essential to check the weather forecast before going boating. High winds and rough water can make the trip uncomfortable or even dangerous. Luckily, most marine radios and TV stations will provide marine weather updates several times daily.
Tide information is also important to know. A tidal flow can change the water level dramatically, especially in channels with hidden obstructions like oyster bars, sunken boats, or reefs.
Knowing the tides can help you navigate through these areas without getting stuck or having to turn back. A backup plan is also helpful if something goes wrong on the water. Preparing a float plan before setting sail is a good idea. This will let anyone needing to find you know where and when to look.
Know The Laws
You need to know the boating laws of your destination before you go on any trips. These laws include ensuring that you have a safe and secure way to get your vessel to the water and navigation rules and regulations for the specific body of water you will be traveling in.
It is also important to be sure that you have enough food and water for the duration of your trip. Running out of these essentials can be a huge inconvenience, so have plenty of extra food and water if you are delayed.
Finally, arriving at the dock an hour before your reservation time is always a good idea. This will give you enough time to find parking, use the restroom, and board the boat before it departs.
Make A Checklist
Whether you enjoy NYC’s iconic skyline from the comfort of a yacht or cruising along on a speedboat, boating can be one of life’s most fun activities. However, it’s important to be properly prepared before setting sail so your trip can be smooth sailing.
This includes knowing how to make a checklist covering personal items and equipment. A good list will help you avoid forgetting things and prevent accidents from occurring on your voyage.
Before your departure, plot your route on paper charts or electronic devices. Pay special attention to navigational hazards such as shipping lanes, unexpected shallow areas, and areas known for unusual currents. You also want to bring plenty of water, food, and ice for your trip.
Bring The Right Equipment
Having the right equipment is essential for an enjoyable boating trip. This includes safety gear like life jackets and a rescue ring buoy, as well as food and water for the duration of the voyage.
In addition, ensure that your vessel, nautica smart tabs, and electronics are up to date. You should also map your route and consider potential navigation hazards and shallow areas. It is also smart to make a budget for your fuel needs that allows for extra expenditures due to high winds, bad weather, or spontaneous side trips.
Finally, bring food and drinks to last the entire voyage and ensure your meals are well insulated in portable coolers if you’re not planning on using the in-cabin refrigerator. This will save you the trouble of returning to shore for dinner or lunch and allow your group to enjoy their time on the water longer.