If you’re new to boating, you’ve got an incredible experience lined up. There’s no method of traveling quite like it, and if you’re manning your own small cruiser you will enjoy the luxurious freedom that’s associated with piloting your own boat. If you’re looking to get a bit of information before you travel by boat, you’re doing responsible research as, if you’re well informed and motivated, boating is considered very safe.
Understand Your Boat
You should know your boat inside out. Spend time getting acquainted with it on land, and make sure you know how to use the two-way radio, add fuel and check the battery levels. You should know its capacity and its speed limits before you set off. If you’re renting a boat you can go through all this with your renter, but if you’ve bought the boat, you should be digging deep into the manual. If you’re part of a boat share program, your program manager should provide you with all the information you need, but as these programs are frequented by those who know their way around many different boat models you may have to actively ask as they may presume you know. Check for a tool kit on the boat; if there isn’t one present you should invest in one and make sure you know how to fix basic problems you might encounter.
If you haven’t bought a boat, you should choose the smallest that would suit your needs as the larger a boat gets, the more fuel it burns and the higher fees you’ll encounter at marinas. Also, consider your need – if you’re traveling an ocean or anywhere with very choppy and potentially dangerous wave activity, you should opt for a larger model.
Which hull suits you?
Your travel time can be affected by the hull that you employ. With a displacement or hull-speed boat, you will reach your destination at a similar time to if you were sailing. However, your height will be lower and your timing will be much more reliable.
If you opt for a planing hull, you will reach your destination faster and will be able to spend more time at your destination, which is especially useful if you’re going for day-trips. However, rough seas can slow down a planing-hulled boat and if you have a weak motor a small planing boat can be very load-sensitive.
If you’re boating for a fun and comforting vacation, you can enhance your relaxation time with some add-ons. You can get an automatic steering system, which frees the driver from the tiller (however, they use a lot of power so make sure your engine can take it). You could also have gravity-fed fresh/saltwater taps, which allow you to have water on demand without relying on a pressurized system that puts strain on your engine. On some boats, you can even have a complete toilet system.
Boating is a great pastime, and if you know your boat inside-out you will be able to enjoy traveling in a unique way that can be as relaxing or as challenging as you want it to be.