Top 5 Tips for Dads Who are First-Time Boaters


Boating is a fun activity that dads can enjoy with their whole family. It is always a perfect activity for sunny days. Just imagine taking the boat out with a nice wind and with your loved ones on deck. 

But, of course, it can be challenging for those who are going boating for the first time. So here are tips for new boaters that can help in making boating an exciting and no-stress pastime. 

Get Life Jackets That Fit You and Everyone Else Onboard

You likely won’t have to encounter accidents while out boating as a first-timer. However, it is still essential that you have life jackets on your boat. And it is equally important that they are a perfect fit for you, your crew, your family, and your guests. Everybody must wear their respective life vests on board too. According to statistics, 90 percent of drowning victims were not wearing their life jackets. You may find that it hampers movement, but safety should be the priority. 

On that note, as the owner or operator of the boat, you are responsible for the safety of everyone onboard. Because of that, you can be held liable if anything happens to them while you are out on the water. So make sure that they follow safety rules and guidelines and that they have their life jackets on always. 

Check the Weather Forecast

You are having a good day out at sea because it is sunny when all of a sudden, dark clouds move in over your position. For a first-time boater, it can be panic-inducing! To avoid problems brought about by challenging weather, check the weather forecast before heading out. Even if you have checked it several times over the past few days, it is still prudent to do so right before sailing. 

As intelligent as weather prediction systems are, Mother Nature can still be finicky. You do not want to be out on the water when the weather takes a turn for the worse if you have little experience with boating. Seasoned sailors themselves would advise against taking on challenging waves. 

But if the weatherman’s promise of a sunny day with a nice wind does not hold, turn around immediately. Also, look out for signs that the weather is going to be stormy. And in case you get caught in awful weather, keep in mind the advice of the coast guard. 

Have Plenty of Sunscreen

Since you will be out under the sun for the entire time you are boating, it is best to have protection from the UV rays. Caps or wide hats and sunglasses are not going to cut it because you will still be exposing plenty of skin. Not only will you have nasty sunburns, but you will also expose yourself to potential diseases. That is why you need to put on sunscreen before you leave the dock. Advise your crew, your family, and your guests to do the same too if they are coming along. 

Putting on sunblock once is not enough though. You need to reapply it every hour or so depending on the SPF level of the product you are using. And if you take a dip in the water, then you need to reapply it more frequently. Additionally, use a broad-spectrum, reef-safe sunscreen to avoid harming marine life.

Setup Proper Lighting Onboard

Going out to sea is fun in broad daylight. But being on the water at night? That is the stuff of romance (or intimate time with family and friends). However, to make it enjoyable and safe, you need to have the right LED lighting for boats. It will add to the atmosphere on deck when you are relaxing and relishing the evening air. 

Even if you plan to stay inside the control room in the evening, it is still a good idea to have proper lighting on the deck. This way, there is illumination wherever you look. This will also eliminate surprises like incoming sea vessels.  

Be Ready with a First-Aid Kit

Cuts, scratches, chafed palms, burnsthese are things that can happen to you or anyone onboard. As a new boater, you have to be ready for these injuries so you can treat them immediately. If the injury is severe, you still need initial treatment before you can arrive on land or get a hold of emergency services. 

A few things you need to note when selecting a first-aid kit are the size and durability of kits, the quality of items, and the practicality of items. You want a kit that can serve you for a long time and can be used in a wide variety of emergencies. 

Arm Yourself with Knowledge

As a new boater, you need to soak up as much knowledge as you can about boating. That is why it is advisable to continue taking classes even after taking an initial boating class. You can sign up for instruction right before you head out for sea again or anytime you want to reinforce what you already know about boating.  

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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