If you are looking for a new pastime, you should be considering the benefits of boating. There is just something so relaxing about being out on a boat on any body of water. Around 142 million Americans enjoy the benefits of boating every year.
Boating is a great way to spend time with family and friends, and there are actually health benefits of boating. That’s right, doing something fun can actually improve your health. Learn more about the benefits of boating, and you will be hooked on the idea.
Excuses Are Not Necessary
You may be thinking, “How can I enjoy the benefit of boating when there are no docks in my area to even launch a boat?” There are plenty of people who enjoy boating and do not even own a boat. If they do own a boat and do not have a nearby place to dock it, they make other arrangements for winter storage.
Most everyone lives near a self storage place where they can store their boat if they do not want to take up space in the driveway. Once you learn about the benefits of boating and see for yourself what a great pastime it is, those excuses won’t seem reasonable anymore. Self storage will seem like the best things since sliced bread.
Boating is Good For Our Brains
How much stress can someone take? Let’s find out by hosting a pandemic, locking down with the family 24 hours a day for months, and then not being able to take a vacation anywhere. This year has been stressful for most families.
The pandemic has not been all bad, though. Many of us did some bathroom updating, cleaned out the garage, got some long overdue painting done, and other household tasks out of the way. Of course, there is only so much satisfaction you can get from redoing the house again. Putting more effort in your house has been a positive distraction for many people this year. But it’s not quite a complete solution.
One of the benefits of boating is that it helps to reduce stress. It might sound crazy, but it’s true. Studies show that the water’s rhythmic swooshing while you are on the boat is calming. It can actually affect your brainwaves and create feelings of peace. Additionally, the gentle rocking motion while you are on the boat can release feel-good endorphins.
With all this stress reduction, it’s no surprise that another one of the benefits of boating is that it is good for your health. Family physicians agree that less stress can mean better health.
You are not the only one that has been stuck in the house because of the pandemic. The kids have been pretty stuck too. Stuck to their screens, no doubt. One of the key benefits of boating is getting the whole family outdoors and off their screens.
Yes, you have been spending a lot of time with the kids, but how much of that time has really been quality time? The kids have not had the same distractions as you during the pandemic. They don’t care about the clean garage, and they do not take joy in knowing that thanks to COVID, there has been plenty of time for lawn mowing.
Their only escape has not really been a healthy one. They get online, hang out on social media, and watch Tik Tok videos around the clock. A little boating can restore some normalcy in their lives.
One of the many benefits of boating is bonding with your family over the pastime. You will make great memories and start new family traditions. Boating is a great way to bring all the generations together in the great outdoors.
Every Weekend Can be a Mini Vacation
Travel restrictions are still very much in place for most destinations. Do you really want to go to Disney World on vacation and not be able to eat or drink in the park, or have to wear a mask in the 90-degree heat this summer? Of course not, but you do want an outlet that will be fun for the whole family. Boating is that outlet.
One of the benefits of boating is that it is a great excuse to travel a bit. You can explore all bodies of water in your state a weekend at a time. Just hitch the boat up, grab some tents and make a weekend out of boating.
It can be a very cost-effective way to get away from life for a while without having to go very far. Boating offers limitless opportunities to take weekend getaways and have a great time. A boat can be the centerpiece of mini-vacations throughout the entire boating season.
Getting away from it all has never been easier. You can enjoy the benefits of boating for many months out of the year.
Boating Encourages Exercise
One of the benefits of boating that may not come immediately to mind is the exercise you and your family can get out of boating. It is easy to incorporate exercise when you are boating. Think of all the available water sports.
Swimming is a great form of exercise, and what better way to swim than to dive off the back of the boat. The kids will enjoy the opportunity to get in the lake or the ocean and swim around. If you are a little more adventurous, consider tubing.
Waterskiing is another fun water sport, as is wakeboarding. There is plenty of ways to get more exercise. Don’t forget about all that great beneficial Vitamin D you are exposed to. The benefits of boating when it comes to your health are clear. You can get more stress relief, more exercise, and enjoy much-needed quality time with friends and family.
The Cost of the Benefits of Boating
All the benefits of boating have sold you on the idea that having a boat may be just what the doctor ordered for you and your family. Of course, the next question is, how do you afford a boat? You may be thinking that a boat is out of your reach financially, but think again.
You do not have to buy a brand new construction boat. You can buy used and save thousands of dollars. New boats can get costly, especially when you start adding more bells and whistles. You can buy a small used boat to get started on your new pastime.
There are dealers that specialize in selling used inventory. You may even want to check with an rv dealership near you. Sometimes they have a small inventory of other toys in stock, like used boats. You can also peruse local marinas or check social media marketplaces and other classified sections.
You can use your vacation fund to buy a used boat. No one is taking vacations right now because of COVID 19. So if you have been saving up for a family vacation, buy a boat instead.
You can easily fix up an older used boat with a little power washing and some TLC. Boats can be a lot more affordable than you think. Some places will even rent boats, so you can try one out. Once you experience the benefits of boating, you will be hooked, and you will find a way to afford one.
Boating Safety Tips
Making sure you and your family get all the benefits of boating starts with making sure that you are following the safety guidelines for boating. The Coast Guard sets the rules for boating. Here are some safety tips that you should always follow:
- Everyone on board needs a proper fitting lifejacket. Lifejackets are critically important on any type of vessel. Be sure you have enough life jackets for everyone in the right sizes. Coast Guard-approved life jackets are the best.
- Keep an emergency safety kit on board. Special kits are made for boats that include things like first aid supplies, flares, and emergency items.
- Make sure you check the weather each time you head out. You do not want to get caught in a storm, especially as a novice.
- Make sure you follow weight restrictions for your boat. Every boat has a weight limit, so be sure that you adhere to them.
- Never drive your boat after you have been drinking. The same laws apply on the water as apply on the road when it comes to drinking and driving.
Following some safety precautions will ensure that you get all the benefits of boating without having any worries.
There are some local rules that you will need to follow. For example, if you are going to have a cremation service of your boat you may need to get special permission. There are also right of way boating rules that you will need to follow.
Boating Rules That Are Universal
Getting familiar with the universal boating rules is also an important part of enjoying the benefits of boating. Here are some of the rules you will need to know:
- If you are behind another boat in a river, channel, or canal, you are the more responsible party should you try to pass. You have to ask permission to pass. You sound two short sounds from your horn, indicating you would like to pass. You always pass on the left side of a boat. If the boat in front signals back with two short blasts, then you have been granted permission. If the boat ahead signals five blasts from the horn, don’t pass. Permission has been denied because there is danger involved in passing that you may not see.
- Vessels to your right are the privileged vessel or the stand-alone vessel. That means if you are on a pass to cross one another, they have the right of way.
- Each state and some localities have their own regulations. Some bodies of water like lakes require that boats travel in a counter-clockwise pattern. Other bodies of water may require a clockwise pattern. If information is not posted on the lake, river, or other body of water where you are planning to launch, check with your state boat board licensing agency.
Becoming familiar with boating traditions, regulations, and laws is critical to ensure that you skipper your boat properly. Some heavily boated areas are patrolled by wildlife officers, the Coast Guard, and other regulatory authorities. Ignorance of the law is not a defense. Fines and penalties for not following the rules can get expensive.
The Benefits of Boating Are Clear
There is no time like the present to start looking for your new boat (or used boat). Find a boat that fits your family’s needs and start enjoying all the benefits of boating, including building stronger relationships with your family and friends. Your family will thank you for it, and your friends will be clamoring to spend a day on the water with you.
Buy your boat today and be cruising by the weekend. A boat will help you enjoy life a lot more.