Boating Boating is a very popular activity all around the world and it has been growing in popularity throughout the years. In a world where stress abounds in everyday life, there's no better way to escape for a little bit than on the deck of a boat. Boating has many advantages that can help enhance your life. Recreational boating improves your quality of life. From the moment you start to move forward in a boat, you'll see how easy it becomes to leave your worries behind. Boating is a constructive outlet for entertainment that reduces stress and provides enriching opportunities for self-discovery. Boating is actually quite an affordable recreational activity. A boat is a great investment and you can find a boat for less than what you think. Boats can often be financed for less than $200 a month. Used boats are also easy to find for just a small amount of money. Once you own a boat, you can take off any time you want and enjoy boating for what it is -- a fun way to spend a day. There's no better way to bond with family and friends than through boating. A study done by the National Marine Association shows that nearly 50 percent of all people surveyed say that their number one most favorite activity to participate in with family and friends is boating. Boating allows you to get out of the house, away from the TV, and spend quality time together. You can actually get a lot of exercise while boating as well. Water skiing is a great physical activity that can improve your agility and your balance. You won't believe the muscles you work when you are water skiing, so it's a great way to get some exercise while boating. Recreational boating is easy to learn. Even if you have no experience piloting a boat, you can learn quickly by taking a quick boating course offered by many marinas and boat dealers. If you've always wanted to learn how to sail or are just looking for a great way to relax and spend time with loved ones, when you take a boating course, you'll be out on the water in no time. Boating offers many opportunities for personal growth. Whether you're instilling your child with confidence as they learn how to properly secure a line or you're enjoying the taste of fresh fish that you caught yourself, boating provides many different rewards for all ages. You will find many, many rewards when you take up boating. It's a great sport that anyone can participate in and gives you a great way to escape stress - even if it's just for a little while. Enjoy boating for peace of mind, an escape from life, and to have a great way to connect with your family and friends. Boating Fun Boating is way more than a fun way to enjoy nature and the water. There are all sorts of ways to have fun boating. Think outside of the box and explore new ways to have fun on the water. Of course, boating is fun. But when you have your family and friends along for the ride, the fun becomes massive! If you have a pontoon boat, this is a great opportunity to throw a party on the water and let those you care about enjoy boating as much as you do. Even if you own a speedboat, your friends and family will have a lot of fun taking turns on board as they enjoy water sports like skiing and tubing. Part of boating is doing so responsibly. If you are captaining your vessel, avoid drinking alcohol. It can impair your judgment and can cause an accident. As you can imagine, THAT would not make boating fun! Boating fun is easy to find when you enjoy your time on the water with your family. Keep a positive attitude and teach those around you what you are doing. Point out interesting sites on your trip. Liven the atmosphere with some boating trivia or boating songs. You might be surprised to see how much those around you will enjoy your trip when they see you enjoying it as well. Part of the fun in boating is enjoying the scenery as you glide across the water. Don't let that pass you by. Take the time to watch as nature passes you by. Notice the color of the trees, pay attention to any wildlife you might see, find unique sights that you don't usually see. It might sound a little hokey, but we think you will find that noticing nature is definitely a big part of boating fun. Water skiing, inner tubing, wake boarding, and fishing are all fun activities you can do while boating. In fact, many boat owners wouldn't think of owning a boat without having a ski rope or a fishing seat. Find the joy in these activities and fully embrace that joy. See the joy in the faces of those around you as well. That can be amazingly satisfying as you watch other people with smiles on their faces. Having fun while boating is easy. Boating is an activity that should take you away from the stresses of everyday life. So sit back, relax a little, laugh a lot, and experience fun like you've never known -- all while boating! Boating Life There's so much to be said for living the boating life. Boaters have their own lifestyles. They live on boats, take their families boating, attend boating events, give boating gifts, have a unique code of etiquette and love to laugh about boating and the boating life. It's a wonderful way to look at the world from the deck of a boat. Boating Life magazine embraces this lifestyle and is perfect for anyone who loves the wind in their faces as they skim across the water. Like many other boating magazines, this one offers its subscribers a plethora of information about the sport of boating. Its sections include: * Boat test drives * Safety tips * Boat maintenance * Water sports * Fun stuff * And more! There is a separate section for classified ads so you can look to buy products and even a new boat. If you have some extra equipment you want to get rid of, list it in the classified section. Want to upgrade to a bigger boat? Boating Life's classified section, again, is the perfect place. Are you looking for some tips on the best places to travel by boat? Boating Life magazine has got tons of suggestions. They've already been there and can offer up tips and advice for you to take to heart. Their website also has a lot of great information on the boating life. Have a question about boating and need an expert's advice? Ask it online. Curious about upcoming boating events? There's a section for that too! The website is located at www.boatinglife.com. You can get a free newsletter sent directly to your e-mailbox. This publication is a great way to stay up-to-date on all the new trends in boating and all you have to do is check your e-mail! If you want to subscribe to Boating Life, you won't believe the offer they have on their website. To begin with, you can get your first issue FOR FREE! If you like it, do nothing and they will bill you for a two year subscription at just $9.97! If you don't want to subscribe, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back to them. But with a rate of less than $5 a year, why not keep it! The boating life is a great way to live. If you want to embrace it fully, check out Boating Life magazine! Boating Instruction When you decide to take up boating as a hobby, it's important to get boating instruction from a competent professional who can teach you all about this great sport. Boating instruction entails much more than just showing you how to operate a boat. It also encompasses boating safety along with boat and engine maintenance. When you receive boating instruction, you'll be learning about boating as a sport, but it will do so much more for you. It can make boating much more enjoyable, make you more skilled as a captain, and can even save you money! Getting boating instruction through certified classes could provide you with a discount on your boating insurance! There are many places where you can find reputable boating instruction. Start with a local marina. Like a golf pro shop, the marina will have a "boat pro" on staff that will be happy to help you with your boating education. Many marinas have classes you can take on site that will teach you everything you need to know. We live in an Internet world. It just goes to say, then, that there is boating instruction available online. This is a great way to be able to study all aspects of boating from the comfort of your own home. However, keep in mind that you won't have the benefit of a live person to ask questions of. What should you look for in choose a boating instruction class? Here are a few of the components that the class should include: * Certified instructors with proper qualifications * Boat operation * Boat mechanics and maintenance * Boating safety * Navigation rules * Coast Guard requirements for safe boats * Proper seamanship Another great advantage to taking a boating instruction course is that it will help to qualify you for your boating license. Like getting a driver's license, you will have to take a test to obtain your boat license. Having the advantage of a class that can teach you what you need to know will prepare you in the best way possible. Boating instruction will also tell you how to register your boat, best ways to store your boat, and how to ramp your boat -- all things that the responsible skipper should know well. You can also get the best information on proper boat maintenance as well as basic engine repair. When you decide to captain your own vessel, boating instruction is a big part of becoming a responsible skipper. Get as much as you can as often as you can - even if you are an experienced boater. It never hurts to have a refresher course along the way. Boating instruction is your way of telling everyone "I know what I'm doing, and you can trust me!" Boating Accessories When you are looking for boating accessories, you may become overwhelmed at the amount of products that are available. Are you wondering just what kinds of boating accessories you really need? The truth is that answer is really up to you. To begin with, you need to make sure that your boating accessories include all of the required equipment as outlined by the United States Coast Guard. Those boating accessories include: * Fire extinguishers * Life jackets for each person on board * A sound device like a foghorn, a whistle, or a bell * Adequate lighting for night boating You will also want to have some type of two-way radio for communication with those on shore in the event that you become stranded. While this is not a mandatory boating accessory, you really won't want to be without this while in the middle of the water. As far as other accessories for boating, the rest is your decision. How will you be using your boat? If you will be participating in water sports, look into a pair of water skis and a slalom ski as well as a strong tow rope. Inner tubing just requires a reliable tube with handles and that same tow rope. Some people think that an essential boating accessory is an on-board stereo. If you will be entertaining on your boat, this can be a great addition. You don't have to spend a lot of money on a boat stereo, but you may find that the extra investment is well worth your enjoyment! Recreational boating accessories can run the gamut from fishing gear to nice sunglasses. If you think you will want to park in one of the proverbial "party coves" that exist on many bodies of water, you will want to have an anchor lest you drift away from the party! If you will be traveling on large bodies of water, a boating accessory you may really need is a navigation system. Today, many GPS systems can be found relatively inexpensively and they can save your life should you become lost or mixed up while on the water. If your boat has separate below-deck living quarters, you will want to outfit that with some cool boating accessories. Well, they're not necessarily boating accessories specifically. What we're talking about here is a coffee pot, a microwave, and maybe even a television with a DVD player. If you will be bringing your kids along, these devices could be life savers! Boating accessories can be found in many places. Your best deals will be found online. Shop around and outfit your boat so it reflects you and how you want to use your boat. Then enjoy! Boating Magazines There are literally hundreds of boating magazines being published these days probably because of the popularity of this fun sport. Stop into any bookstore and you will find all sorts of magazines dedicated to boating and various aspects of boating. What are the more popular ones? Here's just a sampling: * Motor Boating Magazine -- This magazine is celebrating their 100th anniversary of publication. They are dedicated to the sport of motor boating and have lots of great sections as well as articles that can help the avid motor boater. Subscription rates are just $14 for one year with your first three issues free. They are online at www.motorboating.com. * Boating Magazine -- Covering all aspects of boating is what Boating Magazine is all about. They have reviews of different watercraft, suggested boating destinations, articles about boating, and ways to take care of your watercraft. You can get a one year subscription for just $14 and can sign up online at www.boatingmag.com. * Go Boating -- Like many boating magazines, Go Boating gives complete reviews and tests for various watercraft to help the boater decide which boat they may want to buy. They have information about fishing along with articles about boating in general. Subscription rates are quite affordable at just $9.97 for two years! Find them online at www.goboatingmag.com. * Boating Life -- If you are into boating as a recreational sport, this is the boating magazine for you. They also review boats, but they have articles about fun boating destinations and how to have fun while boating. They do offer a free sample issue, and subscription rates are reasonable at just $9.97 for two full years. Sign up online at www.boatinglife.com. * Boating World -- This magazine contains articles on fishing, water sports, boats, and product reviews. They also talk about boat maintenance, repair tips, trailers and more. This boating magazine really is great in covering boating equipment as well as boating lifestyle news. One year of ten issues is just $9.95. Their website is at www.boatingworld.com. Of course, these are only a few of the most popular boating magazines. You can also find magazines dedicated to water skiing, water sports in general, and sailing. Depending on your particular interest in the sport of boating, we're sure you'll be able to find a boating magazine that will help you gain a new appreciation of the sport. You can often find discounted subscriptions to these boating magazines as well as others from discount magazine outlets. Just be sure that you know what you are getting and that their reputation is solid. You will learn so much in the pages of a boating magazine, so take advantage of free issues and read on! Boating Clubs No matter where you are located, you will most likely have a boating club nearby. There are literally thousands of different boating clubs that you can join. A quick Internet search brings up over 100,000 boating clubs throughout the world! To begin with, boating clubs are great places to meet people who share the same interest in boating that you do. People often join boating clubs for this specific purpose. Boating is an almost obsessive sport. When you know others who share that same passion, you'll fuel that fire in ways you never knew possible. Boating clubs will also sponsor social events like boat shows that you can participate in. Social gatherings are great places to exchange information with other boaters and share your own knowledge. You can really learn so much about this sport just by talking with other people! It doesn't matter what kind of boating you do, a boating club really is for you. Compare boats with other people. You may learn about a different style or brand of boat that you want to check out and even buy. Maybe you've got a 16 foot power boat and have always wanted to try a cabin cruiser. Find a fellow member who has the cabin cruiser and see what he or she has to say about that particular boat. Many boating clubs offer members discounts on boating equipment and even on boating trips. They say that membership has its advantages. When you're an avid boater, that's certainly true with a boating club! You can get boating lessons too in some clubs. Like golf clubs, there is usually a pro around to answer questions and teach techniques. If you want to learn about boating or brush up on some of the things you've gotten rusty at, just ask the pro! Many boating clubs have their own "clubhouse" usually located on a body of water. They'll let members ramp for free and take advantage of the water with no additional charges. The cost is usually included in membership dues. The club house may even have a gourmet restaurant for members to enjoy. The benefits of joining a boating club are far-reaching. You will meet new friends, learn about boating more in-depth than ever before, and find new, exciting ways to make your boating experiences even more fulfilling than they already are. We're willing to bet there's a boating club near you. Find it and join today -- it's well worth the price! Boating Charter If you don't own a boat, but are yearning to experience a boating vacation, a boating charter is the way for you to go. You can charter a boat either with or without a captain depending on your experience level and what type of getaway you want. A bareboat boating charter is when you simply rent a boat and will captain it yourself. Most places who specialize in bareboat charters will give you a quick boating course so you know how to operate the vehicle and know the rules of the road when it comes to navigating the waterways. As a general rule, it's not a good idea to get a bareboat charter with no boating experience at all. The advantage to a bareboat boating charter is that if you do have some boating experience, you will be able to captain a boat that you wouldn't otherwise be able to afford to own. That means a cabin cruiser or even a yacht. If you've always wanted to go yachting, a bareboat boating charter may very well be the way for you to go. When you do a basic boating charter, you are hiring the boat as well as a captain to operate the boat. The movie "Captain Ron" comes to mind for this author! The best part about a basic boating charter is that you can sit back and enjoy the boating experience without having to worry about -- literally - anything else. Well, except for the folks in that movie! When you book a boating charter, be sure it's with a reputable company who has adequate insurance as well as enough experience to insure you of a safe and satisfying getaway. Choose a boat that's within your budget, but don't be afraid to splurge a little. After all, this is a boating getaway for you; why not enjoy it to the fullest! Have you always dreamed of getting away to an exotic location but want to incorporate your love of boating with that trip? Charter a boat once you arrive. Then you can really have the vacation experience of a lifetime. There are very few places you can go where you won't find a boating charter company ready to book you on a cruise along the water. Your trip can be a simple day trip up and down a river or it can be a week-long excursion where you can whale watch, swim with the dolphins, or just sit on deck and enjoy the scenery. Boating charters are easy to come by and an amazing way for you to have a boating vacation that will be a memorable experience for years to come. Check out boating charters online before you book and then enjoy your trip! Sailing Boating One of the most satisfying and electrifying types of boating is sailing. You can get a whole bunch of exercise as you struggle with the sails, and the feel of the wind powering your boat is like no other feeling you will have. Seeing a majestic sail boat on a body of water is a beautiful sight as well. There is a lot to learn when you are going to take up sailing as your boating choice. It's not as simple as just putting the boat in the water, hoisting the sail, and taking off. You may want to explore a course on sailing so you can learn the basics from a pro. There are some very important parts of sailing that you must learn correctly and accurately. When selecting a course, be sure it covers a variety of topics from a professional viewpoint. Check out their boating qualifications when it comes to sailing, and be sure you are being taught by a professional. The sailing course will probably last more than one day, so plan for it to last a few days. Sailing can be a very fun boating adventure. On a clear, sunny day, when the sails are hoisted, and the wind picks up, you'll find yourself smiling as you sail smoothly along the water. Sit on the deck and enjoy the scenery passing by. You can teach your children the fine art of sailing as well. It's a great opportunity for families to bond as they work together to bring the boat under control and out on the ocean. When you are sailing, you need to pay special attention to the traffic around you. Remember that you are powered solely by nature. Other boats have the benefit of gas which makes them easier to handle and more accurate when turning and navigating. You'll have to be especially aware of how close you are to others who are boating and keep it safe on the water. The basic rule of sailing is that it is not possible to sail directly into the wind -- at least not for a very long time. A sailboat can sail at approximately 45 degrees off the wind. When your destination is upwind, you will need to do some maneuvering with the wind so that you can ultimately arrive at your destination. When you love boating, taking up sailing is a natural extension of that love. The sun in your face, the wind in your sails, and your sailboat clipping across the water can give you a satisfying and electric day at sea. Know that sailing is a form of boating that just can't be easily matched. Recreational Boating To some people, the term "recreational boating" seems like an oxymoron of sorts. After all, why else would you go boating? There are people who make their living boating whether it's participating in regattas or speed boat racing. Most people however use their boats for recreational purposes only. Recreational boating is exactly what it sounds like -- using a boat for having fun. You can do so many things with a boat, and all of them are fun depending on who you are and what you like. You can fish, swim, water ski, tube, or just relax and enjoy the water. Millions of people enjoy recreational boating. Statistics say that on average one in every six households in the United States own a boat. An even larger number take advantage of rental opportunities renting a watercraft to enjoy a day on the water. Of course, one of the biggest parts of recreational boating has to be knowing how to do it safely. For many people, an ideal day on the water includes a few cocktails, or actually more than a few. It is possible to actually get a BUI (boating while intoxicated) ticket, and accidents are much more likely to happen when the driver of a boat is impaired by alcohol. For passengers who are consuming alcohol, there is also a risk. People who have had too much to drink tend to be unsteady on their feet. Add to that equation the fact that you are on a body of water that is unsteady as well, and you could very well have a "man overboard" scenario. It's best to keep alcohol consumption to a minimum while on the water. If you must drink, do so in moderation and be aware of how impaired you are before a problem occurs. Mind the rules of the "road" when boating and expect others to be doing the same. Accidents are dramatically reduced when people obey the unwritten (and written) rules that the United States Coast Guard has set forth. Be considerate of others and you will greatly enjoy your boating excursion Recreational boating also means being considerate of others on the same body of water. One of the best parts of boating is tying up in a cove and meeting new people. Keep in mind basic rules of courtesy and treat others like you would want to be treated. You'll be surprised at how many wonderful friends you can make on the lake! Recreational boating is one of the most enjoyable activities you can undertake. Take a few steps to know what you are doing and then enjoy it to the fullest. You will find more recreational activities while boating that you can participate in even in your older years. Boating Accidents Every year, the United States Coast Guard compiles information regarding boating accidents in the United States. These studies are very comprehensive and are based on accident reports filed by boaters who have been involved in boating accidents. There are certain regulations that the USCG has set forth regarding the reporting of a boating accident. You must report the accident under the following conditions: * A person dies * A person is injured and requires medical treatment other than first aid * The damage to a vessel is more than $2,000 or there is a total loss of a vessel * A person disappears from a vessel and circumstances indicated there may be a death or an injury It's a good idea to report the boating accident within the first forty-eight hours. Regulations differ as to the required time frame, but a responsible boater will take care of the situation as soon as possible. In the year 2005, there were 267 fatalities directly attributed to boating accidents. Of those fatalities, seventy percent of them were due to drowning, and eight-seven of those who drowned did so because they were not wearing their life jackets. The most reported boating accidents were the result of collisions with another vessel. However, capsizing and falls overboard were also among those most reported and contributed also to the drowning fatalities overall. Overall, carelessness, reckless driving, operator inattention, excessive speed, and operator inexperience were the most prevalent contributing factors to boating accidents. That is why the Coast Guard highly recommends all boaters take a certified boating safety class as well as qualified boating instruction classes. The most common types of boats involved in boating accidents were open watercraft, personal watercrafts (Jet Skis), and cabin motorboats. There was a marked increase also in sailing accidents, houseboats, and fishing boats. Alcohol was also shown to be a huge contributing factor in boating accidents. Impaired captains were shown to have a larger incidence of the possibility of accidents because of lack of judgment, inattention, and reckless behavior. In fact, one-fourth of all boating accidents could be directly linked to the consumption of alcohol by the driver. Boating accidents can be prevented rather easily if more people would take boating safety classes and receive proper boating instruction. Because of the various factors that are involved in boating, it can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. If you want to be a responsible boater, they way to prevent boating accidents is to stop them before they start. Get educated and then put that information to use -- all the time! Boating Holidays When we speak of boating holidays, we aren't referring to a day set aside to celebrate everything boating -- although many boating enthusiasts would probably like a holiday like that! In Europe and many other places, vacations are referred to as holidays, so a boating holiday is essentially a boating vacation in Europe. There are many wonderful boating holiday destinations around Europe. England is a great place to enjoy a boating holiday. They have miles and miles of canals where you can take a narrowboat up and down the water enjoying the beautiful countryside along the way. Narrowboats are like cabin cruisers with sleeping quarters and spacious places on deck for sightseeing. One great part of taking a boating holiday in England is the availability of water side pubs where you can pull up to, tie off at a dock, and enjoy some old-fashioned English delicacies as well as some fine ale. Just be sure you don't overdo it lest you become a dangerous boat captain! You may want to also look into an Irish boating holiday. Many say that cruising Ireland's rivers and lakes is an experience never to be forgotten and often repeated. Not only is the Irish countryside some of the most beautiful in Europe, there are many shore side places ripe for exploring including woods and castles open to the public. There are many towns and villages along the way, and the local people are well-known for extending hospitality to visitors. The local shops and pubs on the waterways where you can find some great local entertainment found nowhere else. The fishing in Ireland is also excellent with some prize-winning trout, perch, and salmon readily found along the way. Boating holidays in the beautiful country of France also are among top choices for avid boaters. French waterways travel through some of the most varied countryside in Europe with each region steeped in its own particular culture, history, and architecture. The real France is found on a leisurely cruise along the French rivers and canals. On a boating holiday in France, you can see vineyards, chateaus, and quaint villages far from the usual tourist haunts. You can sample gourmet delights in beautiful country inns or feast on board your boat in the open air with some of the finest wines in the world. Boating holidays in Europe are easily planned as there are boat rental places everywhere along the European waterways. Europe is a beautiful place, and when you plan a boating holiday in this beautiful part of the world, you're sure to have memories that you will want to share for lifetimes to come. Boating Course When you decide to take up boating as a hobby, there's nothing better you can do for yourself than taking a boating course to learn everything you need to know about before you get on the water. A good boating course will teach you more than just how to steer a boat, it will teach you everything you need to know about safe and responsible boating. A good boating course will, of course, begin with a lesson on operating your boat. It should show you all of the major parts of your boat, your boat's engine, and your trailer. The boating course should take you through how to haul your boat and safe ramping procedures. Rules of the water are essential in all boating courses. Just like on the roadways, you need to practice safe procedures when you go to pass a slower boat and be able to signal appropriately. You should know how to boat at a safe speed and how to dock as well. Boating safety is the most important part of an effective boating course. Most boating accidents are caused because captains have not taken a boating course. These boating courses will show you all aspects of boating safety and how to practice this at all times for the good of yourself as well as your passengers and others on the water. You can find certified boating courses in many places -- often nearby. Check with your local marina and ask about what type of boating courses they offer. Their boating professionals will often conduct boating courses at many times throughout the season. It can be the most responsible thing you do as a boater when you take one of these courses. Many boat dealers will have the "inside track" into boating courses that are offered in your area. They'll be happy to share this information with you. All you have to do is ask! Look online for some boating courses that you can do from the comfort of your own home. Most of these boating courses will have you study different modules that have to do with all aspects of boating. At the end of each section, there will usually be a quiz. At the end of the course, you will have to pass a comprehensive exam on all material at which time you will be deemed a certified boat operator. Taking a boating course will make it easier for you to obtain your boat license. You probably wouldn't go and take a driver's license test without studying a little bit first. The same holds true of getting a boating license. Take a boating course, and the test will be a piece of cake! Boating courses are valuable troves of information that will help make you a better boater. Seek one out and reap the benefits. Boating Gear What do you need to know when it comes to boating gear? What really is boating gear? We define boating gear as everything you need to outfit your boat to meet your specific personal needs. This can range from safety equipment to apparel. What is the essential boating gear every sailor should ideally have? First, you need to have all the required safety equipment as outlined by the United States Coast Guard. That includes a fire extinguisher, life jackets for all people on board, a sound-making device like a horn or bell, and accurate lighting for boating at night. This boating gear is required by law and every boat must have them. It's a good idea to outfit your boat with a radio so you can communicate with the shore. At the very least, you should have some type of cell phone or two-way radio in case of emergency. You can also put a stereo in your boat for personal enjoyment while on the water. For docking and anchoring, you'll need an anchor, of course, as well as line to attach the anchor. You'll also need docking line so you can tie up at the pier. You'll also want some dock bumpers to avoid doing damage to your boat when mooring. These are like blow-up buoys that hang from the side of your boat. When it comes to activities with your boat, the gear you need is probably a little bit obvious. If you will be water skiing, you'll need the skis as well as a strong tow rope. For inner-tubing, get a good tube that can hold more than one person. It's also a good idea to get a tube with handles. You need a tow rope to inner tube as well. If you will be fishing, your boating gear will be a little different. Of course, you'll need your fishing gear -- rods, reels, bait, etc. But you will also need someplace to keep your catch like a water well or bucket. You should also have someplace to store your gear when it is on board. A good navigation system is considered by some people an essential piece of boating gear. You can find a good GPS system for not too much money, and it can be a life saver should you find yourself lost on the water. At the very least, you need a good compass so you don't lose your way. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of items that people consider essential boating gear. You have to choose which you really need and that you have to have. Boating gear is available in sporting goods stores as well as online, and the variety that is available will get your boat outfitted in style! Boating World Boating World magazine is one of the primary publications dedicated to the sport of boating from many angles. When you consider a boating magazine, you really should look at Boating World. It is a comprehensive guide to everything boating that offers its readers more than just a few articles about boats. Boating World has articles on many subjects. These subject range from how to take care of your boat, where the best boating spots are, what to serve on board when you are having a party, and much, much more. These articles are geared towards everyone who loves boating and that includes especially the readers of Boating World. They review different boats and name the advantages and disadvantages of each. Boating World can help you know the best features of different types of boats and help guide you toward choosing the right boat for you. There are many different types of watercraft on the market. Depending on what you want to use it for, you'll appreciate this valuable information. One great feature of Boating World magazine is their "how-to" sections. In these parts of the magazine, they show you how to do things like turn your pontoon boat into a cabin cruiser, how to apply numbers and letters to the hull, and how to research a boat purchase. Like many paper publications, Boating World also has a great website you can visit for even more information. Located at www.boatingworldonline.com, you will find articles, information about fishing, boat reviews, and ways to enjoy water sports in a whole new way. Their website is easy to navigate and even has a section where you can research boating destinations you might like to visit on your next vacation. They'll even give you information on the best vehicles to buy in order to easily tow your new boat! Boating World publishes ten times per year, and their subscription rates are quite reasonable. A one-year subscription will run just $9.95, and you can sign up online at their website. They also offer a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied in any way with their magazine. In the pages of Boating World magazine, you will find all sorts of great information about this sport that many people love. When you love a sport like boating, learning as much as you can about it can really be an eye-opening experience. There's so much to know about boating and Boating World magazine is a great way to learn. Boating While Intoxicated Few issues are as controversial as boating while intoxicated. Many people feel like it's not as difficult or dangerous to operate a boat while drinking as it is a vehicle. Nothing could be further than the truth. Boating while intoxicated is a serious issue and one that shouldn't be ignored. A lot of people liken a day on the boat with tossing back some beers or drinks. After all, what tastes best on a hot summer day but a cold, cold drink? One or two beers is probably fine, but ideally, you shouldn't be drinking at all while you are driving a boat. Boating drunk is a crime on many waterways. Just like DUI laws, regulations vary from state to state and from place to place. But in many places, the law taking boating while intoxicated as a serious offense. Why is drinking and boating so dangerous? Well, besides the fact that alcohol impairs your judgment, a lot has to do with the vehicle you are driving. A boat can go much, much faster than most cars plus boats don't come with safety restraints. If you should happen to hit something, the possibility of being ejected into the water is nearly 100 percent. There are no marked lanes on waterways, so you have a lot of leeway in steering. It's easy to become distracted when you are drunk and it's even easier to misjudge distances and where other boats are located. Boats are controlled by both people and water. The waves can throw off even the most experienced captain. When you have a drunk captain, it's easy to lose control of the water craft with dire circumstances. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body. Add the hot sun to an alcohol mixture and you get a very tired captain. You run the risk of falling asleep at the helm or being drowsy and inattentive. Waterways do have police officers as well. They monitor the waters just as a traffic cop would monitor the roads. If you are boating while intoxicated, you can be "pulled over" and administered a field sobriety test. The water cop will assess your physical condition and decide whether or not you should receive a boating while intoxicated citation. If so, you risk losing both your boat and your license. Boating while intoxicated is a big no-no in the boating world. It really is possible to have fun without alcoholic beverages. If you feel you just can't be on your boat without a drink, practice moderation and keep everyone safe! Family Boating There's no better activity for the family to enjoy together than boating. Family boating is a great way to connect with each other, enjoy nature, and get a little exercise. Want some suggestions on how to enjoy your next family boating adventure? Well read on! Start by planning your trip together. Get out a map and find a destination you can all agree on. Depending on your budget, your trip can be nearby or far away. There are lots and lots of places where family boating is not only encouraged, but it is embraced. Just be sure it's someplace you all want to go to. When picking a destination, make sure there are facilities that can accommodate your boat. Some bodies of water will not allow boats over a specific size. Others don't have tie-up docks where you can leave your boat overnight which means you'll have to put the boat in and take the boat out every day you want to go on the water. Family boating means being together as a family on the boat. But sometimes too much togetherness can be a bad thing. So wherever you choose to go, pick a place that has a variety of activities. If Dad wants to spend the day fishing but Mom hates the idea, maybe there's a spa nearby where she can pamper herself. Involve your children in the planning process. Once you've found a place you all like, let the kids do the hard work -- the research. Have them plan a route to get there, find the docking facilities, the boat ramps, campsites, etc. Make it like a scavenger hunt and they'll be just as excited about your family boating trip as you are! When you're on board the boat, give everyone a job. Have a captain, a first mate, a cabin girl/boy, a galley cook, etc. Make sure everyone knows their duties and let them have fun with it. You may want to keep a book with all pertinent information in it so your "crew" can refer to it when they need to. Also be sure that all family members know about boating safety. Maybe you could all take a boating safety class. This is very important because take precautions for safe boating is essential to a good time. Family boating can be a wonderful, wonderful experience for everyone. Approach it with an open mind, a laid-back attitude, and a desire to have fun. If you have a boat, get it out and bring the family along for a great day you'll all remember for a very long time! Boating Supplies You're ready for a relaxing day out on the water, but you're wondering what boating supplies you're going to need. You've already got all the necessary boating supplies to make your boat legal, but what will you need for a really great boating getaway? The first thing you need to consider when it comes to boating supplies is who will be with you on this excursion? Are you bringing your family, a bunch of friends, or will it just be you and that special someone? That makes a difference. It also matters if you will be on just a day outing or an overnight one. Let's look at each scenario. For a family boating trip, the supplies you'll need should reflect the needs of everyone. You'll want some healthy foods for snacking like trail mix, cut-up vegetables with a low-fat ranch dip, and some fruit. If you want to make the day special, consider some junk food as well. Bring along lots of water and juices for the kids. Try to stay away from the soda as you don't want some hyperactive kids running around! When cruising with a group of friends, boating supplies will be a lot different. Cruising with friends is usually a party time, so have along some snacks that are considerably more grown-up. Get a cheese and cracker platter, but have a place to keep it cool so the cheese doesn't spoil. Chips and dip are good choices as are finger sandwiches like ham salad and egg salad. Beverages will probably be quite different as well. Have lots of coolers on hand to hold canned beer, some wine coolers, and soda for your non-drinking friends. As a note here, if you are driving the boat, consume alcohol moderately or you risk a boating while intoxicated violation. What if it's just two people on a romantic sunset cruise? Boating supplies necessary for this type of excursion should be in keeping with the romantic atmosphere you want to create. Have some strawberries and champagne for toasting each other. Again, some fine cheese is good as are aphrodisiacs like oysters and shrimp. Candles really make the atmosphere romantic as you can watch the sun set while floating on the water. A day trip will require much fewer boating supplies than an overnight trip. On a day trip, you won't need to plan for multiple meals. If you are over-nighting, have some easy breakfast foods around like granola bars, fruit, and bagels. Lunches should be simple with sandwiches and some chips. You can go crazy at dinner if you want, but we would suggest finding a great stop-off along the way with a waterside restaurant where you won't have to worry about dishes! Boating supplies are more than just life jackets and tow ropes. When you look at boating supplies from a different perspective, you see that the essential supplies are the ones that help make your day on the water a real trip to remember! Boating Store When you begin to take up the sport of boating, you'll want to find a good boating store where you can outfit your boat and yourself. A boating store is more than just a sporting goods store. It's a store devoted strictly to the needs of boating and those who love it. Often, a boat dealership will have a store inside where you can find all sorts of boating gear. They will carry authorized boating products and usually will have a wide variety of products for you to choose from. The advantage to shopping in a boating store like this is that you will have the advice of professionals who know what they're talking about to guide you in the right direction when it comes to choosing your boating products. Like many other businesses, you can find a variety of products online in an online boating store. You will often find lower prices in these boating stores and many specials you can choose from to help you save money on your boating gear. Here are some of the top picks when it comes to an online boating store: * www.boatingstore.com -- When you visit this web site you can almost, quite literally find everything you need in the way of boating gear. They have a full line of supplies for all aspects of boating and even have their own line of products that are available in regular brick and mortar stores. * www.binnacle.com -- This online boating store has hundreds and hundreds of products that range from clocks and barometers to safety equipment and books on boating. You will find everything you need right here! * www.westmarine.com -- Besides offering a complete stock of everything a boating store would need, you'll find helpful articles on this great web site. Plus, they have a clearance section where you can save big on boating gear! * www.basspro.com -- Bass Pro Shops is probably considered THE boating store as well as THE fishing and hunting store. They have locations all over the United States and offer boating, fishing, and hunting equipment for the sportsman. * www.boatstoreonline.com -- This online boating store claims to have "everything boating". They mostly carry engine parts and equipment, but if you're looking for that special part, they'll probably have it! It's not difficult to find equipment that you need in a boating store. Whether that store is online or just down the road, you can easily get everything you need to enjoy your boating experience. Boating License Like obtaining a driver's license, getting your boating license is a process that you must take seriously. There are many different types of boating licenses, and each state has its own regulations regarding who may operate a boat and what type of license they'll need. The speed at which a boat is driven determines whether a person needs to be license to operate the boat. If the boat is motor powered and is driven at a speed of 10 knots of more requires a boating license for operation. Ten knots is the speed at which a boat generally starts to plane or skim off the top of the water. A general boating license is for persons age 16 and over that allows them to operate a motor boat. Young people age 12 to 16 can also obtain a boating license under some specific stipulations. They must: * Be accompanied by someone who has a general license * Not exceed a speed of 20 knots * Never travel at 10 knots or more before sunrise or after sunset * Never tow a water skier or wake boarder Your boating license can be good for either twelve months or three years, but you will save money by selecting the three-year option. How do you go about obtaining your boat license? It's similar to getting your driver's license. You will be required to complete a boating course and successfully pass a test at the conclusion of the course. You will need to know how a boat operates, how it needs to be cared for, and what the general boating rules are. The course will teach you boating safety as well as give you ways to "scope out" the weather for safe boating. There are many places where you can obtain a boating license. Check with your local marina or department of recreation to get information on boating classes available. There are even places online where you can take a boating class designed to ultimately earn you your boating license. The choice to take an online course versus a "real life" course is up to you. However, keep in mind that the best way to learn a new skill is to get out there and do it. The presence of water and other boats around you will make you a better boater. Plus, you can depend on your instructor to answer questions and offer you tips. Responsible boating means obeying the laws of your state when it comes to getting a boating license. Many states will different in their requirements, so you'll need to become familiar with your own state's regulations. Once you have your boating license in hand, you can get out there and have fun! But remember to boat responsibly! Boating Knots Rope, knots, and boating go hand in hand. Whether tying an anchor to a line or tying up a boat to a dock, the wrong knot will lead to trouble and the right knot, when properly tied, will hold under extremely heavy loads. We'll give you a few of the most common knots used in boating and do our best to tell you how to tie them. The two half hitch knot is a very reliable knot and used most often in mooring. Pass the end of a rope around a post or other object. Wrap the short end of the rope under and over the long part of the rope pushing the end down through the loop. This is a half hitch. Repeat on the long rope below the first half hitch and draw tight. The anchor bend knot is used in boating to tie the rope to the anchor. Start by passing two loops through a ring and then placing the free end around a standing line. Pass the free end through the loops on the ring. Complete by making a half hitch. The figure eight knot is ideal for keeping the end of a rope from running out of a tackle or pulley. Make an underhand loop bringing the end around and over the standing part. Pass the rope end under and then up through the loop. Draw tight. A clove hitch knot is a general utility hitch when boating for when you need a quick and simple method of fastening a rope around a post, spar, or stake. Begin by making a turn with the rope around the object and over itself. Take a second turn with the rope around the object. Pull the end up under the second turn so it is between the rope and the object. Tighten by pulling on both ends. When tied properly, the bowline knot won't slip or jam. This is a good tight boating knot. First, make an overhand loop with the end held toward you. Pass the end through the loop. Pass the end up behind the standing part and then down through the loop again. Draw tight. A sheet bend knot is used in boating to tie two ropes together. It is easy to tie, strong, secure, and works well with ropes of differing sizes. Make a loop in the end of one rope. If one line is heavier than the other, make the loop in it. Pass the end of the other rope through and around the loop. The working end should exit the knot on the same side as the loop's short ended side. Boating knots are important to learn for your safety on the water. When you know how to tie the basic boating knots, you will be safe and secure. Dragon Boating Dragon boating isn't something that a lot of people in the United States are familiar with. That is, unless you are of Asian descent. Then you probably know exactly what dragon boating is. A dragon boat is a long, narrow, human powered boat used in the paddling sport of dragon boat racing which originated in China. Many people think that dragon boating was the pre-cursor of the Ivy League rowing teams. For racing events, the boats are usually outfitted with decorative Chinese dragon heads and tails. A large drum is required to be carried on board to keep the oarsmen in time with each other. Dragon boat races are traditional held to commemorate the death of Qu Yuan, a Chinese patriotic poet. Dragon boating is the only sport that is celebrated as a national holiday. The Chinese calendar date is 5/5 which usually corresponds to a date falling sometime in June. The standard crew of a dragon is 22 -- 20 paddlers in pairs facing toward the bow of the boat, 1 drummer or caller at the bow facing toward the paddler, and 1 steersman at the rear of the boat. For races, it is common to have just 18 paddlers. Dragon boats do vary in length and crew size. The drummer is at the heart of dragon boating. He is responsible for leading the crew throughout the race with a rhythmic beating of a drum to indicate the frequency of the paddling strokes. The drummer, or caller, can pick up the pace by drumming faster or slow down the pace by drumming slower. He generally will match his beat with the pace of the front few oarsmen. Modern dragon boating is organized at an international level by the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF). The IDBT recognizes two types of dragon boat racing activities: sport racing and festival racing. The latter type of racing is more in keeping with traditional dragon boating. There are also some very long endurance events such as the Three Gorges Dam Rally along the Yangtze River in China which covers up to 100 kilometers. The Ord River marathon in Australia covers over 50 kilometers and is another endurance event endorsed by the IDBF. Today, dragon boating is among the fastest growing of team water sports with tens of thousands of participants in organizations and clubs in 60 countries. The sport is recognized for the camaraderie, strength, and endurance fostered among participants. It has also become a very popular corporate and charitable sport. Dragon boating isn't just an Asian sport. It has grown in popularity in North America as well. It has a long, rich history and is a beautiful sport to watch. Dragon boating embraces the Asian traditions and brings them into the modern world in a whole new way! Boating Equipment Boating equipment can be a wide and diverse subject. When you take up the sport of boating, the amount of equipment you need is as complicated or as simple as you want to make it. But the basic boating equipment that everyone needs includes a boat and a trailer. The boat, obviously, is a no-brainer. You have to have a boat in order to participate in the sport of boating. But your most important piece of equipment is your boat trailer. It's essential that you match your boat trailer to your boat. This will depend on the size of your boat mainly, but there are other considerations to be thought about as well. What is the size of the vehicle you will be using to tow your boat on the trailer? There are some lighter weight trailer models that can accommodate vehicles with less horsepower. Ideally, you'll want a four-wheel drive truck that can handle both the boat and the trailer easily. But if you just have a small truck, look into a lightweight aluminum trailer that is easily towed by a smaller truck. The type of boat you choose is also dependent on your vehicle. Most people choose their vehicle first and then their boat. If all you have is a smaller truck with little horsepower, you won't want a 30 foot power boat traveling behind you. Handling will be difficult, and you run the risk of harming others on the roadway if you don't pay attention to this big detail. So, you've got your boat and you've got your trailer, what other type of equipment will you need in your boating adventures? Your boat must be outfitted with a life jacket for every person aboard, fire extinguishers, some type of sound emitting device (your mother-in-law doesn't count), and adequate lighting for night boating. Two other essential pieces of boating equipment would include a two-way radio as well as some type of navigation device like a GPS system. When you are on the water, you don't want to risk becoming stranded and not having any way of communicating with the outside world or being able to find your way back to shore. If you will be participating in water sports, the boating equipment will differ from pleasure cruising. For water sports, you'll need a tow rope and some skis or an inner tube for tubing. What type of boating equipment you need will really depend on how you're going to be using your boat. Decide for yourself what's important to you and then go buy your boating equipment, but be sure you have the basics as outlined above! Fishing While Boating One of the most satisfying activities you can do while boating is fishing. Boating is a fun activity and so is fishing. When you combine the two, you'll find that fishing while boating can be an amazing way to enjoy two sports at once. Fishing boats are designed to be able to maneuver easily so you can get to some isolated sports on a body of water where the fish are readily found. They have comforts that make it easy to enjoy a day on the water with extra seats and areas to stand so you can see the fish where they are hiding. Another great aspect of fishing while boating is that you can enjoy it with other people. Fishing boats have plenty of room for a fishing partner, and let's face it, fishing is much more enjoyable when you have someone to share it with. Your fishing boat should come with an aerator to store fish in after you catch them. There are also other compartments to easily stow equipment. You won't have to lug your rods and tackle around. Just place them in the storage areas of your fishing boat and you'll be ready to go fishing and boating at a moment's notice. There's really no doubt about it that boating is a great way to reduce stress. Fishing while boating doubles that stress reduction factor. From the moment you put your boat on the water and pull away from the dock, you'll find yourself almost overcome with the excitement of not only being on the water, but also the possibility of bringing in a prized catch. You can enjoy fishing while boating in many different places. Whether you want to take in a local lake, a small pond, or the ocean, fishing boats can adapt to any kind of water. Plus, you'll have the advantage of catching different kinds of fish which makes angling very satisfying indeed. There are many fishing tournaments you can participate in while boating. There's something exhilarating about competing to see who can catch the biggest and most fish. Fishing tournaments make boating a real challenge that is a real blast. Find out what experienced anglers already know: fishing while boating is one of the most enjoyable activities you can engage yourself in. It's fun, challenging, and a great way to spend a beautiful summer morning or a lazy spring day. Take up fishing on one of your boating adventures and double your pleasure along with your fun! Naked Boating Whether you believe it or not, there really is a new trend in boating communities -- naked boating. Now this isn't something that occurs on every lake or river in the world, but it is happening mostly as an extension of the nudist lifestyle. Advocates of naked boating say that there is nothing better than being on a boat au natural and feeling the sun warm every part of the body without the encumberment of a swim suit. There are thousands of people all over the United States who embrace nudism as a lifestyle. They allow this to spill over into their recreational activities as well which is why naked boating has become the way to go for many nudists. European people are not as paranoid about showing their naked bodies, so naked boating in European or Caribbean destinations is especially popular. If you think that naked boating might be something you may want to try, we must warn you first. There are laws in many states that prohibit showing a naked body in a public place. That includes public waterways. Check with your state's regulations before stripping down. You may want to find a secluded place to drop anchor while you try naked boating. There are usually private coves and out-of-the-way portions of even the busiest lakes and rivers that can give you the privacy you want on a public waterway. Just be sure that you are alone before you show what God gave you. You may want to check out a number of naked boating cruises that are available. Some boating companies specialize in naked cruises and they often travel to some pretty exotic locations. They tend to be affordable and because you will be with other people who love naked boating, you won't be self-conscious at all if it's your first time. Many people like to also participate in water sports naked as well. Some say that there's nothing better than diving into cool waters to go snorkeling or scuba diving. But, of course, you have to be a little careful of the marine life or else you could find some of your personal spaces a little violated! If you are someone who enjoys naked boating and you will be having guests on your boat with you, please respect the other people's comfort levels. If they are not nudists like you, consider giving them a heads up before the trip or keep yourself covered for everyone's comfort. Naked boating can be a liberating experience, and if it's what you want, by all means take it off. Just make sure you are doing so legally! Motor Boating Motor boating, also known as power boating or speed boating, is one of the most popular forms of boating. Motor boats have a diverse amount of uses from cruising at a slow speed across the lake to pulling skiers and tubers as well as fishing. The experience you get from being on board a powerful watercraft like a motor boat is one like no other. A motor boat is characterized by the use of a motor to power the craft. The engine can be either an inboard or an outboard engine. The inboard engine is encased at the rear of the boat hidden by an access panel. An outboard engine is also at the back of the boat and it is removable for repair. Most motor boating is done most easily on a lake or larger body of water. Because of the speeds the boats can reach, it's best to allow lots of room for the boat to maneuver. It's refreshing to have control of a speed boat that can skim across the water at a high speed, however, it's important to practice safety when motor boating. When motor boating, it is especially important for you to obey the rules of the "road" when it comes to other boaters. Stay a safe distance away from each other to reduce the risk of collision. Stay fully aware of those around you as well as the layout of the lake. Some bodies of water have hidden hazards just under the surface of the water, so you will want to be alert when driving your boat. There is a great publication on motor boating called, appropriately enough, Motor Boating magazine. This great magazine embraces everything that is great about motor boating. They give you reviews of the best boats, tips on how to handle these powerhouse vessels, and so much more. Motor Boating magazine also has a great website with a plethora of information for the motor boating enthusiast. Located at www.motorboating.com, you'll find articles, resources for predicting the weather, and tips on safe boating. Check out their photo galleries that feature reader's pictures of their motor boating activities. A great feature of the website they've just added is a virtual boat show called E-marina. In here, you can check out all sorts of power boats and motor boats. Why leave your home and travel to a boat show when you can find it online at motor boating dot com. On the website, they offer three free trial issues of Motor Boating magazine for you to check out and see if you want to become a full subscriber. If you do, their subscription rate is just $14 for a whole year! Motor boating is a popular activity for boating enthusiasts. You can find lots of great information to enhance your experience both on the water as well as off. Boating Forums Why should you join a boating forum? There are many, many reasons why a boating forum is a great place to join. There are tons and tons of websites devoted to the sport of boating. Members of these sites are more than happy to share their love of everything boating as well as things they've learned that might help you. Boating forums can be found everywhere on the Internet. Membership is almost always free, and the things you can learn from boating forums can be invaluable. You may want to consider joining a boating forum that concentrates on a specific area of interest such as a geographical location. Or, you could just join a forum that caters to the type of boating you are interested in. Just as with other Internet forums, boating forums are filled with all sorts of people who love boating just as much as you do. These people are often happy to share information with fellow members including the best places to travel to, boat care tips, fishing information, and much, much more. There are many people who report that they have met lifelong friends in these forums. It can be fun to virtually meet people and then make plans to meet in a group at a specific boating destination. Of course, you should never make plans to meet someone alone, but if there is a group trip planned, you could find that you are opening yourself up to a whole new world of camaraderie and fun. When you become a member of a boating forum, you'll first need to sign up with a user name. To protect your anonymity, make the name something that has nothing to do with your real name. If you choose to, later, you can reveal your real name to members. Create a password that is unique and that no one will be able to easily deduce. When you are new to a boating forum, resist sharing any personal information. While many of these forums are safe and easily navigable, you just never know who is online behind that posting! Practice common sense when posting and when answering posts. When you are completely comfortable, you can consider revealing your "true identity", but use caution in doing so. Boating forums are excellent places to learn new things and make new friends. You can also share what you've learned so other people can take in your tips. Boating forums are great places, just be sure you are staying safe just as in any online forum. Then enjoy what you will learn and put that information to use on your next boating adventure! Boating for Kids Probably the most important part of boating for kids is to teach them boat safety. Boating is an activity that the whole family can enjoy -- especially kids. Boating safety is something they need to learn early so that they can carry it with them throughout their lives into adulthood. The number one safety rule when boating with kids is that they must wear a personal flotation device (PFD) at all times. Accidents can happen no matter how careful you are. The number one reason for drowning is when people are thrown overboard and are not wearing a PFD. Many kids can't swim well enough to stay afloat in a traumatic situation like that, so the PFD will literally save their life in most scenarios. Teach your kids about the equipment that must be on all boats and why that equipment is there. For example, the fire extinguisher must be there in case of a fire on the water. Some kids think, "Why do we need a fire extinguisher when there's water all around to put out the fire?" Explain to them that not all fires should be put out with water. The boat runs on gas, and if a fire erupts, you should not put a gas fire out with water. Boating safety for kids also entails letting them know what various distress signals are and why they are used. For example, flares indicate a stranded boat. A continuous foghorn means a problem on board, etc. Older kids may want to try out steering the boat. This can be a very exciting time for them. Start them out slowly and above everything else, explain to them the "rules of the road" including which boats have the right of way and how to pass safely. Plus, you should definitely stress to them to travel at a safe speed and not too fast to avoid accidents. Kids should also know about basic first aid procedures. They should know not to move a person who might have a broken limb and even how to perform mouth to mouth resuscitation. CPR might be a little advanced for younger kids, but older kids can learn CPR from a Red Cross first aid course. When you are boating with kids, the experience can be great for all of you. It's a wonderful opportunity to teach them about nature, water life, and so much more. There are all sorts of boating trivia questions that kids will love to try and answer. Ask them why they think life jackets are orange and why they call the bathroom a head. You can make a game of your day on the water while boating and teach your kids valuable lessons. Boating for kids is a great learning opportunity that will stay with them forever and ever!
Boating Blog If you love boating and want to share that love with others, why not consider starting your own boating blog? It's easy, fun, and lets you pass on your experiences to others who might enjoy the same things. A boating blog is as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it. Here are some tips to get you started. You first need to find a place to post your boating blog. But don't worry; there are plenty of blog hosting spaces on the Internet. You could join the phenomenon of My Space where there is plenty of room for both blogging as well as telling about you and your love of boating. Another good blog space is www.blogger.com. Another option for your boating blog is to create your own web page. This is easier than you think it is as many web hosting places like tripod.com will offer free tools for building your web site and will give you basic web space for free! When you start your boating blog, introduce yourself. Be careful not to reveal too much personal information such as your last name, a specific address, or things like that. You will have all sorts of people viewing your web site - even bad ones -- so be careful what you tell people. Take some pictures of your boat. Tell a little bit about it. One blog on the Internet has a description of the boat from a first person viewpoint which we found to be quite interesting. Tell about her features, what her name is, and where she likes to go. A good boating blog will have a personalized touch speaking from experience. Write about places you've been on your boat and what you recommend (or don't recommend) to others as far as boating destinations. You may also want to write about your dream boating trip as well as places you want to go to in the future. By all means, share your boating expertise in your blog! Have you learned a valuable lesson about boating safety? Got a tip on engine maintenance? Know about a great, secret place you want to tell others about? Write about it! Consider putting an e-mail link in your blog. You can even invite people to sign a virtual guestbook. You never know who you might meet! You don't have to be a professional writer to start and maintain a boating blog. All you need is a love of boating and desire to share what you know. Boating blogs are modern day captain's logs. They are everywhere and are awfully entertaining! Start one today! Boating Vacation Taking a boating vacation is a refreshing way to get away from your hectic life and relax on the water while communing with nature. Boating enthusiasts say that a boating vacation is really the ultimate trip. You have a lot of options for your trip, and the possibilities really are endless. Most people take a vacation to escape the stresses of everyday life. Some like to go hiking, others choose a tropical beach, and still others like the resort vacations. But a truly great way to find serenity and peace on your next vacation is to take a boating vacation. The first step in planning your boating vacation is to pick a destination. Have you always wanted to motor boat along the Mississippi River? Think that traveling the Gulf of Mexico would be an ideal getaway? Maybe you'd just be happy on a mountain lake lolling the days away on the water. The choice is up to you, and you have many. If you already own a boat, you'll just need to plan out a route to your destination and haul it there. If you don't have a boat, that's alright. You can still have a memorable boating vacation with a boat rental. A lot of places where boating is popular have many places where you can rent a house boat, a cabin cruiser, even a speedboat. The rates are usually quite reasonable, and you'll even get a quick boating lesson from the pros. You have a lot of choices in activities during your boating vacation. Fishing is always a good choice for the angler in the family. You can seek out some secluded beaches and relax on the sand. Water sports like skiing, wake boarding, and tubing are always popular during boating vacations. Or, you can choose to simply relax on the deck and take in the sights along the way. Boating vacations are fun for the whole family -- even the kids. Remember, that togetherness is what's important, so when you plan a boating vacation for your family, make sure everyone can agree on the destination as well as the activities you will be doing. Hopefully, there's something to do that everyone will enjoy, and when you work together, your vacation will be a thrill! Next time you're feeling overwhelmed at work, plan a boating vacation. If you're tired of worrying about all of the details of life, plan a boating vacation. Just sit back and imagine the cool, clear water, the sounds of nature, and the beauty of a sunset from the deck. Then your boating vacation will be as unique and relaxing as you need it to be. Boating Trips One of the best parts of boating is taking trips to places you've always wanted to go. Boating trips can be simple day trips or week-long excursions. Many people say that just being on the water is a satisfying boating trip in and of itself. When you are planning a boating trip, you need to decide many things. For example, how many people will be on the boat at one time? Is your boat equipped for overnight trips or just day trips? What supplies will you need to bring along with you? Answer these questions well before you leave so you will be prepared. When you leave on an overnight boating trip, the first thing you should do is have your boat checked over by a professional. You will want the boat in top mechanical shape before you venture out on the water. Plus, you will want to be sure you have enough gas to make the trip. If you need to fuel up along the way, be sure you know where the gas stops are. Map out your trip on a navigation map of the body of water you are going on. Physically, take a pen or pencil and draw the route you will be taking. When you have it all plotted out on a map complete with longitudinal and latitudinal lines will help keep you on track and reduce your chances of getting lost. Be sure to tell someone you are going on a boating trip. Let them know your planned itinerary and when you will be in certain places along the way. It's also a good idea to check in whenever you port so that they will know that everything is alright. There are some great places you can go on boating trips. Of course, that depends on where you are located and whether or not you are willing to haul your boat to a place where you can "shove off". However, many bodies of water like the Mississippi River link into other bodies of water like the Gulf of Mexico. You can literally leave out from St. Louis, Missouri, and boat all the way to New Orleans, Louisiana. Ocean boating trips need to have special considerations during planning. Check with the Coast Guard as to how you should plan your trip so that you stay out of shipping lanes where the larger ships travel. This is especially true if you have a smaller boat, which you probably do. Avoiding accidents on the ocean is very important as it is on smaller bodies of water. Boating trips are great ways to escape from reality and get some well-needed rest and relaxation. The water is soothing and you will be able to explore places from the comfort of your boat -- your home away from home! Plan boating trips carefully and then enjoy your time on the water! Boating Safety Course If you are serious about boating, you really need to look into taking a boating safety course. When you are in charge of a powerful water craft on the water, it's so very important to practice safe boating procedures for both you as well as your fellow boaters. There are all sorts of boating safety courses available to you when you look around. Check with the local marina and ask about what they have scheduled. If there is a boating club nearby, they will almost always offer a boating safety course for a small fee. These courses are usually taught by the club professional, so you'll know you are getting some good advice. Turn to the United States Coast Guard for some really great tips on boating safety. The courses that are sanctioned by the USCG are taught all around the country. They take boating safety very seriously, so taking a USCG boating safety course will get you all the information you need. With the rising popularity of the Internet, we are seeing more and more opportunities online. Taking a boating safety course is no different. There are many, many places online where you can take a course from the comfort of your own home. They will take you step-by-step through what you need to know and then quiz you on your progress. Here are a few places we've found that offer online boating courses: * www.boatsafe.com * www.boat-ed.com * www.boatingbasicsonline.com * www.boatus.org * www.uscgboating.org All of these courses are designed to teach you what you need to know about boating safety and prepare you for your next boating trip. There are also many websites that have boating safety courses online for kids as well. It's essential that children know how to stay safe on board a boat. These courses are fun as well as informative and are geared directly to the younger generation. You will see that these boating safety courses cover a variety of topics such as boat handling, reading the weather, required equipment on board, and the importance of wearing a life vest. The live boating safety courses are taught by licensed professionals. The online courses are often sanctioned by organizations that make them legitimate. Taking a boating safety course can be the best step you can ever take toward responsible boating. Nothing will replace the information you'll get and you can take to the waters knowing that you are fully prepared to boat safely and respectfully. Boating Recreation Sports There's no doubt about it that boating is a recreational sport. It's a calming, relaxing way to dump the stresses of life and glide along a smooth plate glass of water while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature around you. When you are into boating, there are a lot of sports you can explore for recreational value. Water skiing is one of the most popular boating recreation sports that boaters do. It's fun to do and requires little in the way of equipment although the equipment can be a little expensive. A nice pair of water skis can run upwards of a couple hundred dollars, and a good slalom ski can be even more expensive. However, when you consider all you really need is skis and a tow rope, it's no wonder that water skiing is a popular boating recreation sport. Another fun recreational sport to do while boating is wake boarding -- also known as boogie boarding. This involves taking a board much life a surfboard but smaller in size. A person kneels on the board while keeping hold of the tow rope and skims across the water jumping waves. Inner tubing is also another recreational boating sport many people enjoy. The fun part about inner tubing is that it can be done by small children and older people alike. Many tubes designed for pulling behind a boat will have handles on them to make it easier to hold on while traveling across the waves. Fishing is a recreational sport in and of itself, but when you are fishing while boating, you get double the enjoyment. You have access to areas not easily gotten to on land where the big fish are hiding just waiting for the tasty treat at the end of your fishing line. The leisurely float with a fishing pole in your hand is a great way to enjoy recreational boating sports. For some people, the ultimate recreational activity while boating is just sitting back and relaxing while the shore passes by. In a world where everyday life can be so stressful, relaxing can itself be considered a sport. After all, people participate in sports because they like them. Why can't relaxation be a recreational boating sport as well? The feel of the wind in your face as you are piloting your watercraft on a smooth lake is a recreational boating sport for anyone who loves boating. When you consider all of the other sports you can do while boating, the result is definitely some satisfying recreational activities. Boating in Ohio In the state of Ohio, boating is big! In fact boating in Ohio is so big that the state has recently committed over four million dollars toward expanding and improving boating access at thirty different sites all over the state. With so many beautiful bodies of water, boating in Ohio is a wonderful experience. You may be surprised at how many places there are where you can enjoy boating in Ohio. Here are a few of the most popular destinations: * Lake Erie -- one of the most beautiful of the Great Lakes, this has long been a popular boating destination as well as a great place to fish. There are many boat ramps to get onto the water and many beautiful islands to visit on your boating trip. * The Ohio River -- located in the southern part of the state, this river also has multiple places to launch your boat. In October, there is a festival called the "Tall Stacks" where vintage riverboats take to the water and provide a party atmosphere -- all on the water! * Cuyahoga River -- this river is located in the heart of Cleveland. Fishing is good on this river. The area called "The Bottoms" has lots of great tie-ups and restaurants to enjoy. * Muskinghum River Parkway -- provide picnic grounds, campsites, and excellent fishing. June is when the Zanes Trace Commemoration Festival is held and gives a historical perspective on this great stretch of water. * Buckeye Lake -- has 3,300 acres of beautiful water. They have no limit on the amount of horsepower on this lake and have a sweet corn festival every fall that any outdoorsman will enjoy! There are also numerous other lakes for boating in Ohio as well as many national parks with some great scenery. Fishing abounds in Ohio with some prized bass being caught on a regular basis. Boat fishing is especially great in Ohio with some excellent shoreline home to catfish as well as carp. Ohio is undertaking a huge advertising campaign promoting the boating and fishing in their state. They feel they have so much to offer for recreational boating that the rest of the country needs to hear about it as well. Regular visitors to Ohio tend to agree. Boating is Ohio is a sport that is just growing in popularity. Take the time to check out this beautiful Midwest state and all it has to offer for your boating excursions. Some say once you've been boating in Ohio, you won't want to go anywhere else. Find out for youself! Travis Boating Center Travis Boating Center is one of the premier super stores for the best deals on boats in the United States. Travis Boating Center was founded and began by the man who was responsible for launching Bass Pro Shops -- the premier store for everything outdoors. It seemed like a natural transition for him to also found a store that sold boats and everything associated with them since boats are used in fishing as well as for recreational purposes. Exclusively carrying Tracker brand boats, Travis boating center was started back in the 1970's and featured a "ready to fish" boat package that was unheard of in the industry at the time. Tracker boats have since become known as some of the best quality of boats that can be found today. Since its inception, Travis Boating Center has expanded their brand lines to include Nitro, Sun Tracker, and Tahoe, to name just a few. Today, this is a national phenomenon growing by leaps and bounds every day. Inside the stores of Travis Boating Center, you'll find the largest selection of boats all tailored to the regions that each store serves. This great store, founded with a love of both fishing as well as boating offers the finest new and used boats at the best prices. They pride themselves on bringing service and selection together to offer boating enthusiasts the best boating package at the very best price. Travis Boating Centers are located in many places concentrating mostly in the south and southeastern United States. They are especially concentrated in areas where boating is big such as Texas, California, and Florida. However, chances are very good that if you take the time to look, you will be able to find a boat dealer near you that carries Tracker boats which were developed by Travis Boating Center. Travis Boating Centers are well-known for being heavy participants in boat shows all around the country. Because they have such great boat packages which usually include trailers as well as boating gear, they have a lot to offer at these shows. They pride themselves on offering everything the avid boater needs no matter what activity the boat will be used for. Their staff is friendly and very knowledgeable as each employee must go through a rigorous training session where they learn everything that will help the consumer make a well-thought out decision on their boat purchase. Whether you want to angle for sport fish, ski with family, or cruise to Margaritaville, look for a Travis Boating Center to get outfitted with the best boat around. When you become an owner of one of their fine boats, you will enjoy the results of founder Johnny Morris' enduring vision: "Build a better boat, make it affordable and make it last." That's what you'll get from Travis Boating Center and Tracker boats. Summer Boating When summer hits, there's no better time to go boating on a nice, cool body of water. It's also the time when hundreds of other boaters have the same idea that you do. Summer boating is great fun at a hot time of the year, but there are some things you'll nee to take into consideration before you get your boat on the water. First, remember that there will be many other boaters on the water at the same time as you. Brush up on the rules of the "road" and pay special attention to those around you. Remember when it's safe to pass, how close you are allowed to get to another boat, and how to be courteous to others. Summer is hot and when you are boating, you are in the sun most of the time. To avoid a nasty sunburn, use plenty of sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 if not higher. Children should especially be protected with a good sunscreen as their delicate skin can burn quite easily. Make sure that you stay well hydrated. In the hot weather, you lose fluid quite quickly. Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive amounts of alcohol. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect and will deplete the fluids from your body much more quickly than naturally. The weather can change in an instant, so when boating in the summer, be sure to pay close attention to the weather forecast. You certainly won't want to be stuck 4 miles off shore when that freak summer storm hits. Don't play games with the weather -- especially in the summer. Your safety depends on it! Pay special attention to your boat in the hot summer months. It's hot outside and the engine is hot as well. Check the boat's fluids often so that you don't run the risk of the engine overheating leaving you stranded in the middle of the lake. Even though it's hot, you still need to wear your life jacket. This is especially true with children. Almost all drownings that occur become fatal because a person is thrown overboard and is not wearing a life jacket. A little discomfort from the heat is well worth paying the price when you consider you could be compromising your life. Summer is definitely the best time of the year to go boating. As long as you keep your safety rules in mind, fun is just around the corner. Summer boating is also a great time to get your family together and enjoy a day on the water. What a way to beat the heat! Florida Boating It's no surprise that Florida is the number one place with annual boating registrations that top all other states. Florida offers many different opportunities for boating whether you want to brave the ocean, the gulf, or one of their many, many lakes. Because they have been consistently the number one boating destination in the United States, Florida concentrates a lot of their state-wide efforts on keeping the waterways safe as well as fun. There are numerous state grants available for improving ramp access and keeping the waters clean. Florida has over 8,000 miles of coastline and 4,500 square miles of inland waterways, making it a paradise for boaters! From mega-yachts to wooden skiffs, having a boat is as normal as having a car for some Floridians. The Intra-coastal Waterway is a natural but dredged channel that extends 500 miles down the east coast of Florida to the tip of the Keys. It's a very popular boating route that runs through rivers, creeks and dredged canals. It is maintained by the Florida Inland Navigation District. The 135-mile Okeechobee Waterway, which cuts through the state, is another popular boating route, especially during the summer. It runs along the St. Lucie Canal from Stuart, across Lake Okeechobee and then on to Sanibel Island via the Caloosahatchee River. There are roughly 1,250 marinas in Florida, most with excellent facilities, accommodations and outlets for fishing and diving charters. Florida is also home to dozens of boat manufacturers, dealers and yards which provide services such as boat repair, painting and storage. If you are boating in Florida, you'll find all the amenities afforded to the many, many boating enthusiasts that flock here every year. Numerous marinas allow for easy access to the many waterways and the services they provide make every boater comfortable and at ease. The fishing is also great in Florida, so it's easy to combine recreational boating with angling for prize fish. You'll find lots of award-winning fish in many different places, so if you plan on boating in Florida, be sure to bring your fishing gear! There's no doubt about it, when you want a great boating experience, you need to check out Florida. Besides having some of the best weather in the country, they also offer boaters many opportunities to enjoy the weather along with the waters. Any type of boating from sail boating to speed boating is just waiting for you on the waters of sunny Florida! California Boating What better place to enjoy the sport of boating than in the beautiful, sunny state of California? This beautiful state has lots to offer, but when boating in California, you'll have more options than you could ever imagine. With so much ocean front coastline, the boating adventures that await you in California can be the best you've ever had. While California ranks second to Florida in boating registrations, it still is a very popular boating destination for many people. Besides ocean cruising, California also has many lakes and rivers available to boating enthusiasts. All types of boating can be done in California. From kayaking to speed boating to cabin cruising, you can find all sorts of boating opportunities on the West coast. Where are some of the more popular boating locations in California? Beside the obvious Pacific Ocean, here are a few to try out: * Lake Berryessa in Sonoma County is a great place for power boating and water skiing. There are also some great places to swim and picnic. * Clear Lake is a little bit north of Lake Berryessa which is another great place for skiing and sunning. * Lake Tahoe is one of the most popular boating destinations in California. It is well known for all sorts of water activities. Tahoe boasts hot summer days and cool nights which makes it a beautiful place for boating, relaxing, and camping. * Shasta Lake is more inland and is located in Northern California. Lake Shasta offers swimming, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and all kinds of boating, including houseboat rentals for those who never want to leave sight of the water. Lake Shasta is around 150 miles north of Sacramento, and is a vacation paradise for trout fishing, camping and outdoor fun all within sight of beautiful Mount Shasta. * The San Francisco Bay area has many marinas and boating clubs dotting the coastline. Its location makes it a great place to shove off for a week-long cabin cruise, or take in a day of sailing. The bay area is also very popular with yachters as is evidenced by the many yacht clubs located in the area. Fishing is a big part of California boating. You can catch everything from river trout to largemouth bass and Coho salmon in the waters of California. Because this is a such a popular boating destination, you can enjoy boating in California even if you don't own your own boat. Boat rentals abound for anyone who wants to enjoy the waters in this beautiful state. The weather is beautiful in California making it a great place for boating. You can find so many other destinations than the ones listed above. California is truly a boating paradise. Happy boating! Boating in England When considering a boating vacation, many people think of tropical locations. However, the truth is you can have a great time boating in England. There actually are many bodies of water where you can have a great time boating in England. Many barges and canals are places where you can enjoy the English countryside from the beauty of a "narrowboat". Lots of companies offer guided excursions down the water allowing you to enjoy jolly old England from the comfort of these luxury vessels. Boating in England is really a lot like boating in the States. It's a relaxing, fun vacation taken at a slow pace. There are actually over two thousand miles of waterways from wide canals to narrow ones and even some pretty good sized rivers you can enjoy. Your best bet for boating in England is to hire a boating company who will give you a guided tour. They will be able to point out interesting tourist attractions and give you information about their beautiful country. You can also rent your own narrowboat and commandeer it down the waterways. People who have done this type of vacation report that it's one of the most satisfying boating trips they've ever been on. One of the advantages to boating in England is you can experience complete freedom. There are many, many places you can stop along the canal and visit a neighborhood pub or a five star restaurant. You can moor your boat and explore the countryside on foot. Life on the water can be quite idyllic. You may also want to explore boating on England's River Thames. This river is mostly non-tidal and runs through some beautiful places. The Thames does have locks to go through, and you must be patient when traveling through the locks. They can take quite awhile to get through, but just sit back and enjoy the scenery while you wait! If you want to travel the River Thames, you should be aware that this is one of the most popular waterways in England, so the boat traffic could be heavy at times. Also, all boats that want to travel this water must be registered. Not registering your boat could cause problems with the water constable. Boating in England is a great chance to experience one of the most beautiful places in the world. Consider taking the time in the spring when the greenery is bursting into life and the hillside is green and lush. We think you will find that boating in England is an experience second to none! Power Boating Power boating is becoming a rapidly growing sport all around the world. While many people think of a power boat as simply a really fast speed boat, the reality is that a power boat is so much more. It is a high performance machine capable of very fast speeds and is usually used in racing competitions. The sport of power boating requires the use of a highly tuned boat that is capable of high planing or skimming the water. This allows for higher rates of speed and easier handling. That's why power boats are used in racing competitions. There are all sorts of power boats that are used in power boating. In fact, there are over fifty-three categories of power boats and within each category there are many, many makes and models. Following are some of the more common power boats: * Bow rider * Power catamaran * Classic or antique replica * Deck boat * Express cruiser * Hovercraft * Jet boat * Runabout The type of engine you have on your power boat is a very important consideration. Because these boats are meant to travel at high speeds, you will want an engine that will complement your performance boat. Make sure the horsepower is high enough that you will be able to get as much power out of your boat as possible. Now many people still do use power boats for recreational activities like skiing and wakeboarding. Just be sure that when you are towing someone behind your boat, you aren't going too fast that they will lose control and risk injury. You could really consider power boating as the operation of any craft that derives its power from an engine as opposed to human power. But real power boating and racing boats go hand-in-hand. If you've ever seen a power boat race, you know that these machines are finely tuned crafts capable of amazing handling as they skim effortlessly across the water. When you are captaining a power boat, you need to be fully aware of the capabilities of your craft. Operate the boat safely and keep a good eye on the other boaters around you as well as any natural barriers or aspects of the body of water you are on. It's very easy to have an accident when piloting a power boat, so take boating safety seriously when at the helm. Power boating is a great sport that can give even the most experienced boater a thrill. Take up power boating and learn what boating is really supposed to be about! Party Boating The words "party boating" conjure up images of wild on board antics with alcohol abounding and beautiful ladies dancing in skimpy bikinis. Come on, you know that's what you were thinking about! The reality is that party boating is a lot of that, but it truly is so much more. We need to begin this article by stressing that if you are captaining a water craft, you should keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum. Boating while intoxicated is a serious issue, and you risk injury and even death to you as well as your fellow partiers. A boat is just as dangerous as a car -- even more so -- because you have the added factor of choppy waters instead of stable roads. Boat responsibly and drink less. Party boating is a great way to connect with friends in a way that helps everyone have fun. Generally, the best party boating is done on a pontoon boat or a yacht. Pontoon boats are more affordable for the everyday Joe, but if you're lucky enough to have a yacht -- party away! The best elements of great party boating are lots of food and drink. Of course, you'll have to have the room which is why a big pontoon boat that can accommodate a lot of people and a lot of food with ease. Make up a few hors d'ouevres like chicken wings, chips and dip, and a cheese platter and lay them out on a table on board. You'll want to have lots of coolers on hand to hold your beverages. It's a good idea to keep things simple since you're going to be on the water. Bringing along tons of mixers for drinks just isn't practical, so keep it to aluminum cans for beer and soda and wine coolers for those non-beer drinkers. No party is complete without music and when you are party boating, the situation is no different. If your boat doesn't have its own stereo system, bring along a portable stereo and have plenty of batteries on hand. Have a variety of music available to meet the needs of your fellow partiers and let the music play! Be sure you have life jackets for everyone on board, and make sure that no one does anything stupid. One of the cardinal rules of party boating is no drunken skiing or tubing and definitely no drunken swimming. Keep an eye on your guests and keep them safe. Owning a boat is a wonderful advantage when you want to party boat, but there are ways that you can go party boating and have a blast without causing any problems for anyone else. Remember to be mindful of your fellow boaters and stay safe. And then, let the good times roll! Boating Moms When you are on a boating excursion with your family, moms hold a unique position. It's her instinct to protect her children, but she might be yearning to just relax and enjoy a day on the water. Moms and boating can, however, go together quite nicely. If you are a boating mom, rest assured, you can have a great day boating on the water and still be a mom. Boating moms know that the secret to enjoying a day on board with their kids is to provide alternate activities to keep them busy while you take a few moments to soak up the sun. This includes bringing along some board games or coloring books to occupy a little bit of time. Take this time to teach your children about the water. This is a great learning opportunity to show them different kinds of animal and plant life. You can also teach them boating safety as well as how to steer the boat and what they need to know when they get older and want to go boating themselves. Boating moms also know to bring along plenty of snacks. Kids get hungry. That happens on board the boat too and is no different than in your living room. Have plenty of treats available like fruit snacks, Jell-O cups, bananas, and trail mix. You can also make the day extra special by allowing the kids something they don't usually get like chips and soda. Let your kids have fun. It's easy to become worried about your kids jumping in the water from the side of the boat -- especially if you are moored in the middle of the water. There's no land around, so how can you keep them safe? Just make sure they are wearing their life jackets and that they fit properly. Then you can let them enjoy the water. Jump in with them too! You'll enjoy it as well! Moms who love boating will help their children love boating just as much as they do. Let them see you having fun. Participate in water skiing and tubing. Laugh a lot and let them know that without a doubt, you love the water and the boat that brought you there. Boating is a great activity for the whole family. Boating moms hold a unique position during these outings. She's the one to go to when the kids are bored, when they're hungry, and when they just want a hug or two. You can be a safe boating mom without neglecting yourself on your boating trip. Just use your head, lay back, and enjoy the trip with your whole family knowing that you really can have it all! Boating Marinas A boating marina is a port within a sheltered harbor where boats are kept in the water. Boating marinas also offer services that meet the needs of the recreational boater. These services include offering gas, snacks, boating supplies, and more. The boating marina is where you will find the boating ramp to get your boat on the water. Some marinas will offer out of water boat storage for the off-season. Boating marinas will also have extensive parking facilities for boaters and slips where boats can tie up while the boaters take care of their personal business. Most boating marinas are privately operated often by clubs like yachting clubs or organizations. They usually charge a fee for ramping your boat and may also have membership fees to belong to the marina. But when you are a member, you will be able to take advantage of many opportunities marinas offer like boating classes, safety courses, and much more. Almost all boating marinas will offer boat rentals for people who don't own boats. This is a great service for people who don't have the resources to own their own boats -- yet. The rental prices are usually quite reasonable and provide for a fun day on the water for almost everyone. All bodies of water will have a boating marina -- in fact, many will have multiple marinas to serve many locations along the way. In some places, the marina business can be quite a competitive one as each tries to look for their share of business from eager boaters. However, because the marinas really have a captive audience so to speak from people on the water, don't expect to find any great bargains on gas or ramping fees. Boat etiquette when in a marina is very important to know about. When you are ramping your boat, you should do so as quickly as you possibly can and then vacate the ramp area so others who are waiting to either drop or pick up their boat can do so. If there is a line, do not "cut" into it. Wait your turn no matter how impatient you might be. You'll get your share of dirty looks and perhaps cross words if you breach this unwritten rule. When you are tied up at the boating marina, be sure you are in a slip away from traffic and not just floating out in the middle of the water hampering others abilities to get to a vacant slip. Be respectful of others in the marina and practice safe boating when backing out and getting back on the water. Many accidents happen in the marina, so pay special attention to the traffic around you as you're backing out or coming in. Boating marinas are great oases where you can stock up on supplies, take advantage of services, and gas up your boat for more water fun. Use your local boating marina as what it's meant to be -- a service to you and everyone else out on the water! Boating Schools What is a boating school? Basically, it is what it says it -- a school where you learn what you need to know about boating. The United States Coast Guard recommends that all boaters take an accredited course in boating at a certified boating school. They have proven that boaters who participate in boating school have a markedly better chance of avoiding a boating accident when they have taken these types of classes. There are many places where you can find a certified boating school where you can learn about boating safely. Begin by looking online. You'll be able to find a boating school near where you are just by doing a quick Google search. Take a look at the list you'll see pop up and choose a school with a good reputation. What makes a good boating school? Well, first and foremost, they should have the credentials and experience to be able to teach boating basics to the general public. See if they are accredited by the United States Coast Guard. What qualifications does the instructor have? What are some of the areas they will cover in school? Also, make sure that their price range is within your budget. Some companies offer boating schools online. They will allow you to take classes from the comfort of your own home. You'll read through their provided materials and then take various tests to gauge your progress through the course. At the end, you'll take a comprehensive exam covering all the material in the classes which you will need to pass to become certified. Online boating schools require concentration and dedication, so be sure you have the time and effort to devote to it. Look to the local marina as well for a qualified boating school. Marinas have on staff boating professionals who conduct classes on a regular basis. The advantage to a real-life school is that you can have your questions answered right there and you will most likely get some hands-on experience in piloting a boat. Finally, many boat dealerships will also conduct boating schools or at the very least, they will have information on upcoming schools in your area. Just contact them and inquire about what boating schools they know about. You will become a much better boater when you take classes at a boating school. Even if you are an experienced boater, you can always use a refresher course to learn about new innovations and regulations in the boating industry. Look for a boating school that will meet your needs and then take it as seriously as you would "regular" school. Boating Safety The most important part about responsible boating is to always practice good boating safety. The United States Coast Guard says that almost all boating accidents could have been prevented if the captain of the ship had taken a boating safety course prior to getting on the water. Boating safety is tantamount to responsible boating and it shouldn't be taken lightly. There's no way we can cover all aspects of boating safety in this short article. What we can do, however, is to give you some basics to go from in your quest to become a responsible boater. There's nothing that can replace a good, certified boating safety course taught by a qualified individual, but everyone has to start somewhere! * Always know the safest distance to keep away from other boats. If someone is going slower than you are and you want to pass them, know how to do so safely and with the proper signaling. Boats don't have turn signals, but you should know how to alert the other boater you will be passing them. * When you are putting your boat in the water, be sure you know how to do this quickly as well as safely. Boating safety has to be present even before you get your vessel on the water. Knowing how to do this the right way can make the difference between friendly and unfriendly boating. * If alcohol is part of your boating trip, be sure you are very conscious of what alcohol can do to your body when you are operating a fast-moving vehicle on top of a body of water. Alcohol use by the captain should occur in moderation above everything else. Most of the boating accidents that occur today can be directly attributed to alcohol as a contributing factor. Be smart when it comes to alcohol consumption on the water. * Make sure that all people on board your boat have access to a life vest. Never let a child be in your boat without wearing a life vest at all times. The number one cause of death on the water is due to drowning. That is caused by people falling overboard without a life vest. This is the number one boating safety rule stressed by all instructors. * Boating safety depends on everyone following general rules of etiquette when you are out on the water. While you can't control what the other boaters do, you sure can control what you do. Always be polite on the water and know that you are doing your part to keep the waters safe. Like we said previously, every boater should really take a certified boating safety course. Besides making it easier for you to get your boating license, you will be a much better boater after you take a boating safety course. Michigan Boating You have many options when you decide you want to go boating in Michigan. Michigan is surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes and has over 11,000 inland lakes. In addition, boaters in Michigan can enjoy over a thousand public access sites which makes it the ideal place to enjoy pleasure boating, sailing, canoeing, and even Great Lakes cruising. Obviously, the most popular places for boating in Michigan is on one of the Great Lakes. Whether you choose Lake Huron or Lake Michigan, you will find some great waters that provide challenges to even the most experienced boaters. Access is easily found in many places, and you won't have any problem getting on your way quickly for a day of fun on the water! Michigan is well known for its great fishing. Whether you're interested in catching largemouth bass or some prized salmon, you're sure to find some great fish when you go boating in Michigan. Find a great spot somewhere along the shoreline of Lake Superior, or choose one of Michigan's many lakes. The fishing is as great as the boating in Michigan. Because boating is such a popular activity in Michigan, you will find a wealth of knowledge on the subject in many places. There are online forums that discuss the best places to boat and fish. Blogs on boating in Michigan abound. Take the advice of people who have been there and discover all sorts of opportunities! If you don't own a boat but still want to explore boating in Michigan, the good news is that you still can. There are many, many places all along the water that provide boat rentals as well as chartered trips. They will provide you with all the necessary instruction you need to pilot your own water craft on the water, or you can just sit back and enjoy the beauty of being on the water while someone else captains the boat. Whether you're interested in water skiing, sailing, or just cruising along the water, you'll have many options you can explore in Michigan. Even in the winter, you can boat in Michigan. Ice boating is a very popular sport in Michigan. Even if it's cold outside, you can still enjoy the sights of this northern state. Michigan is a beautiful place, and boating is a wonderful sport. When you combine the two, you'll have a great time boating in Michigan. Marine Boating Marine boating is quickly becoming one of America's favorite pastimes growing by leaps and bounds from year to year. The feeling you get piloting a boat on the water can be exhilarating and can reduce your stress significantly. Marine boating is good for the soul and the body as well when you add in water sports to your boating adventures. You have many choices in water crafts when you take up the sport of marine boating. Sailboats are fun on almost any body of water. Powered only by Mother Nature, a small sailboat can be great fun on short voyages. Boats used in marine boating can be as small as 24 foot long up to 70 feet and more. They are constructed of sturdy materials such as fiberglass which makes them easy to take care of and easy to clean. Large yachts have luxurious cabins below deck which makes them great for long trips. Even small cabin cruisers can be taken on overnight voyages. These water crafts are big enough to accommodate several people as well as supplies. Marine boating is much more fun when you share it with other people which is why almost all boats have room for at least 6 people to sit comfortably. There are handy compartments usually under the seats to hold equipment like life vests and fishing equipment. You can do a lot of activities when marine boating. Depending on the type of boat you have, there are some very fun water sports that can be done. Water skiing, for example, is quite enjoyable and requires a bit of skill to learn. However, once you become adept at skimming along the water standing atop a couple of pieces of fiberglass, you'll find it's very addicting! Inner tubing when marine boating requires the use of a specially designed air inflated tube with handles on it. Inner tubing is a great water sport for people of all ages and requires little to no skill at all. Fishing when marine boating is also quite an enjoyable sport. When you have a smaller boat, you are able to get to areas on the water where the biggest and best fish are hiding. You can easily navigate along the shore as you cast your line from place to place in search of that prize catch. Marine boating is a great sport enjoyed by thousands of people all over the world. Even though the sport has been around for a very long time, advances in equipment as well as boats make it one of the most enjoyable recreational activities around. Lakeland Boating Lakeland Boating magazine is one of the most popular magazines for boating enthusiasts. Based in Chicago, Lakeland Boating has been the voice of the "Sweetwater Seas" for more than fifty years. Their magazine offers a comprehensive guide to the sport of boating both professionally as well as recreationally. They provide in-depth boat tests to help the boating enthusiast choose the right boat. They will also review boating products and announce any new developments in boating products. Lakeland Boating magazine is a great resource for information on weekend getaways. They also give lots of information about colorful ports of call around the world. One of the fun parts of boating is exploring new places. If you are a boater in the Great Lakes area, Lakeland Boating is for you. Inside the pages of Lakeland Boating, you will find tips on engine maintenance and repair as well as the most popular marine electronics. It's important for you to take good care of your boat if you want it to last. This magazine will help you along the way! Their website is also a great source of information for avid boaters. Located at www.lakelandboating.com, you can get lots of tips and tricks from other boaters. They have separate departments for features like engine repair, how to buy a used boat, and much more. Join their message board and meet other boaters from the Great Lakes region. Search for boats for sale and find a great bargain on a beautiful boat! Lakeland Boating's website also offers a cruising guide as well as a place where you can place your own boat up for sale. You will be up-to-date on any boating events that are happening in the area with their event calendar. You can even get some great books and videos in their online store. The store includes boating guides to each of the Great Lakes. Lakeland Boating magazine is passionate about boating and strives to keep fellow boaters safe while on the water. They give you tips on safety and show you ways to make sure that your boating experience is both satisfying and safe. Lakeland Boating magazine is published eleven times per year. Their subscription rates are quite reasonable at just $21.95. Plus, you can subscribe right on their website and save money off the newsstand rate. If you are into boating, especially boating in the Great Lakes region, Lakeland Boating magazine is definitely for you. Stay current with all the most recent boating news and learn more than you ever thought with Lakeland Boating! House Boating No family vacation is quite as fun and interesting as a house boating vacation. If you are lucky enough to own a house boat, that's wonderful. However, most people can't afford the luxury of a house boat. That's why if you're interested in house boating, you'll want to look into renting one. House boats are amazing vessels with all the comforts of home. They have separate sleeping quarters, a galley (kitchen), and even bathroom facilities. Many house boats even have microwaves and televisions. When you begin researching your house boating rental, there are a few factors to keep in mind. First, make sure it can handle the amount of people who will be along on the house boating vacation. If you have a family of 6 and there's only sleeping for 4, you'll be awfully cramped. Be sure that the place you rent from gives you a boating course before you get out on the water. You will most likely be captaining your own boat, and if you have no house boating experience, you'll need a crash course for safety, if nothing else! Make sure you know whether or not fuel costs are included in the rental price. If you will be responsible for buying your own gas, you will want to know ahead of time so you can budget. Also, ask for a copy of the insurance policy on the boat. You may have to add a temporary rider to your own insurance to be covered, so that's a good question to ask. When you are on your house boating vacation, take the time to enjoy where you are at. That means you should by all means stop along the way and take advantage of the shoreline sights and offerings. For example, if there's a beach along the way, drop anchor and enjoy the sun and sand for a day. Some house boat rental places will also rent water equipment to you like jet skis. If you will be towing them behind, be sure you know about safety concerns that need to be adhered to. Many companies will also let you tow boats behind so you can enjoy whatever area you decide to dock up to. Rates for house boating rentals are about what you would pay for a land locked rental like a condo. Depending on where you are, rentals for the week can run anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. If you want a larger craft, you will, obviously, pay a little more. Just consider what nightly motel rental is and multiply out the cost. You won't have restaurant costs when house boating because it has a kitchen you can stock for your entire trip. House boating can be an immensely enjoyable experience for you and your family. Vacationing really can be leisurely and fun. For your next getaway, try house boating and know why so many people enjoy it! Boat Insurance Coverage Coverage of a watercraft can range from total replacement of the vessel if destroyed, to personal liability coverage, and everything in between. When deciding on what policy is right for you, consider what your needs and risks are, and how much you are willing to spend to protect them. Full coverage boat insurance is the safest route for the boat owner who wants to insure his valuable property. With full coverage the boat owner can opt to ensure the cost of replacing the vessel if it is totally destroyed. Coverage can also include damages to either the boats structure, or engine. Coverage for loss or damage to personal property while on the vessel may also be included. Other options can include injury protection, salvage or wreck removal, loss of use reimbursement, towing costs, and even investigative services. Liability insurance covers you in the case of accident responsibility. Generally a boat owner can choose either boat liability, also known as indemnity insurance, which will cover only damages done by the vessel, or personal liability, which will cover damages done by the boat owner, regardless of where or how they occur. While liability insurance is generally the least expensive, it is important to remember that it will only cover the cost of damages/repairs to third parties. Your own property is not covered under liability insurance. In this way, even though liability insurance often appears to be the most inexpensive option for the boat owner, if the vessel were to be destroyed, the cost of replacement would far out weigh the savings on premiums. Winter boat insurance While many people opt to allow their watercraft to remain uninsured when not in use, this decision can be disastrous for the boat owner. In many areas of the country use of boats and other types of watercraft over the long winter months is impossible, due to climate changes and adverse weather conditions. Many boat owners mistakenly believe that, when a boat is in winter storage, insurance coverage for the vessel is no longer a necessity. Statistically speaking, more boats are damaged every year while in winter storage, than those that are in actual use. In some cases entire vessels are lost, due to unforeseeable circumstance. Damages to a stored vessel can run from minimal (such as destruction by nesting animals, petty theft of stored items, or even slight weather damage) to major (such as total destruction of the watercraft by a fire or natural disaster). Just because the boat is not in use, does not mean it is entirely protected from unforeseen events. The boat owner who plans to store a vessel for any period of time should discuss the importance of winter storage protection plans with a trusted insurance representative. Most insurance plans will give the boat owner a reduced rate for winter storage coverage, while still allowing for the vessel's owner to protect his valuable property. Selecting this option can safeguard the boat owner's investment, and allow for peace of mind, when in cases where winter storage is a necessity. Charter boats and insurance Insuring a charter boat can be very different from obtaining insurance for a pleasure or sporting boat. To begin with, the charter boat will require additional insurance because the vessel represents the livelihood of its owner. Loss of the vessel means not only loss of the boat itself, but also loss of income, as well as countless of amounts of secondary damage derived from "lack of use" of the vessel (lost contracts, loss of expected income, refunds to potential passengers, etc: ). Additionally, a charter boat's main function is to carry passengers for a fee, whether for a day fishing charter, or a brief sight seeing trip. The mere presence of passengers on the vessel presents many liability risks. Consider the possible outcome to passengers if the vessel should be involved in an accident, while operating as a chartered watercraft. Consider, as well, the risks to the owner of the vessel, in the possibility of personal injury suits, negligence suits, property loss or damage, etc: should an accident occur while the boat is operating. Charter vessels also need special insurance to protect against damages by passengers. Broken equipment, vandalism, and excessive wear and tear to the boat's interior, are just a few of the problems often experienced by charter boat owners. Theft of equipment and gear may also become an issue for the Charter boat owner. The boat owner will want to make sure that the policy selected will cover all potential risks, losses and damages, insuring that both the owner and the passengers are duly protected. Why you need to have insurance for boats The actual number of piracy attacks that were reported worldwide in 1999 rose nearly 40% in just one year. What's more those figures nearly tripled between 1991 and 1998, according to the ICC International Maritime Bureau in London (IMB). In the year 2000 a report conducted by the International Marine Bureau in London, also showed that annual losses due to piracy totaled over $200 million dollars. Even more alarming is the increase in weapon usage by modern day pirates such as guns and knives. Internationally a significant number of deaths, as well as serious injuries, are attributed to piracy each year. Modern pirates may not have wooden legs and eye patches. They also may not be waving the Jolly Roger from a top their sails. Instead these criminals often navigate vessels that do not appear out of the ordinary. They will generally board a cargo vessel before the captain realizes that they are thieves. Modern pirates may do one of three things: rob the crew/passengers aboard the vessel; rob the vessel of its goods and cargo; or hijack the entire vessel. Travelers venturing into foreign waters run greater risks of experiencing hijacking, theft, and even assault from modern day "pirates." Having the best insurance coverage for you and your vessel is a must. The policy should cover all goods, cash, cargo, and of course the vessel itself. Maintaining the highest level of insurance, will help ensure that, should you fall victim to such a crime, the majority of expenses and costs you experience can be recouped. Learn how to protect your boating investment For those who are looking for a new boat you'll need to consider that there is a certain investment that you'll need to have in order to keep your boat protected. You will find that new boats will cost as little as $10,000, but they can get very expensive and it can cost as much as $200,000 or more. You will want to keep in mind that that it is important that you don't have to have the expensive boat, but you'll want to also consider that the more money that you invest in your boat, the more you'll need to invest in insurance. Additionally, if the prospective boat buyer intends to finance the purchase, in almost every instance, the lender will require full coverage insurance. Truly, it makes sense to get some insurance coverage. Although in many state laws do not require boat insurance, it is always wise to insure any property that requires such a substantial investment. There are only a few people who would consider not getting insurance for their home or car, and you don't want to be one of those people, because you may end up losing a lot more than you think if something were to happen. .Keep in mind, you will want to keep yourself protected by having the coverage. Your family and loved ones that will be accompanying you on your boating trips will need to have the insurance just those just-in-case accidents. You'll need to think about the ways that you will be able to save a few dollars on the insurance, but you also want to make sure that you know you are covered for those just-in-case times. You can't afford to lose more any more than necessary on your investment. You don't want to end up losing more than what you can afford. If you don't have any boating insurance, you will find that it can hard for you to get over the loss. With boating insurance you will be able to keep things like accidents and personal injury out of your mind. If they do happen, you know that you're covered and also you'll feel safer when having guests on board. You will also want to think about things like natural disasters and theft. It can help you feel better when these unfortunate events happen. You will want to make sure that you think about the insurance and how you can use the insurance to keep the out-of-pocket expenses to a low. Factors that affect your boating insurance Boat insurance rates will go up and down and it happens to be based on a few factors of risk. You'll want to make sure that you consider that boat insurance is much like car insurance. For those who have had bad experiences the price will be much higher, but for those who are good sailors you will have lower rates. You will also be able to get a discount if you take a class on how to operate a boat in a proper manner. When it comes to having safety equipment you will need to think about how it will affect the boat insurance. Fire extinguishers, emergency equipment and other special safety features installed on the boat will help lower the rate of the insurance premium. The age of the boat or the value of the boast will also impact the rate of insurance. For a newer boat, you will have a higher premium, but also the most expensive the boat is, the more expensive it will be to insure. You will also need to remember that the boat will depreciate each year and that too will have an affect on your boat insurance. Also, you'll find that it is a lot like car insurance and the risk of liability will also increase the cost of insurance. Previous tickets or boating accidents will directly affect the rate you pay for your insurance. Since, there is a presents of neglect and liability, you will find that if the owner was at fault because of drugs or alcohol. Then the premiums will be the highest. Then to obtain the best insurance you will want to install some safety features and have the boat looked at. You will find that this is a tax write off too. You'll also want to make sure that you follow all the laws and rules of the local and state. You will also find that there are tax breaks just as there are when it comes to operating a car. Tips for finding the Best Boat Insurance Policy In order to obtain the best possible insurance coverage for your particular watercraft consider taking the following steps. Research a number of insurance companies, as well as a variety of policies on the internet. This will help you to determine which features you would like to have written into your policy, and which ones you may not feel as strongly about. After investigating as many companies as you can, select 3 or 4 which offer the most extensive packages. Be certain that each company will be able to meet or exceed your insurance needs by viewing their policy options. When selecting these companies also consider which ones have the most experience in dealing with the type of insurance you want. Boat owners should consider choosing companies which specialize in boating insurance, rather than other types of insurance. Get at least 3 quotes. These can be obtained online, or by contacting a representative from each company, to explain what you want, and request a quote. Obtaining a quote does not obligate you to purchase the insurance. If you are not satisfied with the coverage offered, or the rates quoted, then you can simply say "No thank you." Don't be pressured into selecting a policy, until you feel confident that you have found the right one. Before you purchase any policy take the time to talk with a representative of the insurance company. Evaluate the service that representative provides. If you do not feel comfortable with one company, consider looking into another. It will be important in the future, should you need to file a claim, that you feel confident that the representative will be attentive to you as a customer. What to look for in a boating insurance policy When it comes to sailboats, yachts, or even fishing boats, you will want to consider that there are a lot of options. You will want to think about your individual boating needs and also think about ways that you may want to explore. It is something that you can do for fun and you'll have plenty of pleasure in the sun and water. It doesn't matter if you like to ski or even you are just a beginning sailor. Just as boating enthusiasts differ in their boating preferences as well as in the way they use their vessels, boat insurance coverage options also differ, depending on the boat's uses, it's monetary value, and it's importance to the owner. You will find that there is a lot of options when it comes to insurance. You will want to think about just getting liability or full coverage. There are a lot of insurance options. Deciding on the right option, however, can be a tricky matter. A boater who engages in speed boating, will most likely need a different type of coverage from the boater who enjoys pontooning, or the one who embarks only on brief fishing excursion, once or twice a summer. There are some things that you'll need to consider when it comes to boat insurance. You will want to keep in mind that there is a certain amount of money that you'll need to invest in when it comes to keeping and operating the boat. You will find that there are many factors that will affect the amount of insurance that you need. You will find that if you have a lot of expensive equipment on board then you'll need to carry more insurance. The less that you have invested in the boat the less insurance you will have to consider. How to get boating insurance If your vessel is more than 10 years old your insurance carrier may require you to receive a Marine Survey, to certify that the boat is both safe and seaworthy. The Marine survey will also give your insurance carrier an idea of what the vessel is worth, according to fair market value, an important aspect in getting an accurate insurance quote. A marine survey can benefit you in several ways. While you may contract the survey to be done because an insurance carrier or potential lender has required it, it may save you money on your insurance premium, in the long run. A thorough survey can also identify potential problems that you may not have been aware of, helping you to avoid an unwanted accident, or break down on the water. Marine surveyors will generally inspect the hull and frame of your watercraft, as well as the engine and any other exposed areas. Surveyors can often identify problems, and offer suggestions on repairs or maintenance. Letting the boat owner know of potential risks and hazards allows for preventative measures to be taken, before a disaster occurs. The cost of a marine survey varies depending on the extent of work to be done. Larger vessels obviously take longer to inspect, and therefore will be more expensive to survey than a smaller craft. The cost of the survey itself, however, is small in comparison to the risks a boat owner may take in not having one completed. Should you add coverage or get another policy? When looking into Boat Insurance, you may be considering adding your boat onto your already existing home insurance policy. While this may seem like a cost effective way of protecting your property, you may want to investigate the matter thoroughly, before making this decision. Home insurance policies often allow the policy holder to add additional property at a lower rate, which can be a cost effective way of insuring your boat. This option, however, often does not generally allow for additional protection for such things as wreckage removal, loss of use, or include the environmental aspects of coverage (such as insuring against oil leaks or gas leaks or other such problems which can cause damages to the natural environment). Another problem a boat owner may discover if opting to cover the vessel on a home insurance policy, is that the company does not specialize in boat insurance claims, and may have little experience in handling these types of claims. This could present a problem if the boat owner should need to file a claim somewhere down the road. Because individual boat owners often have unique needs in regards to covering their vessels, it is often best to select an insurance carrier who specializes in boats and other water craft. This helps to insure that your policy will cover all your major needs, and that your insurance carrier has the unique experience needed to handle any situation which may arise with your vessel. Find a Lawyer After a Boating Accident Finding a lawyer after being involved in a boating accident is very important. Whether you were the cause of the accident or you were the victim, securing effective legal counsel can make your life dealing with the accident much easier. What should you look for in a lawyer? Well, you should first ask questions and find a lawyer who specializes or at least has some experience with boating accidents. After an accident has happened -- especially a boating accident - finding a lawyer might not be your first inclination, and it shouldn't be. But you should find your lawyer as soon after the boating accident as possible. Believe it or not, maritime accidents carry the same possibility of penalties and fines as a car accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, the amount of damages awarded is often just as large as with a car wreck. Of course, we hope you had already secured adequate boating insurance, but if you are the victim, you still need to have all of the information you can get. Typically, powerboats such as runabouts, cabin cruisers and jet skis are the most common watercraft to be involved in boating accidents, although sailboats can be involved in accidents as well. The most frequent sources of injuries are caused from propeller accidents and collisions. Because personal watercraft such as jet skis can't be steered when the throttle is released, inexperienced drivers often have collisions when confronted with an emergency. Serious personal injury and even death can occur due to a boating collision or from a person falling over the side of a watercraft and drowning. As the operator of a vessel you are required by law to file a formal, written report of an accident. Reports must generally be filed within 48 hours of the date of the accident. That is applicable whether there are injuries or not. In general, you will only need to find a lawyer after a boating accident if there is some damage done either to the coastline, the boats, or in the loss of life or serious injuries. Just to be safe, it's still a good idea to file a report with your state maritime authority so you can avoid any fines that might come about for not filing an accident report. Boating accident attorneys will approach the accident just as they would a car accident. They will speak on your behalf using previous laws to strengthen your case. Their job is to obtain compensation both for damages as well as injuries, if there are any. Finding a lawyer after a boating accident is definitely a good step to take when becoming involved in a wreck on the water. If for nothing else, you will be properly represented and properly defended depending on what side of the accident you are on.
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