Brox Baxley

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Beginner's Guide to Boating

Beginner's Guide to Boating
The world of boating is an exciting one but also a bit complex, especially for new boaters. Learning how to operate and navigate a boat safely is a demanding activity that requires high concentration, strength, and coordination. The following are steps aspiring boaters can take in preparation for this exciting outdoor venture:

Learn from the Experts

It is advisable to connect with professional sailors to provide knowledge and experience. New boaters can learn through the following ways:

  • Joining a marine organization or boat club
  • Registering and going through sailing school
  • Providing voluntary services as a crew member of a large boat
  • Hiring a personal guide for training

Before sailing, a boater must be aware of the safety measures, equipment to use, wind awareness, and knot-tying. Examples of terminologies to learn used in the boating world include bow, stern, underway, forward, heel, and port.

Getting a License

When seeking advice, getting a boating license is something every professional, guide, or trainer will say. It is compulsory for any water vessel operating in a public space and the boat’s registration as well. And just like drivers register and pay for a parking space, boaters can register separately for docking space.

Boating Gear

Going for long sails without boating gear is close to being suicidal. The following is some of the essential gear required:

  • GPS - it helps understand the water traffic and anticipate encounters
  • Depth sounder - helps avoid shallow, dangerous waters.
  • Marine radio
  • Electronic compass
  • Safety equipment - fire extinguisher, life vests, and distress flares

Technology has improved navigation, and there are plenty of helpful instruments to try out.

Float Plan

A float plan is a written document that acts as a safety measure. It is about three pages long detailed with the following information:

  • Type of boat in use
  • Number of people on the boat
  • Kind of safety gear carried

This document is usually left with the last person onshore to see a boater leave. It can also have a to-do list in case concerns of safety start arising.

Conclusion

Gaining sailing experience can take some time, but it is all worth it. It is fun, provides a fantastic atmosphere, and there is the probability of seeing marine creatures such as a dolphin, or even a whale, depending on the type of sailor you are.

Originally published to broxbaxley.org.
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