Boating for Beginners: New to Boating? We Can Help!
There is a certain amount of undue shame that comes with being new to something. I wish things didn't work out that way but they often do. If you're new to boating and looking for boating advice for beginners, we are here to help! You should never feel overwhelmed or daunted by one of the best forms of relaxation.
This blog is intended for newbie boating tips and tricks that can help you to gain experience on the water and get comfortable. Some of the old salts might laugh at the information contained, but we'd all do well to remember that we all had a first time and it often isn't pretty. I talked about my first time pulling into the slip in our dock fenders blog.
To make a long story short, it was completely harrowing. Perhaps if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have put myself into such a situation simply to prove something to my own ego. There is nothing wrong with being new to boating and needing a bit of advice. With that reiterated, let's dive in!
I always to to cover safety first. Why? Because, safety first. The truth is that boating has never been safer or easier to use. I hesitate to use the term 'idiot-proof' because I'll inevitable be proven wrong but modern boats definitely have nicer facilities, electronic assistance to make operation a breeze, and leaky boats are a thing of the past due to near-bulletproof construction.
I will state that, just like a life jacket, all the electronics in the world won't save your skin if you don't remember to inspect it, charge it, or worst of all forgetting to just plain bring or use it. Things like EPIRB have made boaters lost at sea almost a thing of the past, but they need to be prepared for use in dire circumstances. The ocean is easier to navigate than ever before, but she can still be a rough customer who takes no prisoners. Stay wary, not scared.
If you're new to boating the absolute best advice that I can offer is to start small. I don't dare to recount the number of times I had a friend attempt to get into boating only to mortgage their house and buy a beastly boat that in the end they didn't end up enjoying. They get stuck with the costs for a boat that is seldom used, or lose out on their investment. Sad but true. I have seen it myself.
So that's why boating advice for beginners number two is: Start small! Perhaps you find that time on the water isn't for you? Well, the cost is easily recouped for a smaller vessel like a dinghy than it would be trying to sell a 60 foot yacht. How about if you find boating is your new passion? Small boats are a lot easier to launch and retrieve, so you'll probably find yourself using it much more often.
BOAT: Bring Out Another Thousand
Boating isn't as expensive as most people would have you believe, but it definitely isn't cheap. Like any hobby on Earth, it's a simple fact that a boat will require cash to maintain. In the case of boats, that money is used for maintenance. Avoiding upkeep is what leads to breaking out another thousand when small problems develop into huge ones.
Keep your vessel clean, inspected, and in good working order and you'll only be putting in a paltry sum to continue enjoying it.
Neglecting problems is no way to go about life, and that rings doubly true when we're talking about a boat. Notice some mildew? Break out that mildew remover ASAP before it weakens the stitching on your sails. A ripped sail is going to cost much more in the end. A bottle of wax sealant will cost much less than the bundle you might drop on a destroyed paint job. You get my point.
Enjoy The Ride
Boating isn't as complicated as it might seem. Dip your toes in, don't be scared to ask questions, and believe in your own ability to handle whatever is thrown your way. Like most things in life, experience comes with time. Spend time on the water perfecting your technique, but trick yourself by masking it with something you enjoy. I go out on the water to enjoy deep sea fishing, the fact that I can operate by wind-power even while solo is simply a side-effect.
You're going to do great. Don't put too much pressure on yourself or make the situation any grander than it needs to be. Half the secret is to simply let yourself enjoy where you are and what you're doing. You'll stumble along the way, like we all have... But the true sailor picks his head up and keeps on moving forward!