Out of the many outdoor hobbies that exist, boating is one of the most popular. The reasons why boating is so popular in North America and Europe is down to the entertainment factor. In all honesty, riding a boat is an unforgettable experience that many crave for again and gain.

And if you’re thinking of hopping into your first boat, then this is the article for you. In this article, we will talk about the 5 important things to know when boating. So with all that said, let’s start.

Training Is Key

Make no mistake about it, boating can be quite unsafe if you have no idea what you’re doing. That’s why it’s mandatory to obtain a license before driving a boat.

To obtain this license, you will need to go through a training course that teaches you the basics. More so, you will go through intense exercises before you eventually get your license. Riding a boat is no easy task. Dozens of safety hazards present huge challenges for beginners.

From dealing with submerged objects to entering cold water to extinguishing fires, the training course will teach you how to deal with every challenge. In addition, you’ll need to figure out the best place to store your fire extinguisher on a boat and how to deal with each unique situation.

Weather Dictates Whether You Boat

It’s safe to say that the last thing you want is to drive a boat in extreme weather conditions. There is no single bigger risk to the activity than high winds and high waves. Both present high risks that you will need to learn how to deal with. Although the general rule of boating is to never go out during extreme weather conditions, sometimes you might get caught in bad weather.

Depending on your level of training, you can successfully deal with the situation. Nothing guarantees you’ll come out unscarred, but beginner boaters aren’t advised to drive their boats in extreme weather. This is why you go through training. The training course will teach you how to deal with these situations and how to maximize your chances of survival.

If you’re a beginner, never go out in bad weather.

Always Dress For the Occasion

One thing you have to keep in mind when boating is that this is in fact an outdoor activity. Although there is specific gear for boating, you should dress for the occasion and wear comfortable clothes. More so, the choice of clothes has to keep you warm as no one can predict the weather at any time. High winds in combination with water splashes can make boating a nightmare. So, always pack more clothes to change if you need to.

Never Neglect Safety

We talked plenty about the many safety hazards, but one golden rule of boating is to ride with a life jacket, also called personal flotation device systems (PFDs). Finding the best spot where to store PFDs on a boat is also important.  Life jackets can make all the difference in the case of an accident. Considering that boating accidents usually end with you in the water, you’ll need to be an expert swimmer.

But even so, always wear a life jacket on you. If more people are riding with you, make sure everyone has one on them. You can also carry on your boat a few spare jackets just in case.

Be Ready To Make Repairs

The sea or nearby lake can be quite unpredictable. No one can expertly predict how favorable the conditions are for a nice day out. But do you know what else you also can’t predict? – Mechanical issues. The last thing you want is to be stuck on the open water with no way to call for help.

It’s commonly known that reception is pretty terrible on the open waters, and a mechanical issue can turn a day on the open water into a nightmare. Your boating license doesn’t make you an expert fixer. But you will have to learn how to repair certain parts. Newer boats are made in a way that you’ll need to pay less attention to the mechanical side of things. But no one can predict a dead battery or fuel system issues.

So, as a general rule of thumb, always carry a toolbox with you when riding the waves. More so, it wouldn’t hurt to learn a thing or two about the most common boat mechanical failures.

Finishing Thoughts

Boating is one of the most fun experiences you’ll ever have. It is the reason why many get into the hobby and many more have a boat license. While riding the waves does sound like fun, it isn’t perfect nor is it the safest outdoor activity out there. So, it would be wise to familiarize yourself with the potential safety hazards before taking a course. Lastly, we hope that this article has fully explained the five most important things to know when boating. And we hope that the article will prepare you when the time comes.