5 Things to Know Before Boating for the First Time

With Memorial Day just off in the distance, it’s almost time for sun-filled days out on the open seas. If you’re an experienced boater, you already know the drill. But if you’re a first-timer, there’s a few basics you need to understand before your initial outing. Boating is about more than cracking open a cold one, listening to your favorite tunes and sunbathing. You need to consider everything from proper attire and safety precautions to laws and regulations. Here’s a quick checklist to heed before planning your first trip.

5 Things to Know Before Boating for the First Time

Know What to Wear

This is boating, a physical outdoor activity in which you will get wet. There’s no need to wear your Sunday best. Instead, choose comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely and steer with confidence. Most important, wear things you don’t mind getting wet. This could mean board shorts and tank tops. But it also means waterproof items like boating shoes and belts. Our Bulldog Metal Free Pivot Buckle Web Belt is crafted from a Nylon blend, offers laidback style and has a polycarbonate buckle which will never scratch your boat. Our Hiker Web Belt is another excellent waterproof option perfect for a day outdoors.

Don’t Forget Your Safety Gear

As the saying goes, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Surely your first trip will go off without a hitch. However, it’s important that you’re ready for any difficulties that come your way. Boating complications are often difficult and unforeseen. Among the gear you should have in tow, include lifejackets, manual propellers, waterproof flashlights, an anchor, flares, navigation lights, a fire extinguisher and a life buoy. You can never be too safe or too prepared.

Licensed to Drive

Every state (and even county) has different laws and provisions about boating. Shelling out money for your first boat was exciting. Just to be sure to check the law before you hit the water. Most state boating laws can be found on the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety site.


One of the biggest boating pastimes is drinking. But if you’re the captain of the vessel, it’s forbidden. Boating while intoxicated is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Check the laws in your area to be sure of the rules and consequences. In Florida, BWI violations can land you in prison with a fee upwards of $2500. If you’re a passenger, enjoy yourself. Just keep your lifejacket nearby in case you’ve had a little too much.

Check the Weather

Local weather forecasts might not be appointment television but they’re critical viewing for boaters. The last thing you want is to get caught out in a storm. Small boats get tossed around like toys on rough seas. It’s best to avoid these conditions. A quick check of The Weather Channel is all you need to ensure the day is prime for boating.

However, once you’re prepared for your first boating trip, enjoy it. There’s nothing like relaxing out in the middle of a gorgeous body of water. It’s even sweeter when you’re ready for anything that comes your way.

Category: News