A Modern Day Fairy Tale

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How to Get Your Family Into Boating

Boating can be a great way to spend quality time with your family. As a unit, you will work to get the boat out on the water and then travel the sparkling blue landscape as you make new memories together. A full 95% of Americans live within just an hour’s drive of a navigable body of water, making this a great activity for almost any family. Of course, you will have to do a little prep work before you can experience that pure boating joy with your family. Let’s dive into the best tips for getting your family into boating and making this an activity you can enjoy together for years to come.

Understand the Basics of Owning a Boat

Even if your family had a boat growing up and you have fond memories of your parents taking you out on it, you might not know as much about owning a boat as you think. Be sure to do your research before getting your family involved in this activity. The first thing you’ll need to know is which type of boat you want. There are more than 15 million boats currently in use in the United States of varying types, shapes, and sizes. You’ll want to make sure you buy the boat that is right for your family’s specific needs.

After you purchase a new or used boat, you’ll have a checklist of tasks to perform as a first-time boat owner. These are the most important things you’ll need to do:

  • Insure your boat for liability and damages
  • Learn how to trailer your boat so that you can drive it anywhere
  • Learn how to launch and retrieve your boat
  • Figure out where you will store your boat
  • Brush up on basic boat maintenance
  • Purchase the basic equipment you’ll need, including safety gear like lifejackets
  • Develop a pre-departure checklist to keep your family organized
  • Learn how to re-fuel your boat
  • Master the basics of operating the boat
  • Always engage in safe and responsible boating

This may seem like a long list and there is certainly a lot to learn when you start boating with your family. Take these steps one at a time and get the help of family members if you need it. Each step is as important as the next and will ensure that you are a safe and prepared boat owner.

Introduce Your Kids to Fun Water Activities

Most children likely won’t be enticed by the idea of boating if they think it is just sitting on a boat while you travel on water. Kids tend to prioritize activities and games, so be sure that you show them that boating is as much about doing those fun activities as it is gliding on the water. There are plenty of activities you can do on the water and just 10 minutes of physical activity every day can help you improve mobility and live longer. No matter which activity you choose, your family’s health will benefit from it. The most important thing is that you choose activities you know your family will love.

One of the most popular water activities is fishing. Many kids learn to love the water through fishing. As you’re introducing your kids to fishing, be sure to let them do it on their own terms and only impose rules that keep them safe rather than those that limit the fun. Another water activity that kids love is board sports. These include activities like water skiing and wakeboarding. With snug-fitting life jackets, your kids will be safe on the water and they’ll have the time of their lives riding on deck tubes or kneeboards.

Teach Your Family All About Safety

One of the key parts of getting into boating is understanding how to stay safe while boating. If you instill safe practices in your kids now, they’ll carry them with them for the rest of their lives. Life jackets are perhaps the most important part of boat safety. By law, all boaters under the age of 16 are required to wear a life jacket. Although adults may not technically be required to wear one, donning one yourself is the best way to teach your child about its importance. Be sure that you get life jackets that are the appropriate sizes and types for each member of your family and that they fit snugly. Even with the life jackets, it’s important that you teach your kids how to swim in the case that they need to get out of the water safely.

Another safety aspect of boating is protecting your skin from harmful sun rays. Boats offer a little shade but you will need to apply plenty of sunscreen on each of your family members to keep them from burning. Remember to reapply sunscreen after you’ve been in the water for long-lasting protection.

By following these tips, you can get your family on the track to loving boating. Your kids can grow up with fond memories of going out on the water as a family and may even want to drive a boat on their own one day.


  1. Awesome! These are all great tips!

  2. First: have lots of extra money. Fun to do but expensive.


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