2020 has been an interesting year to say the least, with many strange happenings occurring all across the world. And now that it’s finally come closer to the end of the year and the holiday season, many have noticed the evolution of a new decorating trend: a lot of houses started putting up their Christmas decorations right after Halloween this year—and no one’s blaming them for rushing 2020 out the door.
It’s one thing to want to bid farewell to this year, though, and quite another to start 2021 off strong. Add in being a boater, and the to-do list grows a bit more—a good problem to have.
Consider this list of five tips your New Year’s guide to becoming a better boater in 2021.
1. Boat Responsibly
Boating responsibly is as much about respecting the Rules of the Road as it is about using common sense. Remain situationally aware, for instance. Don’t throw trash overboard or spill fuel. Equally important, stay sober at the wheel.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice
On-water training courses undoubtedly will help you be a better boater in 2021. Just as no one becomes a star athlete magically, no one becomes an expert at driving or docking a boat without practice. You’ll especially appreciate the skills when the wind and current aren’t in your favor.
The BoatUS Foundation, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and other respected organizations offer hands-on courses around the country. Check out our education and training page for more details.
3. Expand Your Watersports Skills
If your kids have been begging you to take them waterskiing or wakeboarding, what’s holding you back? While you’re at it, who among you wants to learn how to dive or snorkel, or keep your balance on a stand-up paddleboard?
Hundreds of how-to YouTube videos are at your disposal for these skills. Check out 10 Fun Things to Do on a Boat for a few other ideas, too.
4. Have Realistic Expectations—of Yourself and Your Passengers
Eagerness and excitement sometimes leads us to bite off more than we can chew. Being a better boater means accurately assessing your boat-handling skills as well as your boat’s abilities.
Additionally, it means being cognizant of your passengers’ abilities and comfort level. You’ll have a far more enjoyable day on the water by sticking to waterways and weather where everyone and everything can handle the conditions.
5. Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
Above all, have a good time! There’s nothing better than enjoying the great outdoors and marveling at Mother Nature.