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New Year's Boating Resolutions

It is a new year and it is also the time that many of us choose to make resolutions and set goals for how we want to improve in certain areas of our lives.  How about setting some goals for your boating life? Here are 10 boating resolutions that you could make to help your boating life be better this year.

1.        Take that boating safety course.  If you have not already taken a boating safety course, why not do so this year.  It will help you be a safer boater and some insurance companies provide a discount for owners who have done so.  America’s Boating Club ( and The Coast Guard Auxiliary ( both offer certified boating safety courses at minimal cost.  

Both the Coast Guard Auxiliary and America's Boating Club offer boating safety courses to the public.

2.       Learn more about your boat.  Boat maintenance can be expensive and so can unexpected problems on the water.  The more you know about your boat’s systems, the more things you can do yourself.  There are several online resources that you can use to learn.  Why not spend some time during the cold months to improve your knowledge?

3.       Get an on the water assistance membership.  Speaking of unexpected problems.  Why not get a tow membership for greater peace of mind while on the water?  If you boat as much as I do, eventually you will need assistance.  A yearly membership to TowBoatUS or Sea Tow costs much less than paying for a tow out of pocket.  

Knowing help is always there if you need it provides peace of mind when on the water.

4.       Get a Vessel Safety Check.  America’s Boating Club and the Coast Guard Auxiliary both offer free safety inspections for your boat.  It is a good way to ensure that you have all of the required safety equipment aboard.  Results of inspections are not reported to anyone but you and passing an inspection provides a sticker to be displayed that will often result in less attention from on the water authorities looking to pull someone over.  

This decal lets law enforcement know that you have been inspected and have the proper safety gear aboard.

5.       Spend the night on the water.  Does your boat have a berth that has never been used?  Why not make this the year that you spend the night on the water?  It can be extremely peaceful and relaxing and there is nothing like waking up to the serenity of a morning afloat.

6.       Introduce a non-boater to boating.  Every boater has one of those friends who just doesn’t get it.  They have never experienced the joy of being on the water and they do not know why we want to spend as much time as we can away from land.  Why not bring them out and show them what it is all about?  Who knows? You might just have a new boating friend.

7.       Try a different type of boating.  If you own a sailboat, go boating with a power boater.  If you own a powerboat, go sailing.  Both of them are a lot of fun and have different qualities and the best part is that both of them are great ways to get on the water. 

8.       Join a boating club.  If you love boating, why not hang out with other people that also love boating.  It is a great way to increase your knowledge and participate in some boating activities that you may not have a chance to do otherwise.  To find an America’s Boating Club Chapter near you, got to

9.       Buy a boat.  Do you love boating but just don’t own a boat yet.  Maybe it is time that you change that.  After all, it is boat show season and some great deals can be had there.  Remember, you don’t have to buy a big boat. You just need something to get you on the water.
It's boat show season. Go look at some boats!

10.   Spend more time boating.  You got a boat because you want to be on the water.   Sometimes life gets in the way and you find that you don’t use it as much as you had hoped.  Make this year the year that you take your boating life back.  It will take some work, but you can do it!  You will also be glad you did.

Here is to another great year of boating that is even better than the last. 

Happy boating!

Captain Frank
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