Those of you that know me personally will know that one of my favourite sayings is “Any day on a boat is a good day!” With our current dry, sunny weather, getting onto the water is a fabulous way to de-stress and enjoy our city’s scenic beauty.
Away from the bustling city construction and water-shortage woes, it was time to get our sea legs in action with Discover Boating, a Canadian organization (with an informative online presence) whose aim is to educate the public on boat selection, water safety, and just how affordable a boat purchase can be (and no, not that yacht in the photo below, though it did make for a lovely photo op earlier this week as we were invited to lunch and learn at sea).
There’s often a stigma attached to boating, that it’s a luxury sport for millionaires. We learned that there’s many ways to finance a boat purchase; timeshares can be a great option to get out onto the water on a regular basis while minding your budget.
Discover Boating is managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) on behalf of the North American recreational boating industry.
As mentioned earlier, they focus on increasing participation and creating public interest in boating by targeting its well-being benefits, affordability and accessibility, helping educate potential boaters as well as offering ways to experience the boating lifestyle.
You can also use the online boat selector tool to choose just the right pleasure craft for your adventures, based on activity, number of passengers, boat length, price range, type of engine (from outboards to sailing) and whether it’s trailerable (or needs storing at a marina).
It’s helpful to know in advance what you’ll need to pack on your boat (some items required by law). From regulation personal flotation devices (PFDs) to suntan lotion, from an anchor to paddles, take the time before you leave shore to make sure not to forget the basics!
Discover Boating’s site also provides good tips on buying a pre-owned boat and what to consider when going that route.
More than anything though, the afternoon was about sheer FUN – the kind of fun that causes tousled hair, gets you laughing out loud with friends, and gives pause for thought at how lucky we are to have some awesome waterways in our backyard.
For all things boating, stop by the Discover Boating website.