No words can describe the excitement of taking a new Center Console Boat out for the first time. But whether you’re an absolute novice or a seasoned boat handler—whether you’re getting ready for a day of fishing or a weekend outing with the family—being prepared will help you have the most fantastic time in the waters.
Step #1- Safety First!
Being adventurous doesn’t mean that any safety concerns should be overlooked. Safety is the main focus while embarking on any boating adventure. Regardless of its size and your cruising destination, make sure that your boat is equipped with the following things:
- Working fire extinguisher
- Life jackets
- First aid kit
- Functional flares
- A sound signal
- Extra lines and fenders
- Boat bumpers
- Boathook or pole
If you plan on going out to the ocean, then you may want to include:
- GPS chart plotter
- Depth finder
- Tool kit
Safety for the boat is just as essential as the personnel on board, and for that, make sure you get those boat fenders on sale and the appropriate boat bumpers so that your boat can hold up under all conditions and comes out as good as new on the other side.
Step# 2- Plan your Trip
- Pick your destination
Depending upon your intentions, whether it’s a day of fishing or cruising to a specific location, make sure you know how long it will take and if you have the correct amount of fuel onboard. If you’re planning on drifting on the water to spend a day in the sun and play in the water, then those boat fenders on sale will come in handy along with the boat bumpers, especially if two boats are rafted together.
- Check weather forecasts
Many weather apps will give you a fair idea of the sea conditions, which will help you prepare for unexpected weather changes.
- Chart your course
Charting out a detailed course will boost up your confidence while sailing and help avoid any mishap such as running aground, which can be pretty expensive. Calculate the time, distance, mileage, and fuel needs. In case of overnight stays, map out public anchorage or marinas along the way and make necessary arrangements.
Prepare a list of provisions with all the food and drinks you think you’ll need for your trip.
- A cooler of ice comes in handy, both for storing food and fish you might catch.
- Keep hydrated by bringing along plenty of water.
- The best boating food includes sandwiches, snacks, and fruits that can be kept in the cooler.
- The sun is stronger out on the water, so sunscreen should not be overlooked along with hats, sunglasses, and cover-ups.
- Take stock of sports equipment you may need, such as fishing rods, diving gear, water skis, floating mats, or inflatable toys.
- A change of clothes is a no-brainer since being on the water can be unpredictable.
- Magazines, books, music, or games!
- Share your plans with someone
Whether you’re going out for a couple of hours or the weekend, share a ‘float plan’ with a trusted family member or friend. Let them know when you’re leaving and when you will be back. This way, they can check up on you and alert the authorities in case of an accident or any other incident.
Step# 3- All Aboard!
- Notify your marine, if applicable.
Depending on your situation, let the appropriate people know that you will be taking out your boat so that help can be arranged to get away from the dock. Some marinas require a minimum of 30 minutes advance notice while others may need to know a day in advance.
- Stow your gear and provisions
Get all your guests together to help you in getting your gear and provision aboard and stowed correctly.
- Put the food etc. in the cooler.
- Tie-down loose items on the deck such as fishing rods, fenders, or kayaks.
- Store clothing and other gear out of the traffic pattern so that it doesn’t get in the way.
- Check your system
Just like a pilot do a pre-takeoff checklist:
- Tankage levels
- Boat Fenders, bumpers, anchor, ground tackle
Step# 4- Have fun!
Once you’re on your way, forget all worldly troubles and relish your day on the water as there’s no other experience that comes close to this.
Your center console boat is equipped to provide you with optimal safety while you take comfort in the fact that you’re fully prepared for a safe and wonderful adventure. Let that oceanholic in you take flight!