Improve Your Boating Skills Before Launching This Season

Boating season is officially upon us. When was the last time you improved your boating skills? Before launching for the first time this season, consider taking these steps to improve your boating skills and stay safe when launching for the season.

Men in a powerboat on the Intracoastal Waterway at Edisto
Men in a powerboat on the Intracoastal Waterway at Edisto Island in South Carolina, USA. | Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Improve your boating skills by enrolling in a boating safety and education course

This is an easy one. If you want to improve your boating skills before launching this season, Discover Boating recommends enrolling in a boating safety and education course. While most states require taking a boating safety and education course, if you haven’t already taken a class, it would be a good idea to do so. And if you have taken a boating safety course? You can always re-take it simply to improve your boating skills.

Of course, taking a boating safety and education course isn’t the only way to improve your boating safety skills. There are plenty of YouTube channels that offer helpful advice as it relates to boating safety and education. Take, for example, the U.S. Coast Guard, which often posts helpful boating safety videos.

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Knowing what to do during a boating emergency takes skills

When was the last time you went over your float plan? Or came up with a plan should something go wrong while you’re out on the water? According to Travelers Risk Control, being prepared to handle an emergency situation is one of the most critical parts of boating safety. It’s also one of the most worthwhile boating skills to improve during the off-season. Have a safety preparedness kit and plan, and always file a float plan with a trusted friend or family member. 

A boat on the water during sunset
A boat on the water during sunset. | Vladimir SmirnovTASS via Getty Images

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Spend some time improving your navigation and knot-tying skills

There’s no denying that safety skills are essential. If you have the chance to brush up on them, you absolutely should. Before launching for the season, you should also spend some time improving your boat navigation skills. According to Boats.com, knowing how to navigate a boat correctly is one of the most essential things a boat owner should know. Improve your boat navigation skills by using a compass or charting nautical maps. If you use a boat navigation app, spend some time actually using it before launching for the season.

Don’t forget to practice your knot-tying skills too. While knowing how to tie a knot properly isn’t the most critical boating skill you should know, it is one worth improving if you have the time to do so. Not to mention, knot-tying can be done from the comfort of your own home and doesn’t require all that much space or equipment.

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The benefits of fine-tuning your boating skills before launching for the season

There are plenty of benefits to improving your boating skills before launching for the season. Not only will you feel more confident as a boat owner, but you’ll also have brushed up on all of the know-how you need to stay safe on the water.