5 Tips for Navigating Busy Boating Weekends

The sun is coming out, the temperatures are climbing, and the water is calling our names. As the weather begins to warm, that means the summer boating season is quickly approaching and busy waterways.   

Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner and serves as the ultimate summer kickoff for water lovers. Unfortunately, busy weekends on the water are not for the faint of heart. These popular holidays bring the crowds, but don’t let that spoil your fun. It’s essential that safety and etiquette are prioritized during these busy boating weekends. So, grab your life jacket, follow these simple tips for navigating busy boating weekends, and ensure a stress-free, safe, and fun holiday experience.   

Busy Boating Weekends
Busy boating weekends and holidays on the water bring a great vibe, but they can also be dangerous if your aren’t prepared.

Plan ahead.

Navigating the local waterways can be a blast, but nothing can take the wind out of your sails like overcrowding and unexpected obstacles.   

So, before you set sail, it’s wise to do a little research. Consult with marina staff to learn peak boating times and craft your plan accordingly. Perhaps a late-morning cruise is just the ticket to avoid the afternoon rush. And if you’re mapping out uncharted waters, remember to give the charts a thorough once-over to dodge any sandbars or submerged obstacles that might foil your fun. Because let’s be honest; the only thing worse than a capsized boat is a capsized boat and a bruised ego.  

[If you haven’t done your spring boat maintenance yet, now is the time. Click here to get started!]

Slow and steady wins the race.

Don’t let your weekend boating adventure turn into a boating headache!   

While the atmosphere of a bustling holiday weekend is undoubtedly exciting, the reckless operation of a boat can lead to accidents. Be sure to stay defensive when piloting the vessel, and watch out for fellow boaters who may not have mastered the art of navigating the waves. You can ensure a safe and enjoyable time for all with extra caution and adherence to proper boating etiquette.   

Be extra safe when night boating.

Nothing is better than watching the skies light up with Memorial Day fireworks from your boat.   

However, keep a sharp eye out for other vessels and their sneaky chains lurking beneath the surface. Stay ahead of the game by enlisting a lookout buddy, and never let your guard down, whether you’re anchored or on the move.   

Protip: Start practicing your boating skills now so you’re an expert by the time the busy summer arrives!
Busy Boating Weekends
Be sure to stay smart and safe when you’re out on the water! 

Double-check your safety gear.

Ensure you and all your guests know exactly where all the essential safety gear is before departing the dock.  

This includes:  

Equally important, make sure they’re accessible at a moment’s notice. Better to have them handy if needed than to waste precious time searching, particularly amid a crowded waterway.  

Assign a designated driver.

We know it’s easy to get caught up in the moment, but operating a boat while intoxicated is illegal and dangerous.   

Since the busiest boating weekends often see an increase in incidents, you can steer clear, literally and figuratively, of the issues by assigning a designated captain. Toast a great day on the water with your friends and family when you’re back at the dock instead.  

Preparing yourself for the hustle and bustle of busy summer holidays on the water is crucial, but don’t let this deter you from enjoying a relaxing summer on your boat. While the crowds can be overwhelming, don’t stress, just be smart and know that safety and etiquette comes first.

So, let’s hoist the anchor and set sail with these tips to navigate the busy boating scene this season. And for more boating tips and important how-to’s, check out our informative blog and follow along on Facebook!