The Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Boaters (And How to Keep Them)
Given that you are reading this article, you are likely an avid boater. But how do you feel about New Year’s resolutions?
New Year’s resolutions are a sensitive topic as more than half of resolutions fail, and no one likes to feel like a failure. But maybe goals, aspirations, or objectives align more closely with your thinking. No matter how you think about them, the following are ten ways you might enhance your enjoyment on the water this coming year. Have different New Year’s resolutions or goals we didn’t mention? We’d love to hear them!
Before we dive into this, we need to make an overall statement about the current marine industry supply chain (can the industry and globe PLEASE resolve to have a more stable supply chain in 2023? Pretty please!!). We’ve mentioned and/or featured some of our favorite products that correspond with the listed New Year’s resolutions. However, the availability of some products may have changed by the time you read this.
Resolution #1 – Exercise More
Exercising more is a resolution as old as time and, for most of us, a difficult one to keep. Does anyone else’s new exercise plan fall off the cliff by about January 13? However, exercise does not have to be painful and boring.
For many of us, just more movement is a great goal.
Kayak fishing is a sport that has exploded in popularity in the last handful of years. Fishing from a kayak offers so many benefits. For example, kayaks are a lot less expensive than powerboats, so they are accessible to a lot more people. You can also reach fishing spots that may not be reachable with a powerboat. Additionally, the sport presents a different set of fun new challenges even if you have been a lifelong shore or powerboat angler.
So if exercising more is one of your 2023 New Year’s resolutions, kayak fishing provides the opportunity for a fun way to exercise. Yes, some kayak anglers rig their vessels with trolling motors. But paddle- or pedal-powered kayaks offer the chance for a lot of fun, and you can get in good shape in the process.
Resolution #2 – Get More Organized
When your marine adventures are more organized, they’re less stressful. Organization allows you to spend more time enjoying your excursion and less time looking for things or realizing that you forgot important items.
Luckily, there are plenty of rod racks, rod holders, tackle organizers, gear organizers, and other organizational tools to choose from. For offshore anglers, a notable new product launch in 2022 was Trolling Mate’s Ready Bucket. The Ready Bucket was born out of the need for anglers to deploy baits as rapidly as possible. When you’re out fishing and see that there are fish around, you want to be able to reach into your bucket and get your gear out as fast as you can—this requires effective fishing tackle organization.
Many offshore anglers can relate to the mess of a traditional bucket system. Every angler has reached into their buckets to pull out lures, which often are a tangled mess. Too often, anglers miss an opportunity for a big catch while dealing with the wadded mess.
Want to learn more about the Ready Bucket, including how and why it was invented? Check out our interview with Trolling Mate’s co-founder, Lance Lehew.
Resolution #3 – Save Money
Money is tight for a lot of people. Even if you are not on a strict budget, who wants to spend more than they have to? We’ve talked to many boaters who had never before felt comfortable doing their own routine maintenance like oil changes, gear lube changes, and 100-hour service. The biggest challenge was being confident they were getting the right parts and products for their specific engines.
PartsVu’s handy oil change, service interval, and gear lube kits solve this problem. We’ve packaged everything you need for the job, specific to your Yamaha outboard, Mercury outboard, MerCruiser sterndrive, or Suzuki outboard.
The other low-investment way to save some money is always using a quality fuel additive. Fuel additives like Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment, Yamalube Ring Free Plus, Mercury Quickleen, Suzuki’s Fuel Condition & Water Remover, and several other marine fuel additives will help to improve your engine’s performance and improve fuel efficiency.
Here’s a helpful video demonstrating how to change the oil in an outboard boat motor, recorded by pro bass angler Tommy Robinson.
Resolution #4 – Do More to Protect Our Marine Environment
Human behaviors are threatening the health of the world’s oceans and other waterways. More than 80 percent of pollution in our oceans manifests from land-based activities. Consequences range from the death of coral and oyster beds, sea level rise to entire species vanishing.
Marine ecosystems are changing gradually in many places, although the pace of change is demonstrably speeding. Still, many places are experiencing fast changes. One of the most profound examples of environmental change was the sudden disappearance of nearly 11 billion Alaskan snow crabs from the Bering Sea. As a result, in early October 2022, the state of Alaska cancelled the entire snow crab harvest for the year.
The population of Alaskan snow crabs collapsed. 90% of the population was depleted in about four years due to waters in the region warming remarkably quickly, given its proximity to the North Pole. An entire industry of, in many cases, generational crab fisherman are scrambling to figure out how to support their families.
An overarching consideration of the world’s accelerating environmental challenges is overwhelming; however, there are small things each of us can do.
Four Tips for Keeping Our Waters Clean:
- Always dispose of oil and other engine fuels properly by taking them to a local recycling center. Often, auto parts stores collect used oil.
- Use boat cleaning and care products that are biodegradable and do not contain phosphates or other harsh chemicals. Star brite’s Sea Safe line of cleaners and waxes is one solution.
- Add a high-quality fuel additive to your fuel tank with every fill-up to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.
- Donate time and/or money to organizations working to protect our waterways to ensure great fishing and enjoyment on the water for years to come. There are so many great organizations to choose from. Just some of our favorites include Project SeaSafe (Star brite founded Project SeaSafe, and a portion of every Sea Safe product sold helps to fund the restoration work of the organization – numerous other organizations also support Project SeaSafe as well), CCA Florida, Trout Unlimited, and Captains for Clean Water.
Frank Gidus, the Director of Habitat and Environmental Restoration for CCA Florida, was a guest on PartsVu Xchange Talks Boating. During our discussion, he offered insights into how Florida’s marine environment became so damaged and what CCA Florida is doing to help.
Resolution #5 – Perfect a New Hobby or Skill
The commitment to learning a new hobby or skill can be grand, or it can be a more incremental change. While we certainly cannot decide which skills or hobbies are right for you, we will go out on a limb and make a couple of suggestions.
First, a lot of boaters would benefit from improving their docking skills. There are so many new boaters out there right now (which is excellent!), and many of these new boaters are living and boating in very popular waterways. PartsVu is headquartered in Naples, Florida. Every day we see boaters struggling and sometimes causing problems in very crowded docks and marinas in the Naples area and beyond.
While we have a lot of boaters here in Florida, we can’t be the only region with this challenge. So, we recommend practicing and maybe calling on an on-the-water training expert to help. Here in southwest Florida, we have the Naples School of Boating, but other regions have similar businesses.
There are also tools like Dock D-Fender to make docking and protecting your boat while docked easier.
Perhaps your new hobby could be developing additional DIY boat improvement project skills. Maybe you’d like to reconfigure the rod racks or holders on your boat, install SeaDek, or install some fun underwater lights or light bars. The world of boat customization projects is nearly limitless, so there are plenty of opportunities to learn new skills.
Our discussion with Charles Bondy, a Texas angler who loves boat improvement projects, might offer some inspiration.
Resolution #6: Eat Healthier Foods
Those of us trying to eat healthier have probably heard a lot of the same advice: Eat more seafood and avoid processed foods. What better way to follow that advice than to eat what you catch?
Throwing your catch on the boat grill is an easy, fun, and delicious way to meet your New Year’s Resolutions. There are plenty of recipes available across the web, although we’ve got a favorite of our own.
If you don’t already have the proper grilling setup, we’ve got plenty of boat grills available to make meeting your New Year’s resolutions easy. We’ve also got a great video from pro angler Tommy Robinson in which he reviews the Magma Cabo Gas Boat Grill.
Consider investing in a filet table as well. Many options on the market will make it an easy task to clean your catch.
Resolution #7: Relax More, Stress Less
Close your eyes and think back to the last time you went fishing. Were you stressed out? Probably not.
Many people are resolving to have a less stressful new year. If you’re one of them, consider incorporating more activities that allow you to relax, unwind, and focus on the task at hand— like fishing!
Many other blogs have written about the myriad ways fishing is good for us, and we’re certainly not going to dispute that. In addition to calming the mind and promoting concentration, fishing is a great way to get more vitamin D, stay active, and get some fresh air— all things that are linked to feeling happier.
Alternatively, you may be more interested in preventing stress. We’ve got you there, too. Make sure your safety gear is up to standards— consult the USCG Auxiliary’s resources if you’re unsure— to feel confident that you and your passengers will be safe even in the most unexpected of scenarios.
You might also consider doing more than just the minimum. PartsVu offers a range of non-skid tapes that can be easily applied to any boat. These tapes make it easy to prevent slips and falls at a minimal cost. At the very least, you’ll have additional peace of mind while you’re busy relaxing. At most, you could prevent some serious accidents and unnecessary hospital bills— two things that are quite the opposite of “relaxing.”
Resolution #8: Break Your Smartphone Addiction
Put down the phone and pick up some binoculars— wildlife spotting is a great way to appreciate nature and unwind. Whether you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with a great whale-watching scene or an area with much smaller animals to spot, it’s a great hobby that will keep you on your toes and off your phone.
If you’re not entirely ready to give up screens, optional baby steps are not in short supply. Swap your smartphone for new tech like the Humminbird HELIX 5 DI G2 or the Humminbird HELIX 5 Sonar G2 when on the water. The modern displays have gamified fishing in a new way, making them the perfect substitute for whichever mobile game has you hooked.
For fishing tech that’s a little different, try incorporating Hydrowave by T-H Marine. These devices are essentially feeding simulators that work using Lateral Reactive Technology (LRT) and Vibration Reactive Technology (VRT). It stirs up the fish in the area and increases your chances of catching them! You can learn more about the Hydrowave here.
Resolution #9: Travel More
If your pledge this year is to simply get out there and explore what the world has to offer, consider taking your boat along for the adventures! It’s one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, and for good reason.
You might consider joining the ranks of other “Loopers”— boaters who have traveled the Great Loop, a boating route that encircles the eastern US. Along the way, enjoy the incredible changing landscapes of the eastern US and learn a bit about the many historical sites you’ll pass along the way.
You can break up the trip into parts or tackle it in one go. Either way, it’s sure to be one of the most memorable adventures you’ll check off the bucket list. Listen to our interviews with Loopers Mike O’Malley and Bill Andrews to get some advice before you hit the proverbial road.
Getting from Point A to Point B: Trailering Your Boat
Whether you tackle the Great Loop or choose a different way to travel, bringing your boat along requires some preparation.
First and foremost, make sure your boat and boat trailer are road-ready. That means ensuring your boat trailer lights are up to snuff, your chocks, tires, and boat trailer jacks are ready to go, and all other necessary boat trailer accessories are in good condition.
You may also want to consider investing in M-Y Wedge motor supports. Their full line of products is available at PartsVu. For more information on why this is such a great investment, check out our YouTube video on M-Y Wedge.
One last bit of trailering advice: take this clever trailer tire change hack to heart. It just might save you a lot of trouble while you’re out there living up to your New Year’s resolutions.
Cover Your Assets
Your boat and engine that is. Sturdy outboard covers, be they generic outboard covers or specially made OEM covers like Suzuki or Yamaha outboard covers, help protect your outboard engine from damaging debris.
Similarly, investing in a well-fitted boat cover will keep your boat clean and ready to go.
Finally, it’s a good idea to consider investing in Angler Armor. Angler Armor is a boat alarm designed for the average boater to protect their hard-earned investments. It’s affordable compared to other options on the market but built with sturdiness and reliability in mind. Angler Armor will keep your gear safe and sound at home and on the road.
Resolution #10: Spend More Time with Family
Truthfully, there are innumerable ways in which boating brings families and friends together. Simply getting out there is a great first step towards making unforgettable memories with the people you care about. Fishing, eating together, and spotting some dolphins along the way— are all great ways to bond and create new experiences.
If you’re looking to have some family fun, tubing is certainly a great way to introduce some additional action. There are options for every budget and group size, and nearly everyone enjoys them— because the only thing better than spending time with loved ones is watching them hold on to a tube for dear life.
We hope this article offered some ideas for how you can be an even better boater in 2023. PartsVu.com is excited to be here to support all of your boating needs (and boating-related New Year’s resolutions)!
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