11 Life-Improving 2023 Boater’s Resolutions
It’s a new year, a new opportunity for boating adventures full of possibilities! Maybe you didn’t quite meet your new year’s resolutions from last year – we aren’t judging! Here in sunny Southwest Florida, we are lucky with a never-ending boating season. So set aside the running shoes, put your mushroom coffee in a thermos, and let’s hit the 2023 water with a few boater’s resolutions instead!
We suggest choosing your boating resolutions with the goal of improving your quality of life. Maybe you hope to spend more time on the water, so you decide to take the boat out every Sunday. You may want to improve your boating safety. Maybe you would like to learn new skills! Write down your resolutions and a plan to stick with them, and share them with a boating buddy! At the end of 2023, please comment and let us know how you did! Here are 11 boater’s resolutions our team is eager to keep this year!
1. Volunteer for a Coastal Clean-Up
As avid boaters, we all love the water. That’s one reason why preserving its beauty is so important for many generations to come. Check your local area to see when a 2023 coastal clean-up is happening and how you can help keep our beaches, lakes, and oceans beautiful! In addition, be aware of how to avoid spreading invasive aquatic species.
2. DIY Maintenance
Give your boat a little extra love by giving it a little personal elbow grease. Try a few DIY boat maintenance tips to help keep your vessel and boat trailer in excellent condition. Not only is it cheaper to fix things yourself, but it also gives you a deeper knowledge of how your boat is doing and how it works.
3. Fishing, Anyone?
Here in Southwest Florida, fishing can come with a bit of a learning curve. To avoid the curve (and the frustration), it helps to give expert advice from a local fishing guide. There are many opportunities to practice your fishing skills and learn a thing or two. In addition, choosing a charter doesn’t mean you need to leave your boat behind. You can book a captain to join you on your boat and give you fishing advice tailored to your ship’s capabilities and setup. There is lots of adventure to have while learning!
4. Time For School!
It is no secret that human beings are curious! So why not embrace your curiosity and use it to motivate you to learn a new skill? The United States Power Squadrons offer incredible seminars and courses on numerous boat-related topics. You can opt for classes ranging from beginner to advanced. You can also upgrade your license at The Captain School and the Sea School. Do you want to include the whole family in your knowledge-building resolution? Then, you can include your kids at the Edison Sailing Center. Deepening your knowledge improves your boating experience, enjoyment, and safety when out on the water.
5. New Accessories? We Think Yes!
Who doesn’t like toys? So maybe this year, it is time to spoil yourself just a little bit (and your loved ones) with a few new boating toys. How about a wakeboard, a towable tube, or new fishing rods? Either way, new toys always add excitement and anticipation to the new boating season!
6. Install an Automatic Fire Extinguishing System
Regarding engine compartment fires, boaters typically respond with the absolute worst reaction – opening the hatch to see what’s happening. Opening the hatch offers the smoldering fire the rush of oxygen it needs into a full-on ship disfiguration. To avoid these fires, you can install an automatic fixed extinguishing system. An appropriate clean agent fire suppression system is crucial for all inboard and sterndrive boats. While the dry chemical powder is effective, the residue is tough to remove and very corrosive. On the other hand, a clean agent system floods the engine compartment and kills the fire without damaging your engine or its components.
7. Buy A Life Raft
A life raft is one of those things that we buy, hoping we will never need one. These rafts provide protection from the elements and create a more visible and prominent target for rescue personnel. In addition, these rafts offer you peace of mind and save lives. If you have one already, ensure the hydrostatic release mechanism is valid, and the raft inspection sticker is current.
If you want to prepare a little extra, add some water, a waterproof handheld VHF, any prescription meds you might need, and food.
8. Do You Have An EPIRB or PLB?
The most crucial piece of gear you can have on your boat is a Personal Locator Beacon (PBL) or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). They both transmit a coded message on the special 406 MHz distress frequency. You can find units for as low as $180, so money is no reason not to buy one. However, once you purchase one, it is essential (and legally required) you register your unit with NOAA. Registering tells search-and-rescue organizations who they’re looking for and who to call to confirm the signal was not accidental.
Difference Between A PLB and an EPIRB
- PLBs transmit your distress signal for a minimum of 24 hours. EPIRBs transmit for a minimum of 48 hours.
- You can configure EPIRBs to deploy and activate in an emergency automatically.
- Category I EPIRBs will float free from a sinking vessel and turn on automatically when they come into contact with water. A Category II rating denotes EPIRBs that are manually activated and deployed.
- You register your EPIRB to a vessel while you register your PLB to an individual.
9. Practice Dockside and Underway Safety Drills
Safe boating only sometimes costs money. One of the best ways to prepare you and your loved ones for an emergency is by practicing regular safety drills. Write up a few basic instructions for common emergency events that might happen while on the water. For example, fire, storm coming, man overboard, or sinking. Include a list of safety equipment and locations on your boat and the procedures to use each item.
Next, assign roles and responsibilities to your crew members. You want to ensure your family and friends know what to do in a boating emergency. Try to mix up different scenarios to help crew members adjust to variables. For example, maybe the captain fell overboard! Always include your younger crew members too. Practicing safety procedures helps give everyone confidence during an emergency.
10. Join A Boat Club
One of the best parts of boating is the opportunity to connect with other boaters! Many clubs across the country offer camaraderie, new friends, and fun events! Joining a club also helps you prioritize making time for your boat by having other boaters encourage you to join them and attend boating events!
11. Tackle the Boat Trailer
Your boat trailer is your boating setup’s unsung (and often forgotten hero). Trailing is the biggest area where most boaters could use a little extra knowledge, from your driveway to the highway to the boat ramp. This year, offer a boater’s resolution to improve your boat towing skills. You can make the trip to the water safer and less stressful!
Here at Rocket Marine in beautiful Southwest Florida, we love to keep our customers safe on their journey to and from the water by providing top-quality boat trailers and expert advice. So if you need a boat trailer upgrade this year or trailer maintenance, give us a call!
Let’s ring in the 2023 boating season with a splash!