How to Prepare for an Extended Boating Trip

When the weather is warm and the water inviting, who doesn’t love a nice day out on the boat? There’s something about feeling the wind in your face and sun on your back that seems to put the troubles of this world at ease for a few hours. But have you ever considered extending this state of enjoyment in the form of a multi-day trip? 

5 Tips for a Safe and Fun Experience 

Whether it’s floating down the river in a houseboat, cruising up the coastline in a yacht, or meandering from island to island in a sailboat, a multi-day boating trip could be one of the most exciting excursions of your life – if it’s done right. Here are some tips and pointers to ensure you plan and execute a safe, fun trip that’s enjoyed by all: 

  1. Inspect and Tune Up Your Boat 

“Many boat owners adopt a relaxed attitude toward maintaining their boats,” Wholesale Marine admits. “They perform a quick visual ‘once-over’ before and after a day on the water, and let it go at that. These owners may not be aware that a more thorough inspection could save them thousands of dollars and disappointment.”

As important as it is to inspect your boat prior to a day out on the water, it’s exponentially more important to check and tune-up all of your systems in advance of a multi-day trip. For boats with engines, preventative maintenance is always a good idea. Even for sailboats, be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary. Because if it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. 

  1. Create a Detailed Plan/Itinerary 

If you’re embarking on a solo trip, you can always take it as it comes and go with the flow. But if you’re planning a trip with others, you can’t afford to be so lackadaisical in your approach. A detailed plan or itinerary is necessary to keep everyone excited and entertained.

“Perhaps you have a destination in mind, but you need to do some research to know what events are taking place during the dates that you will be visiting,” GetMyBoat explains. “If you want a lot of room to cruise, you want to ensure that you are not arriving on the day of a fishing derby, for example. If there is an event that you would like to attend, be certain that there is enough moorage or anchorage room so that you will have a place to rest.”

It’s also nice to be as thorough as possible with your on-board plans. If you’ll be cooking meals on the boat, a menu is a nice touch. Will there be quiet hours, games, or competitions? Splicing some activities into the schedule can give people things to look forward to. 

  1. Stock Up on Essentials 

There are certain things that should always be on your boat. In order to ensure everyone has a good time, stock up on things like non-perishable food items, life preservers, first aid kits, flashlights, water toys, extra hats and sunglasses, sunscreen, and a small library of books. All of these items can be put away in a cabinet or storage compartment and used on an as-needed basis. 

  1. Pack Light 

As important as it is to have the essentials stowed away, encourage everyone to pack light. People should only bring a small duffel bag with the absolute necessities – like bathing suits, a couple of outfits, toiletries, and other basics. 

  1. Remember the Entertainment 

While some people are perfectly fine to lay out on a boat all day and read or socialize, others will need something to do. Games are an excellent addition. Not only should you have some on-board, but encourage each guest to bring his or her favorite.

Don’t Get in Over Your Head 

There’s nothing wrong with having a plan for a 14-day boat trip that takes you to multiple stops, but work your way up to this type of excursion. If you’ve never so much as done a three-day trip, a two-week sail will prove enormously challenging. Ease your way into these extended trips by slowly building up your experience and stamina. In doing so, you’ll learn about all of the little details that go into the process.