We are well into the dog days of summer and many of us have yet to do all the amazing things we put on our boating bucket list. But don’t fret, the summer isn’t over yet. You still have plenty of warm summer days to enjoy your time on the water to the fullest. And just in case your list is a bit light, the crew at Snag-A-Slip has some boating activities you don’t want to miss out on. There are ideas on our list for everyone and plenty of time to do them!
Anchor Out Overnight
It’s one thing to sleep on board at the marina with water and electric hooked up, and the air-conditioning humming. It’s a whole other thing to anchor out under the stars overnight in an isolated cove or bay (Read our overnight boat trip blog here for more information). At the risk of sounding sappy, it changes you. If you have done it, you know the combination of peace and adventure. If you haven’t, don’t wait any longer.
If you loved tubing, then waterskiing, then slalom, it’s the natural next step to give barefoot waterskiing a try. Many feel it’s the ultimate water sport lover’s rite of passage. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you want to learn more and get a little instruction, check out this How to Barefoot Waterski video.
Boaters are an extremely social breed. And although there are endless ways to turn an average boating day into a party, one of the favorites by far is rafting up with other boats. Think of it like tailgating at a football game. It’s an excellent way to celebrate the boating lifestyle with other boat enthusiasts. To be sure your raft up leaves you with nothing but great memories, learn how to do it safely and correctly.
Master the One-Handed Bowline
The bowline knot is quite probably the most useful knot any captain and crew can know. It’s not difficult and is actually quite easy to master with two hands. Why not bring your knotting game up to the next level by learning to tie it with one hand? Then show off to everyone else at the marina.
Make Ceviche with a Fresh Catch
One of the most delicious and easiest ways to enjoy the bounty of a day of fishing is to turn it into ceviche. You don’t need a “recipe” or even fancy pots and pans. Simply cut the fish fillets into small strips or chunks and toss them in a plastic bag with lots of fresh-squeezed lime juice and salt. The fish is “cooked” by the acid in the lime juice. Toss in some diced tomato, onion, and cilantro to really create something delicious. Then just plate up and enjoy right on board.
Use a Paper Nautical Chart
Sometimes it’s good to go old school! Not only is it an important skill to have, but what if you lose your electronics and needed to depend on your own ability? Getting from point A to point B, using only a backup paper chart, is something every boater should know how to do. Take the time to learn how to read a nautical chart today.
Navigate your Boat at Night
Another rite of passage for “real” boaters is cruising at night. It’s another skill that is good to have just in case you need it. However, you have to know what you’re doing and be on your game, using all your senses. Take the time to learn the basics.
This is a fun activity for the whole family. If you’re not familiar, geocaching is a game where people leave simple prizes or notes for others to find using only GPS coordinates. It’s like a treasure hunt! If you play by boat, you will really learn to use your electronics.
Take a Sunrise Cruise
There is no better way to start your morning than on a sunrise cruise with loved ones and friends, and a steaming cup of coffee at your side. It goes without saying that you must make sure you have the proper equipment and lights on your boat if you’ll be setting out when it’s still dark.
Go to a Boat Show
What boater doesn’t love a boat show? Check out what’s new and what’s “new again.” There’s no better way to see every type of boat and boating gadget in one spot. Find a boat show near you and be prepared to ooh and ahh!
Learn to Canoe, Kayak or SUP
Kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) are ideal for exploring the local waters. They are also a perfect way to get a little exercise while on vacation – and work off those nachos and beer. If your boat isn’t large enough to bring a kayak or canoe along with you, SUPs come in inflatable styles and are easy to store aboard your boat.
Play in a Poker Run
This is another game the whole family can play. Basically, a poker run is an event where participants, using their own boats, visit 5 to 7 locations and draw a playing card at each. The winner is the boat with the best poker hand. There may not be an “organized” poker run near your location, so grab your boating friends and organize one yourself. It only takes some playing cards and perhaps a prize for the winner. And you can pick all your favorite places to tie up to – they’ll be happy to be part of the fun!
Read a Boat-Themed Book for Pleasure
We’re not talking “Boating for Dummies” here! Take some time to read a book or two about other boaters – things they’ve experienced or places they’ve explored. Check out this boater’s reading list for some great books for boaters.