Everything you need to level up your boating skills
If there’s one thing the year 2020 has taught us all, it’s that we should take nothing for granted.
The COVID-19 pandemic, at its brutal core, has been a relentless reminder that we should make the most of every day that we are alive—and living the fullest possible lives includes taking real steps toward fulfilling our biggest dreams.
So, with 2021 now on the horizon, it’s a great time to think about actually doing something on your boating bucket list. No matter how long the pandemic continues, boating will remain a fun, outdoors, socially distanced activity—because hey, boating is the perfect vacation on demand.
And lucky for us boaters, boating will always be something to look forward to—so get excited for the next year of boating that lies ahead with these fun ideas to check off your boating bucket list in 2021.
Cruise to a New Destination
Cruising to a new destination doesn’t have to mean going far, or riding hard, or burning a ton of extra fuel. It can simply mean cruising to one more town beyond the last one you visited up Dubai marina or heading one island farther along in your favorite archipelago.
The idea is to enhance your confidence and improve your skills at the helm by pulling into a new anchorage or marina. Cruising to a new destination also lets you be in a new setting surrounded by different sights, smells and sounds than you’re used to. That’s an experience to treasure after the past year of living day after day on what often felt like a perpetual loop.
Grab a cruising guide and a chart, find a location that interests you, and start researching the tides, inlets, marinas and other salient details. Before you know it, you’ll be cruising someplace new—and thinking about where else you might want to cruise next.
Improve Your Docking Skills
For most boaters, docking is the most anxiety-inducing part of the day. There’s no scientific proof to support this statement, but take an informal poll around the docks.
One reason boaters get so stressed out about docking is that they haven’t taken the time to practice the skills that go along with the task. Docking is all about staying calm and making close-quarters maneuvers, things that can be practiced in open water where nobody is looking. Make it a priority to build that practice time into your schedule. Once you feel more comfortable envisioning the docking procedure in your mind, bring the boat to the actual dock and spend some time practicing there too.
Eliminating your own nerves from the equation can go a long way toward removing anxiety from the docking experience. You can become the skipper who receives applause from the crowd after tying up and heading ashore for a frosty beverage.
Improve Your Maintenance Skills
When thinking about the courses you might take this year, consider putting boat, engine and trailer maintenance to the list.
Let’s take your boat’s engine for example. Sure, you probably know the basics of how your boat’s engine works, but wouldn’t it be nice to feel confident that if you had a breakdown away from the dock, you’d be able to fix it instead of calling for a tow back to the marina? And think of all the money you might save on shoreside repairs if you could learn to do a few of the lower-level tasks yourself.
Engine maintenance courses cover everything from the basics of engine parts to diagnosing problems with them. While modern engines with computerized systems will often require a mechanic, there still are plenty of things that boat owners can learn to fix themselves.
And, most of these courses help boat owners understand when it really is time to call in some professional help, a lesson that can save a lot of boating time and aggravation in the future.
Teach Your Significant Other How to Skipper
For decades, spouses have complained that they don’t like boating as much as their partners do. The scenario is most often a husband who always takes the helm, and a wife who goes along for whatever ride he wants, often feeling silently terrified that if something went wrong, she wouldn’t know what to do to help or get the boat back home safely.
Plan the Ultimate Boating Vacation of a Lifetime
Want to cruise somewhere else out of the UAE ?? ? Do a little searching online, and you’ll absolutely find a group of like-Middle East boaters who are planning bucket list itineraries similar to the ones of your dreams.