How to float your boat (even if you don't own one)
Leave your worries on land and take to the waterBy Brandpoint
Looking to get away from stress this summer? The answer may be to leave your worries on land and take to the water. Four in five Americans say being around water relaxes them, and 72 percent feel healthier after spending time on the water, according to a Discover Boating survey.
For those who prefer to stay drier than those swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling and surfing, there is boating. You don’t have to own a boat to go boating, either. There are several ways to get out on the water, no matter whether your interests lie in fishing, watersports, sailing, personal watercraft or simply cruising with loved ones. Use these tips to help you find a boat to float.
Join a boat club
Find a club near you to access a versatile fleet. You’ll pay a monthly fee and be able to book your time on the water online. Most boat clubs take care of docking, cleaning and maintenance, with members responsible for fuel. Plus, most offer boat training courses as part of the membership.
Rent a boat
Rental options are available on most waterways and provide hourly, daily or weekly access to a variety of boat types. Rental outfitters give tutorials on operating a boat, share safety instructions and offer destination ideas. Another rental option new to market is peer-to-peer rentals, where you can locate boats online by entering your zip code, allowing you to rent someone else’s boat, which usually includes insurance and captains for hire to help you set sail.
Charter a trip
Experience the boating lifestyle by chartering a boat trip with family or friends. Chartering offers several options — bareboat (with no captain) or crewed (with captain and crew) — and can be as short as a few days or weeks long. Pick your preferences and get your feet wet.
Take a class
Sign up for a boating lesson to hone your powerboating, sailing or watersports skills by mastering the basics while having fun along the way. On-water training courses, watersports camps, youth boating programs and more are offered across the U.S.
Chart a course to boat ownership
There’s a boat selector and loan calculator tool to help determine your budget and identify types of boats that fit your interests at discoverboating.com. Once you’ve narrowed down your search, the site can connect you with manufacturers whose boats best fit your needs and wants. The site also has a “Go Boating Today” interactive tool where you can enter your zip code to find local boat clubs, rentals or charters.
NC Boating Resources
Boaters can explore more than 5,000 miles of North Carolina waters, according to the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. Its website provides information for boaters, including maps, laws, recommendations, a list of boating education classes and an interactive locator for where to find free public boating access areas. Visit ncwildlife.org/boating for details.
Having fun — and staying safe — during the summer months