How to Plan for a Multiday Boat Trip

by Julia on October 14, 2019

We all travel and vacation differently. Some people prefer traveling to big cities and experiencing the excitement and buzz that they have to offer. Other people are much more comfortable with the relaxed pace of a beachside resort. Then there are those of us who like excursions – extended adventures that present unknown opportunities for exploration and enjoyment. And if you fall into this latter category, a multiday boating trip is right up your alley.

5 Helpful Tips and Pointers

Whether it’s a yachting trip along the coast or a lazy cruise down the river, a multiday boating trip offers the perfect chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of life on land and enjoy an exciting adventure with good friends and pleasant weather. But as you plan the trip, be sure to think through all of the important details. Here are some helpful suggestions:

  1. Develop an Itinerary

The first step is to come up with a bit of an itinerary. This is especially important if you plan on docking the boat and making land excursions. You need a rough idea of when and where you’ll stop, what you’ll do once on shore, and when you need to return to the boat.

The best way to develop an itinerary is to work backwards. When and where will the trip end? Begin there and then inch your way back to the start – making plans along the way. If possible, try to plan at least one activity per day. Whether it’s a trip to land to grab lunch or a snorkeling excursion at sea, it helps to have something tangible to look forward to each day.

  1. Inspect the Boat

Always take the time to inspect your boat prior to departure (and preferably a few days before). This gives you a chance to identify any potential problems and have them fixed while you still can. In particular, pay attention to the engine.

“When an engine is running well, it has a distinctive smell. Learn to recognize it as any change in the smell coming from your engine likely indicates trouble,” Wholesale Marine explains. “For example, the acrid odor or burning rubber could mean that all-important water flow is no longer reaching the water pump’s impeller.”

If you aren’t comfortable conducting a thorough checkup on your own, have a boat mechanic take a look. A one-hour inspection could save you a lot of time and stress in the middle of what’s supposed to be a relaxing excursion.

  1. Pack Wisely

Don’t underestimate the importance of packing the right items. In addition to packing the proper clothing for yourself, you also need to think about those small items that are integral to a safe and comfortable trip. This includes things like first-aid kits, medication, sunscreen, lip balm, nautical charts, life jackets, two-way radios, etc.

“Other items to pack include a camera and binoculars,” T.L. Chancellor writes for USAToday. “No matter whether the trip is destined for warm or cold waters, sun will be a factor. Take a hat to shield your face and a light shirt or jacket with long sleeves. You’ll also need a good pair of polarized sunglasses.”

  1. Assign Roles

Depending on the type of boat trip you’re taking, it may be necessary to assign roles to your fellow travelers in order to make the excursion as smooth and frictionless as possible.

Think about each person’s strengths, weaknesses, and personalities. Try to find a role that fits them well. For example, someone with a Type A personality may enjoy planning meals or ironing out the details of the itinerary. Someone who is good with their hands can help you with basic maintenance tasks. Someone else might be a good fit for planning fun games and outings. Everyone has something to offer!

  1. Stay Safe

When it’s all said and done, safety is the primary concern. Make sure you pack the right safety gear and always practice the utmost precaution when there’s any sort of risk involved. Keep an eye on the weather and regularly inspect your boat for any signs of mechanical failure or other issues. If everyone is safe, fun will follow.

Anchors Aweigh!

Boating trips are fun and enjoyable – when they’re done the right way! Make sure you plan ahead and think through all of the practical logistics prior to setting sail. A proactive approach will allow you to spend less time dealing with inconveniences and more time savoring the company of good friends. Bon voyage!

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