Having Fun on Memorial Day: After stressing the importance of boating safety last week, it’s time to focus on having some fun. Memorial Day weekend is nearly upon us, and it’s the perfect time to launch the boat and have a blast to welcome the official start of summer.
Pre-Check Your Boat
With a few exceptions, the weather is looking pretty nice across the nation. This means even more people will be on the water than usual. It’s one of the busiest boating times of the year, so there will also be an increase in police and boating patrols. Make sure you’re up to date with all the required and recommended gear and paperwork. The last thing you want on a holiday weekend is an expensive citation.
Be sure to check all the systems on your boat, pack some water, and have these items in working order:
- Life jackets (one for every person on board)
- Required shapes
- Distress signals
- Sound-producing devices
- Basic tool box
- Spare fuel filters, light bulbs, through-hull plugs, etc.
- Fire extinguisher
Make a Plan
It’s great to have a game plan. Part of the fun of boating is the freedom of the open water, but during busy days, it’s best to map out your day. If you’re going to grab something to eat, consider an early or late lunch to miss the crowds. The more time you spend in a restaurant, the less time you spend on the water. This can be good, if the sun is wearing you out, but it’s no fun waiting for a table while a beautiful day is slowly wasted. Schedule out a rough plan for the day’s activities, and don’t burst out of the gate too quickly. It’s easy to get excited and worn down before the day is over. Memorial Day weekend is a marathon, not a sprint.
Try Out Your Toys
This weekend is the perfect time to try out some of the new toys you got during the off-season. Do you have a brand new Crownline itching to be launched on its maiden voyage? New skis, boards or tubes? Now’s the time to break them out.
Or how about that shiny new grill you bought to brighten your spirits on the coldest day of winter? This weekend is a great time to avoid a crowded restaurant marina and cook up your own meal for family and friends. There are so many easy recipes to choose from, so go with what you think best fits the occasion. Keep it light and simple, and remember that food tastes better—much better—on a boat.
Make Some New Friends
People just seem friendlier on the water. It’s one of the best parts about boating. Feel free to smile, wave, talk and joke with your fellow boaters. If you have some extra food or drinks, give them to an appreciative neighbor. Someone struggling to dock can always use a helping hand. You all share a common passion, so be helpful, kind and enjoy getting to know someone new.
And finally, don’t forget the reason for the holiday. Keep in mind those who paid the ultimate price for freedom. Be appreciative and never forget their service.
Stay safe and enjoy the weekend!