The adrenaline rush of the boat skimming across the water, cutting through the wake, the kids laughing in the bow enjoying every minute of it was enlightening. This is FUN on the water!
Last weekend a good friend of mine took my family out on their boat, it was a Sea-Doo 230 WAKE. They are an avid watersports family and we are a fledgling watersports family. My kids all enjoy surfing, swimming, riding Sea-Doo watercrafts and love to spend time on the water. The day we spent on the water in our friend’s boat excited me about the prospect of buying our own Sea-Doo boat!
The features of the boat made it look ‘easy’ (but so did the driver, he has years of boating experience)…and it got me thinking about buying a boat. My three kids are ages 10-16, a wide span of interests and ideas, but spending time on the water is something that we can all agree on. I look at it that it’s better to have them on the water than on the streets.
First, and foremost, I realized (as I was getting my first driving lesson) that I know nothing about the maritime rules and regulations, boating restrictions, size and amenities that would work for our family, insurance, costs…the list goes on and on. I quickly understood that I needed to start doing my homework. Before I can be comfortable behind the wheel, I have a lot to learn! It is important to me to learn everything that I can, so I can take the kids out with (or without my husband). He spends a lot of time on the golf course and I want to feel confident enough to take the kids, friends and family out on the water even if he’s chasing birdies on the back nine.
I am basically starting from scratch but I do know I want a boat with space, is versatile, easy to use, and of course it has to look great! My first stop was the Internet to conduct research on our local waterways. We live in Florida, so waterways are abundant. The closest rivers are the Indian and Banana Rivers—this is where I plan to spend most of my time on the water. I quickly found a local boating website that outlined the local waterways, nautical charts, navigation maps, water-accessible restaurants, boat ramps and more.
After reviewing many of the forum posts, I realized that I need to obtain a boating license and should take a boating safety course course. I found an excellent resource at TakeMeFishing.org. They have a database that lists all of the boat class offerings throughout the nation, including my little town! Perfect. I also found out that when I pass my Florida boater safety course, it would make me eligible for discounts on my boat (or PWC) insurance. Bonus! Every state, province and country has different boating regulations and licensing procedures, so I recommend doing your homework in advance. My goal is to get my license once we actually figure out what boat will best suit our boating needs, so that we (the whole family) are ready to go when the boat is delivered!
Next stop….the Miami International Boat Show
SHE DOO is actually Mrs. Julie A and she is indeed a full-time, working mom of three and is quickly being immersed into the boating life. She will be taking an everyday consumer approach to the entire boat buying process. SHE DOO will be a ongoing segment at OnBoard taking you with her along the journey as she progresses through the process of looking for the right boat, purchasing the right boat, learning the proper boating procedures and operations, real life experiences on the water with her family and everything else there is to know about making the most out of the boating experience and the Sea-Doo LIFE. Her immediate thoughts are how to entertain her 16, 14 and 10 year olds and friends as she sees them being on the water as a much better alternative than them being on the streets.
Join She Doo OnBoard every month for her progression into the Sea-Doo LIFE.