Feeling stressed? Adding water to your summer plans may be one of the best remedies. More than four in five Americans say being around water relaxes them, and 72 percent feel healthier after spending time on the water, according to a 2015 Discover Boating survey by Wakefield Research.
With Americans working longer hours, the need to take vacation time is greater than ever. Four in 10 Americans are not using all their paid time off (PTO) and 81 percent of Americans feel reducing stress levels is a top priority when taking PTO, according to Project: Time Off’s 2015 research by GFK Public Affairs.
One easy solution? Get out on the water and go boating. It not only benefits overall well-being, it’s also more accessible than many think. In fact, millions of Americans go boating each year on more than 15 million boats in the U.S., according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
"Today’s technology can make it difficult to fully disconnect and relax, which is why boating offers a unique solution,” says Carl Blackwell, president of Discover Boating. "Surrounded by water, fresh air and your favorite people makes a boat one of the rare places where you can focus on each other, forget about daily distractions and enjoy the outdoors.”
Whether on vacation or staycation, there are fun, stress-free ways to get on the water. Discover Boating’s insider tips can help anyone get started in fishing, wakesurfing, sailing, personal watercraft and cruising this summer.
Take a class. Sign up for a boating lesson to hone those powerboating, sailing or watersports skills by mastering the basics while having fun along the way. Find boating classes, training courses and even youth boating programs close to home on DiscoverBoating.com’s education + training section.
Join a club. Find a boat club near you for a hassle-free and cost-sharing way to access a versatile fleet of boats. Simply pay a monthly fee and book your time online. Most boat clubs take care of docking, cleaning, and maintenance, with members responsible for fuel. Plus, most offer extensive boater education courses as part of the membership.
Share the fun. Share the fun and the budget. Fractional ownership programs are similar to boat clubs offering shared access to boats paired with maintenance and education, with a few subtle differences — an annual fee versus monthly dues and assignment of members to a particular boat, similar to a property timeshare instead of a fleet of boats. Another popular “sharing” trend is to go in on a boat with family or friends to share the costs. Try Discover Boating’s boat selector tool to research what boat best fits your budget and lifestyle.
Rent a boat. Rental options are available on most waterways and provide hourly or daily access to a variety of boat types. Rental outfitters provide tutorials on operating a boat, share safety instructions and offer suggestions on destinations. Another rental option new to market are peer-to-peer rentals, allowing you to rent someone else’s boat, which usually includes insurance and captains for hire to help you set sail.
Charter a trip. Explore new waters and experience the boating lifestyle by chartering a boat trip with family or friends. Chartering offers options — bareboat (with no captain) or crewed (with captain and crew) for a few days or weeks long. Pick your preferences and chart your course.
Find your way on the water by using Discover Boating’s get on the water interactive tool, just enter your zip code to find rentals, boat clubs and more close to home. If you’re curious about owning a boat, whether new or previously owned, take the next step and research all your options on DiscoverBoating.com.