For those living near, or traveling to, large bodies of water, recreational boating can provide hours of family fun. Florida’s excellent climate permits boating enthusiasts year-round options. Whether you’re a resident of our great state or visiting from a land-locked region wishing to take advantage of all that Florida has to offer, here’s a list of ten reasons you’ll fall in love with boating.
1. Water Sports
If puttering out on the waves isn’t sport enough, you can take up any number of more extreme activities, such as:
- Water Skiing—Slip your feet into the rubber grips on two boards, grab the handle tethering you to a speed boat, and hang on! Nothing replicates the thrill of coming up out of the water and onto your skis. Don’t worry if you wipe out a couple of times while getting the hang of it. Wipe-outs are almost as much fun as skiing. Make sure someone onboard can video your progress to capture your most spectacular tumbles. Once you do master the easy art of skiing, you’ll be hooked.
- Jet Skiing—Jet skiing is a lot like riding a motorcycle or snowmobile. It’s personal transportation that’s nimble and quick over which you have total control. Feel the wind in your face as you speed along on your powerful, galloping water steed.
- Wakeboarding—Like snowboarding or surfing, wakeboarding has you riding a single, wide board while being towed behind a speed boat. Unlike snowboarding, you aren’t bundled up like Frosty the Snowman, and there’s no trees to crash into.
- Parasailing—Start in the water with a special parachute sail, end up in the sky. This exhilarating sport gives you a bird’s eye view of the beach—and the birds, too.
Fishing off a boat allows you to go out to deep water for big game, or stay in shallower waters to haul in dinner. Relax with your favorite beverages and people. When you feel something snatch the line, the “reel” fun begins. Enjoy your sense of accomplishment whether you’ve landed a trophy or just a tasty meal.
Let’s face it: If you don’t love to swim, boating may not be your thing. But if you do, boating will really be your thing. While we highly recommend you never take a dip in deep, natural waters without a life vest, the sea and nearby rivers offer you one big pool into which you may paddle and stroke to your heart’s content.
4. Dolphins and Manatees
Our warm water area hosts large numbers of dolphins and manatees. These gentle sea mammals love to come close to delight and awe you. Some manatees, also called sea cows, may even roll over and invite you to give them a belly rub. However, you should never touch or surround these creatures, the reasons for which we’ll discuss in another article. Enjoy the exciting antics of dolphins as they track your boat.
Are you looking for a new venue for a birthday or other celebration? Take your guest of honor out for a day of island bar-hopping. With many restaurants catering to boaters, you can spend an afternoon sampling quite a few. Just remember to have a designated driver with you.
Sailing is an art form that enriches the souls of many land lovers once they give it a try. With motors used only for emergencies, you get a feel for traversing the sea the old-school way.
Our pleasant coastal waters and Florida rivers conceal plenty of interest just below the surface. From coral reefs to freshwater springs and shipwrecks, finding your best snorkeling spots is made easy from a boat.
SCUBA diving takes you to deeper waters and mysteries to which you won’t have access with snorkel equipment and that can’t be reached except by boat.
9. Island Hopping
Many of the islands around Florida remain undeveloped. For a pleasant day exploring nature surrounded on all sides by water, grab a lunch, a boat and a few of your favorite fellow adventurers.
For a fun social outing, challenge your friends, new or old, to a boat race. Speed boats aren’t just for skiing, you know. You’ll have a ton of fun pitting your boating skills against others to see who rules the water.
We’ve listed only ten reasons you’ll love boating. It’s hardly an exhaustive treatment of the satisfaction and amusement waiting for you wherever seas and rivers meet. By joining 321 Boat Club, you can explore all our watercraft options on a regular basis. Who knows, maybe someday, you’ll decide to buy a boat of your own.