7 Must-Have Boat Accessories for Your Next Boating Activity

There are plenty of boating essentials that you need to take with you on every boating adventure. These essentials include safety equipment, first aid kits, and more. Aside from all of the essentials, there are a few must have boat accessories to help make your boating trip more fun and enjoyable!

When you pack the right accessories with you, it can make your trip more enjoyable by providing you with all of the things you might need while out on the water. You’d be surprised by how many of these items come in handy when you’re on your boat!

Remember, once you leave the shore, you no longer have access to phone chargers, food and drinks, cleaning supplies, and more. If you’re planning a day out on the water, then be sure to read this list of must-have items below.

Here’s what you need to know!

1. Waterproof Bag

A boating trip entails being surrounded by water. When you’re surrounded by water, it can be difficult to keep everything dry at all times. You most likely have a lot of things on your trip that can get wet such as beach toys and water sports equipment. 

You also have many things that you don’t want to get wet such as cell phones, cameras, wallets, watches, clothing, towels, and more. A waterproof dry bag will help keep all of these items dry while on the boat. 

You won’t have to worry about water splashing into the boat or having your items fall overboard. Purchase a few of these waterproof bags to hold all of your dry items in and let your mind become worry-free.

2. Waterproof Power Bank

Imagine being out on a boat for an entire day with no access to a phone charger. While having fun on the boat, you’ll most likely want to take several pictures and videos to remember your day by. The more you use your phone and other devices, the quicker they’ll lose their charge.

Aside from taking pictures and videos, you need your phone to have a charge in case you need to use it in an emergency. A waterproof power bank is a must-have accessory because it can charge multiple devices without worries of water damaging it. 

It’s the best way to stay charged at all times while on the boat.

3. Dog Ladder

We understand that some of these accessories listed might be helpful for some but not everyone. A dog ladder is a great accessory to have on your boat if you love to hit the water with your pup from time to time. 

The dog ladder attaches to the boat allowing for easy pup access. There’s no doubt that dogs have no trouble jumping right into the water from off the side of the boat, but getting back into the boat can be challenging for some pups. 

Having a dog ladder will give them the freedom to swim and come back on board as they please. 

4. GoPro Camera

A GoPro camera can capture all of those insane moments that you won’t be able to record on your cellphone. If you plan on partaking in some water sports or activities, a GoPro is a great way to show everyone what you were seeing at the moment.

The good thing about this type of camera is that it’s waterproof and can be strapped onto your forehead for a hands-free recording. You’ll amaze friends and family with the cool videos and photos taken on your GoPro!

5. Solar Panel 

Having a solar panel installed on your boat will save you from a dead battery. As your boat sits and isn’t used for a certain amount of time, the battery will begin to lose its charge. A solar panel will help keep your battery alive when it’s not in use and ready to go when it’s time for your next boating adventure. 

Choose a solar panel with 2 to 5 watts to prevent the battery from overcharging, and remember that the solar panel doesn’t take the place of traditional battery chargers. It helps prevent it from losing its power when not in use.

6. Boat Jump Pack

Speaking of dead batteries, a boat jump pack is another essential accessory to bring along with you. The last thing you want is to find yourself stranded out on the water with a dead battery. A boat jump pack is the quickest fix to a dead battery.

A jump pack is small and easy to transport and store on your boat. When you find yourself in need, grab the jump pack and jump your battery back to life.

7. Mobile Washer

If you’re spending an entire day on the boat, or even several days, you’ll want to have a mobile washer by your side. Mobile washers are compact and allow you to wash your clothing from anywhere. All it requires to work is some warm water and soap. 

When clothes get wet with saltwater or bathing suits need cleaning, simply place them in the mobile washer and quickly wash them and set them out to dry!

Which Must Have Boat Accessories Does Your Boat Need?

Not everyone needs the same boat accessories to enjoy their day out on the water. The must have boat accessories best-suited for you depend on your own personal adventure!

Do you want to enjoy boat life without the hassles that come along with owning a boat? 

Click here to explore the benefits of becoming a boat club member today!

5 Essential Hacks for Renting a Boat This Summer

The sun is out and waves are rolling…you’re stuck on the shore watching everyone enjoy their summer out on the boat. Not an ideal way to spend your free time is it? 

Well fear not, because we’ve put together a list of essential hacks to get you renting a boat of your own this summer!

It can seem intimidating going through the hoops of renting a boat, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you are a novice boater or seasoned on the seas these 5 hacks are going to make the rental process a breeze. 

So pack the sunscreen and let’s get started!

1. Safety First

Before you even step foot on a boat safety needs to be your top priority. There are thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths each year from boating accidents and misuse.  

While it might seem like a fun idea to crack open a few beers on the open water it could cost you expensive fines, jail time, or even someone’s life. 

We have put together some tips for safety to help you to have an awesome time out on the water safely. 

Safety Gear

Sometimes with rental boats things can go missing. To ensure that you and everyone on board has a safe trip check for the following items before you hit the open water:

Life Jackets – There should be one life jacket for every person onboard the vessel.

First Aid Kit – Things can get bumpy out there. Having a first aid kit will come in handy.

Flashlight – In the event that you are lost after dark, a flashlight could save your life. Be sure that there are back up batteries as well.

Fire Extinguisher – Just because you are on the water doesn’t mean a fire cannot happen. Always double-check for this safety item. 

Whistle – A waterproof whistle can be a lifesaver in the event of an emergency.

These items can sometimes be left off the boat by mistake. Check your vessel for these items like a pro would do. 

Inclement Weather

Warm weather is great but it can lead to dangerous afternoon thunderstorms. Don’t spend money on a rental if there is a chance you could get totally rained out.

If you get out on the water and the weather starts to turn, check your marine radio for realtime weather updates.

2. Know the Laws

The laws for operating a boat or renting a boat are different in each state. Depending on where you are renting you may be required to take an exam or a boating course. 

You will generally be required to sign a waiver when you rent as well. The waiver indicates that you are responsible for everyone on board and for the boat.

In the event of damages to the boat you will be held responsible. Furthermore, you could be held liable for any injuries sustained by the passengers you bring on board with you.

In some cases insurance is required for renting a boat. You can check with your provider to see if you have rental insurance that extends to boat rental. 

Being on the water is in many ways the same driving on the highway. There are specific markers that indicate where you should be and should not be traveling on your boat. 

If you fail to follow the guidelines you could be pulled over by the police (yes there are boat police!) and ticketed. 

While your passengers are allowed to enjoy alcoholic beverages, the driver must abide by the same laws that apply to drinking and driving. You can get a D.U.I on a boat. 

3. Know the Requirements

The same with laws being different in every state, so are the requirements.

In some cases renting a boat from one place has certain requirements and the rental place next door may have a different policy. 

Nothing is more frustrating than getting ready for a day on the water and arriving to rent and realizing you do not meet the necessary requirements to rent. 

Here are a few things to consider before you make the trip to the boat rental facility:

Age Requirements – In many cases, you need to be 25 to rent a boat. 

Deposits – Always check to see if a deposit is needed because in most cases it will be.

Credit Cards – Often times rental facilities will require payment with a credit card. 

Time Frames – Most of the time boat rental facilities have a specific time frame that you can have the boat. They will also not rent after a certain time in the day. Don’t show up too late or you could have your trip cut short.

This hack will save you so much time. Whether you planning an epic fishing trip or a romantic sunset cruise for two, know your requirements before you get there!

4. Choose the Right Boat

There are a variety of different boats to choose from at most rental facilities.

Depending on your skill level you may not be comfortable with certain types of boats.

Here are some boat options that you are likely to see at most facilities:

Pontoon – This boat is ideal for relaxing and leisure with a group of friends. It staying buoyant with floats on either side of the vessel. They are lower cost in most cases

Deck – This boat is similar in design to a pontoon but can travel at much faster speeds. It is ideal for water sports and fishing. 

Center Console – These boats are the premium choice for fishing enthusiasts. The center console allows the fisherman to easily get around the boat with their pole when they’ve got a fish hooked. 

If you are new to boating consider joining a boat club. These clubs work on a membership basis and can give you the chance to use multiple types of boats so you can see which you like the best.

5. Check the Vessel

As we said before, you are responsible for the boat. Just like a rental car, rental boats can get a lot of wear and tear.

If you do not check your boat beforehand you could run into issues on the water or be charged for damages you did not cause. 

Here are some things to look for:

  • Damage to the hull
  • Windshield cracks
  • Stains
  • Damage to the motor
  • Missing items  

Taking the extra time and checking for these missing or damaged items will save you in the long run. 

Renting a Boat Like a Pro

Now that you know these pro hacks for renting a boat you’ll be on the water in no time. Always remember safety first and don’t forget your sunscreen.

We would love to hear from you. Contact us for more information now!

Essential Fishing Gear You Should Pack for Your First Time out on the Boat

Fishing is one of the most peaceful, yet exciting pastimes that exist today. If this is going to be your first time fishing out on a boat, then congratulations!

Before you go, you’ll want to be sure and pack all of the essential things that you need in order to have a successful trip.

Even one missing piece can result in a major bummer for your fishing session, and since you’re out on the water, there will be no turning back.

Here is all the essential fishing gear that you’ll need to pack for your first time out as a boat fisherman. Be sure to check them all off your list before you go!

1. Fishing Rod, Reel, and Line

Your first fishing trip wouldn’t turn out very well without these three items. Still, it bears repeating to a) invest in these things before you go and b) check them off your list before you leave for the trip.

For all you beginner fishermen out there, the more high-quality your rod and reel is, the more weight it will be able to carry—thus, the bigger the fish you will be able to tussle with after you hook it.

Be warned: there are hundreds of different lines for you to choose from, so much so that it might be overwhelming to shop for before your first fishing experience. Try going with a fluorocarbon line to start things out. They’re nearly invisible to the fish under the water, super-strong lines, and are able to brush up against sharp rock without ripping.

Depending on the place you fish, that abrasion-resistant line will especially come in handy!

2. First-Aid Kit

You never know what will happen while you’re out on a fishing boat. Typically, the outing will consist of peace and quiet, but there are also emergency situations that could occur.

If an emergency were to happen, you’d want to make sure you have supplies to temporarily take care of a cut, so be sure to pack a first-aid kit.

Be sure to pack a first-aid kit on the larger side of things. Make sure it includes things such as cleansing wipes, insect bite cream, gauze, band-aids, eyewash, and Neosporin.

You might also want to include some butterfly closures just in case you score a big catch that ends up socking you in the face with its tail… you never know!

As soon as you arrive at the body of water, place the first-aid kit on the boat so that you don’t forget it onshore when you take off.

3. Tackle

Don’t worry, first-timers, you won’t have to get too extensive with purchasing tackle on your first trip.

There are three types of tackle that you will need: floats, weights, and hooks. The name of each implies the service they’ll perform for your bait.

Weights help you cast your line out further. The more weight you have behind your toss, the farther it will go.

Everyone knows what hooks are fore, but be sure to ask an expert for a hook brand that will be longer-lasting. Lastly, floats are needed to keep the bait floating near the top of the water. Otherwise, it would gradually sink to the bottom.

4. Fishing Apparel

Everyone is familiar with the hardcore fishermen that wear khaki bucket hats, khaki vests, and khaki shorts with enough pockets for all their bait and hooks.

While you won’t need to go that far, there are some essential pieces of apparel needed to a) heighten your experience and b) protect your skin.

First off, be sure to bring an extra pair of everything. That means an extra shirt, shorts, underwear, socks, shoes, everything. Don’t set sail without them.

Next, you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing a fishing shirt that provides UV protection for your skin. Your regular shirt doesn’t block as many UV rays as you’d think it would.

Also, be sure to bring a hat to protect your head from the sun and a windbreaker to provide warmth out on the windy sea/lake/ocean.

5. Live Bait

Plain and simple: without live bait, your fishing excursion won’t be very eventful. While the answers on which bait you should use vary by the expert, most would agree that nightcrawler is a top choice.

Nightcrawler is especially effective for freshwater fishing since almost every fish will take to it. Not many other forms of bait can give you that variation.

They’ll be a great choice for your first venture, giving you the chance to catch a bass on your first time out. 

They virtually guarantee you a catch or two throughout the day, so if nothing else, it can help you get the hang of your new craft!

6. Fishing Net

Even the most experienced of fishermen will tell you how difficult it can be to try and firmly grasp a flailing fish while balancing yourself on a rocking boat.

To rid yourself of that burden, bring a fishing net for the trip so that you can easily scoop the fish up and let it tire itself out.

Whether you intend to clean the fish and ice the fillets or throw it back, the net will be a saving grace in helping you keep your energy.

Pack Your Essential Fishing Gear for the Boating Trip!

Now that you’ve seen all the essential fishing gear you need for the big trip, it’s time to find the right boat to rent!

Be sure to read this article on how to keep your kids safe while boating if you intend to bring them along on the fishing trip.

For more inquiries on boat memberships and rentals, please reach out via our online contact form, and we’ll be happy to assist you further!

Benefits of Boat Leasing: Why Renting Is Better Than Buying

Hobbies are great, especially when they give you a reason to get outside. But some of the most enjoyable outdoor hobbies, like boating, come with hefty price tags.

What if there was a way to enjoy the beauty of the sea without the financial burden?

Boat leasing allows everyone to climb aboard a beautiful boat, even if they don’t own one. From deep-sea fishing adventures to sunset cruises, renting a boat is fun for the whole family.

Let’s take a look at why you should consider boat leasing and the credentials needed to rent a boat.

Benefits of Boat Leasing

Can you lease a boat? Absolutely! Boat leasing comes in a variety of forms. Some boating organizations allow you to rent by the hour, day, or do long term boat rentals.

Is renting a boat a better alternative to buying? Many people would say so. Boat leasing is more cost-effective and easier than purchasing a new vessel. Renting also gives users a great variety of boats to choose from.

Let’s dive into the five top benefits of leasing a boat.

Renting Is Cost-Effective

It’s no secret purchasing a boat is a hefty investment.

Not only do boats have high price tags, but they’re also very expensive to maintain. Just like cars and houses, boats require regular maintenance, which adds up. Most boat owners also must pay to store their boats when they are not in the water.

Don’t forget about the boating equipment you must purchase, too. Examples of essential items you’ll need for your new boat include:

  • Life jackets ($75 per piece)
  • Fire extinguisher ($35)
  • Boat navigation system ($1,200 or higher)
  • Oars ($80 per set)
  • Ropes ($100 or higher)

The high expenses from buying a boat can be overwhelming, which is why 54% of first-time boat buyers stop sailing. Some boaters joke that BOAT stands for “Bust Out Another Thousand.”

The cost of renting a boat is much less. When you rent, all of the boating equipment is there for you. Renters pay for the time they spend on the boat and gas. Leasing a boat is an excellent way to get out on the water without emptying your piggy bank.

Boat Leasing Means More Variety

There are thousands of boats out there, why not try as many as you can? When you purchase a boat, you commit to one specific make and model. But each time you do a boat lease, you can try a different type. 

Are you looking to cruise around the water on a relaxing yacht? Rent one for the day. Are you and the family interested in going on a fishing adventure? If so, then lease a fishing boat. 

There are a variety of boats available, so you can enjoy as much of the water as possible. Taking advantage of a boat lease is the best way to experience all boating has to offer.

Renting Is Guilt-Free

If you asked a boat owner what their biggest regret is, most would agree not using their ocean beauties enough.

The truth is that most boat owners don’t utilize their vessels. The average boat owner only takes their boats out on the water 14 days a year.

When renting a boat, you only pay for the hours that you’re on the water. When you own a boat, you’re always paying for it, even when the boat is idle. So while many boat owners feel guilty when they’re not enjoying their ships, renters do not.

Boats Depreciate

People invest in real estate because it has proven to produce a decent ROI. Boats, on the other hand, do not.

Boats are one of the fastest depreciating assets. They lose value over time, similar to cars. A boat’s value is determined by engine hours. The more a boat is used, the less value it has.

Examples of boat depreciation rates include:

  • Bow Riders retain 66% of their value after 3 years
  • Cuddy Cabins have 63% of their value after 10 years
  • Pontoon Boats depreciate 30% after 5 years 
  • Sailboats and yachts hold 85% of their value after 5 years
  • Fiberglass fishing boats lose 60% of their value after 10 years

Renting a boat eliminates the stress of reselling a deprecated boat. When you lease a boat, you get to cruise the open ocean without worrying about the boat’s long-term value. It’s a win-win! 

Renting Is Easy

The biggest benefit of boat leasing is that it’s simple and easy to do.

Find a reputable boat leasing company near you and reserve your time. Let the company know what type of boat you’re looking for. If you don’t know, explain what you’re going to be doing, and the experts will match you with the right vessel.

After your trip, return the boat to the dock, and you’re on your way. There’s no post-trip boat cleaning or maintenance required. All you have to do is show up, have a good time, be safe, and return the boat when your time is up.

What Credentials Do I Need to Rent a Boat?

Renting a boat is simple, but you need a few credentials to ensure a safe trip at sea.

Boat renters should keep in mind that there are required boat licenses and regulations they must adhere to, even when leasing. Every state has specific age and license requirements for boaters, so know the laws in your area.

In Florida, any boat rental operator or charter captain must hold a valid boat license.

Florida boat renters must also complete a state-approved boating safety course. While operating a rental boat, the driver must carry their Boating Safety Education Identification Card (issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission). You may also need to present proper credentials to the boat rental company.

Find Your Next Summer Boat Rental

If you’re ready to set sail, renting a boat is a great option. Boat leasing is simple, cost-effective, and eliminates the stress of owning a ship. It’s a great way to enjoy a day out on the water without the hassle.

If you’re looking for the place to lease your next boat, you’re at the right spot. Browse our fleet of high-quality rental boats now. If you’re itching to get out to sea, we’ve got the boat for you.

The Fish Are Biting Today: 6 of the Best Places to Fish in Florida

The Sunshine State has enough fishing to keep you going all season. As one of the premier spots for fishing in the entire world, Florida has no shortage of rivers, lakes, and inlets for you to cast into. If you’re making the trek to the southeast, you might even find that you’ve got too many choices between all the best places to fish in Florida.

Well, that’s what we’re here today to help you with. In this post, we’re going to talk about the best places to fish in Florida. We’ll go over five breathtaking destinations and tell you why you should spend your time there.

Of course, there’s an abundance of great fishing here, so you can’t go wrong. Allow us to point you in the right direction so your next fishing trip can be one to remember.

1. Lake Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee is the largest lake in Florida. At a whopping 730 square miles, you could get lost on this thing for days without scratching the surface. It also happens to be one of the best lakes for bass fishing in the state, and likely the entire country.

The lake itself is calm and serene, perfect for taking a boat out on. Or, if you’re more inclined to stay onshore, you’ve also got some of the best shoreline fishing in Florida available to you. Our recommendation is to partake in a healthy mixture of on and offshore bass fishing.

There are several lakeside resorts and campsites all around, so you can really make a weekend of it. If you need to charter a boat, there are options that suit any price range. Okeechobee is a regular feature of major bass fishing tournaments, so you won’t be short on amenities here.

2. Destin

You can’t make a list of Florida’s best fishing spots without including Destin. As its name implies, Destin is the primo destination for red snapper, kingfish, amberjack, and cobia in the world. The 1,000s of visiting anglers per year have turned this coastal fishing town into something to behold and the home of the Destin Fishing Rodeo.

Perfectly situated beside both the Gulf of Mexico and the East Pass, Destin is great for both offshore and inshore fishing. Along the offshore seabed, there are 400 different waypoints with artificial reefs that will give you an amazing yield. The further out you go, the more varied your potential catches will be.

Inshore, you’ve got some really great spots for kayak and surf fishing. You don’t have to head deep into the Gulf to find redfish, speckled trout, flounder, black drum, and seasonal fish like Spanish mackerel and pompano.

Destin is one of the best spots for well-rounded anglers that want a little bit of everything.

3. Marco Island

For a truly breathtaking backdrop, a visit to Marco Island off of Florida’s southwest coast is going to be in order. You’ll see schools of redfish, speckled trout, and ladyfish out on the wave-laden waters of the Gulf. There’s great deep-sea fishing, where you might haul in tuna, mahi-mahi, or wahoo.

The island is full of affordable charters to take you out on the water and once you’re tired out from the deep-sea stuff, head inland to do some light tackle and fly fishing.

Marco Island has a lot of perks, the main one being that there’s no hustle and bustle like you’d find in Key West or Destin. It’s just you, the scenery, and the fish.

4. Tampa

Let’s leave south Florida for a moment and head up to Tampa. The northern part of Florida doesn’t always get as much pop as the south, especially when it comes to world-class fishing, but in fact, Tampa has just that. It’s a popular spot among anglers that are looking for some great inshore fishing.

You’ll find loads of redfish, black drum, and spotted seatrout along the coastline, but that’s just the beginning. The waters around Tampa are rife with fly fishing opportunities and tarpon that literally jump out of the water.

Inland fishing is what most anglers go towards in Tampa, but if you’re around for multiple days, it’s worth exploring offshore as well. You’ll find an array of fish (king mackerel, mahi-mahi, snapper) if you spend enough time out on the water.

Something great about Tampa is that it’s also one of America’s up-and-coming cities. You’ll find loads of great restaurants, bars, shows, and sporting events happening year-round, so there’ll never be a dull moment.

5. Stuart

Stuart is actually known as the “sailfish capital of the world”, but it’s also teeming with snook. Not only is this a great place to catch a wide variety of fish, but it’s also a picturesque destination that offers a lot in the way of nature and walking trails. 

Since it’s located so close to the gulf stream (only 10 miles), you can take a charter for a full or half-day and encounter some big-time fish. If you go out far enough, you’ll find wahoo, sailfish, and mahi-mahi, in abundance. A full-day excursion might get you up close and personal with some blue marlin, yellow tuna, and billfish.

There are lots of options for inland fishing as well. Of course, you could take a trip to “sailfish alley”, where you might land 10 sailfish in a single outing (with a good charter). Other spots, like the Indian River Lagoon, St. Lucie, and Sewall Point, will have lots of bonefish, tarpon, snook, trout, and flounder, among others.

Just A Few Of The Best Places To Fish In Florida

These are just a few of the best places to fish in Florida to get you started. As soon as you dig in a little further, you’ll find dozens more that sound just as enticing.

What’s for sure is that you can’t go wrong with any of these as your next fishing destination. All of them are fruitful, beautiful, and have a huge variety of fish, great charters, and even better scenery. Florida really is one of the best places in the world to be an angler.

Gulf Stream Boat Club has one of the fastest-growing fleets of fishing boats in South Florida. Register with us today and start planning your next fishing trip.

What to Wear on a Boat: Style and Practical Tips for Men and Women

Whether you’re renting a boat for a day of fishing or for a day of partying, you’ll want to know what to wear on a boat to ensure comfort and practicality. If you’re assuming that a day out on the boat means a simple bathing suit and messy hair, we wouldn’t say you’re wrong. 

However, you can dress for a boat trip and remain stylish while keeping it practical. You won’t want to wear your favorite formal suit or dress, but there are a few ways to show off your fashion sense while looking like a true captain or boating expert!

If you’re ready to indulge in some offshore fun but aren’t sure how to dress for the boat, then you’ll want to continue reading below. Here are a few boating outfit tips to impress everyone! 

Boat Fashion for Women

Other than your bathing suit and sunblock, there are a few boating outfit necessities to consider for your next boating adventure. Pick out your favorite bathing suit, and then be sure to keep these tips in mind. 

1. T-Shirt Dress Cover-Up

The t-shirt dress is a newer style and provides style along with comfort. Sliding into a t-shirt dress over your bathing suit is a wonderful way to keep the style going while still fitting the practical side. A great color to choose for wearing on the boat would be a white t-shirt dress. 

You’ll stand out amazingly against the blue waters. If you’re looking to bump up the sophistication aspect of it, be sure to choose a button-up t-shirt dress.

2. Flowy Sundress

We know how great sundresses are for the summertime. They’re stylish and keep you nice and cool during the hotter months. Sundresses also work well as bathing suit cover-ups to wear on the boat. 

Sundresses also come in styles longer than that of a t-shirt dress, so if you’re looking to show a little less when covered up, then a flowy sundress might be a great option for you. Sundresses also come in a variety of colors and patterns, so finding one that pairs well with a boat should be a breeze!

Look for sundresses with natural colors or sealife patterns!

3. Sun Hat and Sun Shades

If you’re spending the day out on the open waters on a boat, then you need to protect yourself from the sun. Sunblock should be your first line of defense, and a sun hat and some sunshades should be your next. 

It won’t be much fun if you can’t open your eyes to see anything. When you’re out in the middle of the ocean, the sun becomes even more powerful, so be sure to pick out a stylish sun hat and some stylish shades to match it. 

Sun hats can be small or large. The choice is yours! We recommend matching your sun hat with a pair of oval-shaped sunglasses for a chic look.  

4. Non-Slip Sandals

Non-slip sandals are another must when spending the day on a boat. We know that fashion is a necessity for you, but don’t risk your safety by wearing a pair of ordinary sandals. When traveling via-boat, things will get wet.

If fishing is a planned activity, then prepare for even wetter and sometimes slimy floors. Do some research and be sure to find a pair of boating sandals. There are plenty of options available, and you’re sure to find something fashionable!

Boat Fashion for Men

Swimtrunks aren’t the only necessities for men either while planning a boating outfit! A fun day of fishing or a fun day of partying and relaxing can all be done in style. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Captain Snapback Cap

If you’re the captain of the boat (or a captain in training), you need a captain snapback cap! This cap is going to keep you protected from the sun while impressing everyone who passes by. 

Find a cap with adjustable straps for your convenience. You don’t want to be stuck with a too loose or too tight hat all day. Caps with mesh in the back are also ideal as they’re light and help keep you cool. 

2. Nylon Long Sleeve Shirt 

A nylon long sleeve shirt is another wonderful clothing item to wear while out on the boat. This long sleeve shirt will keep you protected from the sun and high winds as well. They’re a necessity when planning to spend a day on the water while traveling at high speeds, but they don’t compromise style. 

They’re also cool and soft for added comfort. 

3. Bermuda Shorts

Bermuda shorts are the perfect pairing to a long sleeve nylon shirt. Bermuda shorts are fashionable but practical for boating activities. These shorts will also help keep you cool while under the sun.

We suggest going with a white or off-white color. 

4. Non-Slip Boating Shoes

Again, non-slip boating shoes are essential. There are plenty of options to choose from depending on how you plan to spend your day. You can choose from a few non-slip flip flops to actual boating shoes. 

The choice is yours and what looks best will depend on your outfit. Closed-toe boating shoes are a great item to pair with your Bermuda shorts!

Learn What to Wear on a Boat for Your Next Adventure!

If you’re ready to start planning your next boating adventure, then keep these tips in mind to ensure you know what to wear on a boat!

When you have your outfit picked out, and you’re ready to cruise the seas, click here to inquire about a membership and boat rentals!

Boat Safety: How to Keep Your Kids Safe While Boating

In 2017, emergency departments in the US attended to 8,700 children aged 19 and younger due to a drowning event. A quarter of these kids also had to stay in the hospital for further treatment.

Most drowning incidents involving minors occur in bathtubs and swimming pools. However, they are also a common result of recreational boating activities. In 2018 alone, 4,145 recreational boating incidents occurred in US waters.

Proper boat safety is key to preventing many of these incidents.

Besides, boating is among the most fun water activities to do with your family. More than being enjoyable, sailing has also shown to have mental health benefits.

Are you ready to make your family boating trip safe, memorable, and exciting? Then be sure to keep these tips on boating safety for kids.

Have Your Little Ones Take Swim Lessons

Some studies suggest that kids learn basic swimming skills the fastest when they’re 4 to 6 years old. These skills include floating, proper breathing, and crawl stroke.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends swim lessons as early as the age of one. They believe that acquiring swimming skills at this age may help prevent drowning.

Regardless of your kids’ age though, it’s not too late to have them enroll in swim lessons. Aside from the basics, the program should also teach them water competency. This way, they’ll know what to do in case they unexpectedly find themselves in water.

Talk to your kids’ pediatrician first about swim classes before you take your kids out on a boat trip. Ask the doctor if your kids are developmentally ready for such classes. They may even recommend schools that have experienced swim instructors for kids.

Learn CPR

Only half of Americans say they know how to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). The thing is, CPR can raise the survival chance of a victim who goes into cardiac arrest by two to three times.

That should be enough reason for you to learn both traditional and hands-only CPR. The traditional way involves compression and mouth-to-mouth breaths. Experts say that this may be more beneficial to drowning victims.

Parents aren’t the only ones who should master this life-saving technique. Even if your kids are still in elementary or high school, you should have them train for CPR. Previous research has found that more than 8 in 10 kids aged could perform it properly.

Complete a Family Boat Safety Course

Before sailing away on that yacht, sign up your family for boating classes. Many of these programs focus on boating basics, such as terms and safe vessel operation. However, many of them also teach boat safety for kids and adults.

Invest in a Quality Life Jacket

Did you know life jackets have saved more than 80% of victims of boating-related incidents?

That’s how effective and important life jackets are in boating activities.

This is why each person on the boat should have one of these floatation devices. Regardless of how skilled a swimmer you guys are, each one of you should have access to these jackets.  

Keep in mind, however, that life jackets also come with proper sizing. If the device is too small, it won’t do much to help the body stay afloat. If it’s too big, the jacket may end up wrapping around the face and causing more damage than good.

Note that the safest life jackets for toddlers, infants, and adults are those approved by the USGC. That’s why one of the first things to look for in a life jacket is the United States Coast Guard label. The best (and safest) recreational PFDs have undergone testing from USCG Recognized Laboratories.

Set Rules and Be Strict About Them

While you want your family boat trip to be fun, you should still enforce strict safety rules. No one should be running on the boat or horse playing near the gunwale or the edge of the boat. Hands and feet should always be inside the boat too.

Equip the Boat With Child-Friendly and Safety Devices

PDFs can save lives, but it’s best to prevent people from falling into the water in the first place. This is why you should choose a boat that has built-in child-proofing mechanisms. These include child-proof gates, locks, and straps on doors and windows.

You should also place some netting along the boat’s railings and at the bottom of the stair steps. These will help prevent infants and toddlers from climbing over them.

Keep Your Toolbox and First Aid Kit Well-Stocked

Your toolbox should have several flashlights, extra batteries, and mirrors. Duct tapes could also be a life-saver in case your boat springs a small leak. Make sure you also have a few buckets on board to help bail out water that enters the vessel.

There should also be extra marine ropes on the boat to help secure loose items on rocky waters. These ropes should be long enough to reach and pull in someone who falls overboard.

Stock up on antiseptics, waterproof bandages, and waterproof medical adhesives. Gauze sponges, cloth bandages (in case of sprains and strains), and splint should also be in the kit. Don’t forget sunscreens and medications for colds and motion-sickness.

Enjoy Your Family Water Getaway With These Boating Safety Tips

There you have it, your ultimate guide on boat safety tips for both kids and adults. All these can help prevent accidents and prepare your family to respond to them if they do occur.

Remember: you’ll be in open water, which means that the nearest boat could be miles and miles away. While you can call for help, your rescuers will still need time to get to your location. It’s always better to keep safe to avoid having to be rescued in the first place.

Ready to heed the call of the water while staying safe and having fun? Then be sure to check out our guides on choosing and buying boating gear and accessories!

10 Tips for Partying on a Boat: How to Throw the Perfect Party

Have you ever partied on a boat? Ready to throw your own boat bash?

If you answered yes, here are some amazing tips on how to throw the perfect party.

The club parties can become ordinary after a few visits because the scenes are the same, the dance, waitresses, and procedures. Doing something different once in a while can be thrilling and may even provide a better experience and a longer-lasting memory.

The difference in the scenery while partying on a boat can be captivating and exotic for those who love the music as well as the ocean.

For the best experience, follow these tips below.

1. Generate Your Guest List

The first thing on your list should be planning. You need to decide how many people will be invited. This will help to choose the size of the boat, the number of drinks and snacks to provide, and the arrangements for transporting your guests.

Having an idea of the number of persons that will be attending will help you to arrange the space accordingly. Also, it is important to book the boat in advance especially if it is summer because boats get booked quickly during this time.

2. Select a Date and Time.

Schedule an appropriate and convenient date and time for everyone. You don’t want guests missing out because they can’t make the date that you arranged. Ensure that all guests are comfortable and have set aside that day in their calendar for your event.

3. Choose the right type of boat for your party.

GBC offers a big variety of boats to choose from. Bare in mind, not all boats are made equal and their use may vary based on many factors.

  1. Pontoon: Our personal favorite for boating parties. With aluminum tubes supporting the flat broad platform and because of their shallow drafts this boat is extremely steady.
  2. Center Console: Their helm is on a console (you guessed right) at the center of the boat. Great for anglers allowing walk around while fishing.
  3. Dual Console: These boats come with 2 consoles and 2 windshields with a space in between them to access different places of the boat.
  4. Deck Boat: Great for activities that include swimming and water sports. They have plenty of seating making it the favorite among many families.
  5. Deck with Cabin: In need of some privacy? a small cabin area for seating and or storage is available with these boats.

As part of our fleet we offer a 24-foot pontoon boat rental docked at our Hypoluxo Fl, 33462 location. It accommodates up to 12 passengers and you are not required to use a captain.

Call us at 561.865.7797 to reserve.

4. Select a Theme for Your Party

You should decide on a theme for the party to make it more interesting. For example a Christmas party theme, beach theme or a winter theme. This will allow your guest to be dressed accordingly to match with the decorations you may have for the interior of the boat.

Having a theme will give your party that edge, make it memorable, and have it looking spotless. Using the right decorations will bring your party to life and will have your guests talking about it.

5. Other Different Activities

Give your guests options for boat party activities. Be flexible instead of having ordinary proceedings and strict itinerary. Incorporate a lot of games and different activities so that everyone can participate. This will make them more interactive which could leave them talking about the party even when it has ended.

Incorporating dance sessions is totally possible in a steady pontoon boat and is a good way of getting everyone on the happy mood. It is however, not your only option. Try offering fishing, tubing, snorkeling and floater options.

6. First Impression While Partying on a boat

Ask yourself, how does this look, how does this feel? If you don’t get excited when you think of the answers then maybe you want to do something a little different that will leave a lasting impression. First impression is essential and you want to ensure that your entire guests are amazed once they are at the party.

Create an environment that is comfortable yet full of excitement and entertainment. You want to make it super easy for your guest to have access to the party and you can do this by using signs informing them of how to get in.

7. Provide Great Food and Music

One of the most important elements of a party is the refreshments. Your guest wants to know that they have food and drinks in their hands while they party. Snacks can include chips, sandwiches, or even candy, as long as it is nearby and accessible.

Having great music is a good way to keep the vibe going and keep the guest entertained. No one wants to listen to sad and boring songs, play something that will have them partying all day under the sun, for example some hit songs.

8. Remember the Names of Your Guests.

Although this seems trivial, never forget the names of your guests. For example, a guest shows up at your party, and a couple of weeks later, you meet them in public. Remembering who that person was could help to build a relationship with them.

Doing so will encourage them to attend more of your parties in the future. One way of remembering their names is to repeat it to them when they tell you what it is or even try to rhyme it with something.

9. Be The Best Host

As the host, you are the life of the party; all eyes will be on you. Ensure that you maintain a positive vibe as your guest will feed off your energy. Do small introductions for guests who are unfamiliar with other guests, shake the hands of those you know and don’t know and those who you know as well.

Be open and affectionate to everyone that is in your space, and if needs be, ensure that you attend to their needs as the party will be a representation of you. Remember to be alert and never stop the fun.

10. Give your Guests Treats

Who doesn’t love a free gift? If it is within your budget, it would be great if your guests can be treated with goodie bags. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, but something to say thanks for coming to this party and I hope you will remember all the fun you had.

Another way of treating your guests is to turn some activities into competitions. If your boat has an outdoor space, you can use that to accommodate your games and get everyone to participate for a reward at the end.

A Final Point to Note

Figure out what kind of event it will be. While partying on a boat, you want to ensure that the setting is absolutely perfect. For example, it could be a birthday party or even a private party.

With all this in mind, go ahead and start your planning!

Boating for Beginners: 7 Important Things You Need to Know

Statistics indicate that more than 142 million Americans went boating in the year 2016. These figures will continue to grow steadily as more people discover the unforgettable experience boating presents. If you have not yet explored the calmness of cruising deep into the waters, then you may be missing out big time. Boating for beginners can be fun and refreshing. 

But as a rookie, there are things you need to know before taking your first venture out on the boat. For most experienced boaters, cruising deep-sea seems to come naturally.

However, if you’re looking to have a safe and fulfilling first boating experience, here are some critical boating for beginners tips to consider. 

1. Focus on Training 

Boating can have a fair share of safety hazards for beginners. Prior training is essential. Intense exercise preps you for any eventualities when boating.

Most experienced boaters are a product of consistent training. Before you take the risk of going it alone, you need to give yourself time to learn the ropes. You’ll find various options on the internet of trainers you can rely on for instruction and support. 

At GBC All new memberships come with a complimentary one-hour orientation with one of our U.S. Coast Guard–certified captains. And if you would like more instruction on how to drive a boat, we can also organize more lessons.

Once you have gone through the right training, you can venture into the waters confidently.

2. Get the Right Paperwork

Getting the right licensing and registration is vital before you can navigate a boat. But is this necessary? 

Well, yes, you need to consider the type of boating activities you intend to engage in and the exact area of operations. Then do your research on the legal and regulatory dynamics in the specific jurisdiction.

You also need to consider the cost of this paperwork in your particular state before beginning the process.  If you’ll be sailing on an inland waterway, you need to consult the appropriate navigation authority in your area too. This is because some waterways have special licensing regulations that may land you in trouble as a beginner.  

However, if you’re a member of a Boat club, you may be eligible for exclusive boating rights. Such rights spare you the hassle of having to apply for a separate license. 

Depending on the season, you may decide to moor your marina from time to time. Docking your boat in such cases may require specific licensing considerations, depending on your state.

You may need to do your research to ensure that you have the right licensing before embarking on a boating expedition. 

3. Always Check the Weather 

Nothing can be as disastrous as driving a boat for the first time under extreme weather conditions. The rule of thumb in boating 101 is that you should never head out boating when it’s raining, more so as a beginner. These stipulations exist to ensure that your safety comes first while out in the waters. Read our article on Boat Safety Tips for more information on how to be prepared before and during your trip.

Never underestimate the impact that light showers can have on your boating experience. You should pay specific attention to weather forecasts or at least wait until its summer. 

Weather conditions can put your life in danger as a beginner.  It’s your responsibility to ensure that you navigate under favorable terms as a safety precaution.

4. Dress for the Occasion 

Boating is primarily an outdoor activity that requires comfort. Your choice of dressing can be the source of a regrettable experience. Now that you know your own body’s needs, it would be critical to prepare appropriately for the experience.

As a beginner, you don’t know how well your body will respond to the outdoor weather. Consequently, it would be prudent to have a warm change of clothes. This would cushion you in case the cold weather conditions affect your body temperature while out there.

5. Always have a “Float Plan” 

This is not a mayday call but, yes. It would be best if you took every safety precaution necessary as a beginner. Before going all out into the waters, it would be necessary to have a float plan to guide you back to shore. Such a move would be to caution you in case of any eventuality while navigating.

Float plans have been critical lifesavers overtime. Even among experienced boaters, having a float plan as part of the expedition has become standard practice. It would be best if you considered having a float plan near you at all times during the outing to minimize the risks in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Planning your trip with your local Boat Club can help cover this necessary safety need.

6. Always Have a Life Jacket

As a beginner, boating can be all fun and games until the boat capsize. It is advisable that before beginning your boating experience, you also learn how to swim. This would ensure a consideration of safety in case of an emergency.

But even as a seasoned swimmer, you should always have your life-jacket on. Most beginners complain that lifesavers may be uncomfortable especially during summer. While this is true, your life must always come first. 

Wearing a life-jacket ought to be a standard requirement in boating for beginners.

7. Having a Toolbox Is Necessary

How well can you handle a mechanical issue? As a beginner, facing mechanical faults on your first voyage can be extremely frustrating. But you don’t want to be stuck on the water for hours wondering what to do.

Granted, you are not a certified mechanic. But you need to have basic knowledge of the boat’s operational process. Such experience ensures that you can handle probable mechanical failures on the go.

Most of the mechanical faults may be resolved within minutes if you have the right tools. You should also have spare parts with you to ease the process of repairs. This also necessitates the need to know your way around the boat’s functionality.

If you are keen on a drama-free voyage, you can get a boat rental instead at friendly rates from a reputable Boat Club. You’ll get to enjoy the delight of well-serviced, reliable boats with standby or emergency personnel as well as boats fitted with spare parts and toolboxes in case of mechanical failures.  

Nothing Beats a Boating Experience Under Favorable Conditions

Driving a boat can be a thrilling experience as you venture out for your first voyage. Even then, there are critical tips for boating for beginners you must consider. 

Your safety may be at risk during such outings, but with these guidelines, you can drive a boat with minimal concerns about probable mishaps. Once you take cognizance of these tips, your initial boating experience will be smooth and fun.   

Are you looking for an unforgettable boating experience? Contact us for well-maintained luxury boats.  

The Top Boat Activities to Try With Your Family

There are over 11.85 million registered recreational boats in the United States. With that amount of boats in the water, there must be some fun that you don’t know about when it comes to boat activities. 

If you are a first-time boater, a boating enthusiast, or a prospective boater, there’s a lot of boat activities for you to try in the water with your family. 

Check out this list of top family-friendly boating adventures this season. 

Tubing

Driving the boat is half the fun when you turn it up to top speed. The other half can be enjoyed with an inflatable tube tied to the back of the boat. 

Your kids will love the thrill of soaring over the ocean’s waves as you make daring doughnuts. It can also be enjoyed by the adults, just make sure someone responsible is behind the wheel. 

Boat Sleepover 

If you have ever been camping then you know the peaceful feeling of sleeping under the stars. Take camping to the next level by sleeping on your boat. 

Whether you have a cabin or just a deck, you can unfold your sleeping bags, when the weather permits, to sleep under the stars. Or pitch a tent to shield yourself from the chill of the night or a raining evening. 

Be sure to put down your anchor so you don’t drift out to sea. 

Raft Picnicking

Boating fun can also mean staying in one spot. Find a shaded area under a tree or a sandbar to have a picnic with the family. 

You can use a raft to have a picnic or as transportation to your shaded paradise.

Bring a cooler for soft drinks or juice and nonperishable snacks that are easy to assemble.  Add some board games or a ball to toss around for some fun after you eat. 

Fishing and Crabbing

If this is your first time out on the water and you want to catch some dinner then you can use a boat guide. 

Taking a charter boat for deep-sea fishing is perfect for older kids.

If you have smaller children then you might want to rent your own boat to go fishing. This will give you a more flexible schedule and room for the little ones to run around.

Either way, you can hire a guide to help you with baiting, navigating, catching, and maybe even filleting your dinner. 

Crabbing is another fun way to introduce children to the water. You can give kids a string with some bait wrapped around the end. When your child sees a crab on the line tell them to call you. Then scoop the crab up with a net. 

Be sure to follow the fishing regulations about what to keep and what to let go. You will also need a fishing license for everyone who will be participating. 

Scuba Diving or Snorkeling

The surface of the water is just one part to be explored. Take your boating fun under the surface by diving into it. 

To scuba dive, you will need to be certified and at least 12 years old. So this activity will work for older children.

You will also need gear like masks, flippers, oxygen tanks, and wet suits. So, unless you are investing in a new hobby, registering for a scuba excursion is the most economical option. 

Snorkeling requires a mask, flippers, and a life vest. It also does not require certification. Younger children can also participate. 

You will see less of the ocean by snorkeling rather than scuba diving, but it is cheaper and safer. Plus, you can do this activity from your own vessel. 

Learn to Sail

Before you buy your own boat you might want to learn boating skills like sailing. Register for a group class with your family.

You will learn basic boating terminology that will apply to any type of boat. Tying knots and navigation skills will also be included in your training. 

Sailing is an excellent way to appreciate the water as you rely on the current and the wind. It’s the natural way to learn boating essentials that could be helpful if you are left in a difficult situation while on the water. 

Constellation Gazing and Navigation

Before GPS systems and even compasses, sailors and voyagers used the night sky to find their way through the depths of the sea. 

Learning the constellations to navigate is a fun and useful skill to teach your children. They can use their knowledge while camping if they ever get lost or impress their friends with astronomical trivia. 

Being out on the boat at night creates the perfect environment for stargazing as well. Light pollution doesn’t obstruct the natural splendor of the stars so you will see more of the sky than you ever have before.  

Firework Display

As a first-time boat owner, you can take your boat out for a test drive to see fireworks during the holidays like the Fourth of July. 

You are usually close to the shore so you won’t have to drive far out into the ocean. You will also have plenty of neighbors in case you need assistance or want to make some friends. 

Staying Safe with Boat Activities

No matter what type of boat activities you choose to enjoy on the water it is important to stay safe. Remember to always use life vests and teach your children the safety guidelines. 

Visit our blog on boating safety before you venture out onto the water.