Five Ways Boating is the Best Gift
few years ago a single man took one of our
liveaboard yacht courses all by himself.
The student and the instructor spent a day covering
all the basics right up to anchoring for the night.
The student did well. The day was done. But then he
asked the instructor what he should do after
anchoring and securing the boat. Our instructor
asked him pointedly why did he want to cruise anyway
unless he had somebody to enjoy it with. The man
thought about this for some long, silent moments.
Then he said, “I think I should think about being in
Yes! There’s something about boating that insists,
practically and emotionally, that it be done in the
company of others. Cruising, especially, is made for
couples and families. It’s a shared adventure. It’s
all about teamwork and accomplishing something
together. In my book, cruising together is the
ultimate in quality time.
Relationship building is one of five reasons why I
believe that boating is the best possible gift that
families can give each other. The gift is not the
boat. Rather, the gift is commitment that couples
and families make to boating and to each other.
After that, you can look for a boat to buy or, like
many, just decide to charter vessels for cruises.
When you take up boating, you will discover that you
have been adopted by another family, the nautical
family. In case you didn’t know, we look after each
other out there on the water. We wave to people we
don’t know in passing boats; we rescue people we
don’t know in stranded boats; we yuk it up with
people we don’t know in adjacent slips.
The third reason that I believe boating is the
perfect gift is that it balances your life. It
requires a different set of mental and physical
skills. It removes you, mentally and physically,
from whatever it is you do in the workaday world.
And I’m convinced all that fresh air and exercise
turns boaters into the best day nappers and solid
night time sleepers in the world.
the way, research sponsored by the boating industry
suggests that boaters are happier and healthier than
non-boaters. Almost seven out of ten say boating has
brought their family closer together. And children
exposed to boating are healthier, less shy, team
players, and more likely to be leaders.
Everybody complains that they don’t have enough
time. Well, when you’re hooked on it, boating
motivates you to make time for it. I recently heard
about a physician who wanted to go boating but he
never had any time off. Desire won. He closed his
solo practice and went into practice with other
doctors. The deal was they each would take extended
time off periodically for cruising and other trips
and the other physicians would look after missing
doctor’s patients while he was gone. I think they’re
all better people because of that decision.
Especially the boating doctor.
The last and maybe the best reason why boating is
the perfect gift is that boating is your magic
carpet back into the last frontier. It puts you back
into an environment where the “road” will never be
paved and where the natural world prevails. At
night, the sounds are sounds of fish jumping or
waves lapping, not 18-wheelers whining out there on
the Interstate highway. Communing with nature may be
a cliché but it is still uplifting.
you’re already boating, plan more. If you’re not,
talk about it with the people you love.