Tips to get non-boaters out on the water
Does your partner not enjoy boating, gets sea sick at the thought of going to Rottnest or worries about the kids falling overboard and the boat sinking?
If you have a partner that doesn’t enjoy boating, we suggest you have an open talk with them and share what makes them feel uneasy and the best way to calm that feeling.
While it may be a good thing if you want plenty of time on the boat to yourself for fishing and diving, there may be times when you want to enjoy the boat as a family. Perhaps, you’ll want to meet friends at Carnac, see a concert at Rottnest or spend the day in Eagle Bay rafted up with friends..
We have some ideas to help your partner to be more comfortable on the water, so you can start enjoying boating together.
Confidence goes a long way. Firstly, build trust in the Captain (you). If you pre-empt and cancel out your partner’s concerns things get a lot easier.
Plan to the weather
If seasickness or anxiety is an issue, plan to go our when the weather is good so that your partner is only on board while the seas are calm. Choose your spots depending on the weather and length of the trip.
Let your partner know the plan, expected weather and expected return time. Plan a destination that they’ll enjoy so it’s worth it!
Prepare the boat midweek
Clean it, fuel up and do a quick sea trial during the week to check the batteries and engines are in good order. A jump start after a long winter is not good for the confidence.
Build your own skills
Build confidence in your ability. If you are new to boats and boat handling speak to us at Blue HQ. Our team have a wealth of knowledge and are very happy to share it with you. Enjoy some free midweek boat handling lessons and take your partner along to these lessons so they know what do if something goes wrong.
Nothing says ‘I’ve got this’ like running through the Captains checks It ensures before you leave, the boat is ready for sea. Checks include- batteries are on, engine blower is on, VHF and nav gear is working, port holes are shut, cupboards are latched and tender is tied on etc. Nothing worse than sending your partner downstairs to check out the banging once you are underway!
Ensure your pre-departure checks include a briefing of the boat, emergency equipment and life jacket location. This is vital if you have people on board that aren’t familiar with your boat.
Don life jackets
The inflatable life jackets are an amazing invention. They are so streamline it is like you are not wearing a jacket at all. Put them on when you climb on board and straight away this will relax your partner. One less thing to worry – everyone is going to float.
Check in with Sea Rescue
It’s a simple call on the VHF to say this is: who we are, where we are headed, when we are expected back. Don’t forget to check back in when returning.
Stick to the flat water
For some the journey is not as nice as the destination. Consider other transport options to the destination. If there is a swell running or the wind is wrong for your trip to Rottnest or from the Fishing Boat Harbour to the river, think about other ways for your family to get there. For example, your family can catch the ferry to Rottnest and you can pick them up at the jetty. Once there you can cruise from bay to bay in flat water.
Plan for the wind
Fact – Perth is windy! There will always be calm spots depending on the direction of the wind. Always stick close to the leeward shore – this means the wind is unable to create a chop.
There are some great weather apps for your phone that make reading weather very simple. Download a couple and cross reference them – some options include SeaBreeze, Willy Weather and the Bureau of Meteorology.
You’re there! Have a plan for tying up and share it. Don’t expect people to know what you are thinking. They don’t and no one likes being shouted at. Discuss the plan, have your fenders out, have lines ready each time you are coming alongside. We like to designate two people to lines. Explain to them something like this: “We will come to the jetty this way (port or starboard), I want you to take this line from our bow onto a bollard in front and I want you to take our stern line aft. Once you have them over the pole I will tell you when to make them off.” Likewise with departing a jetty, walk them through what you are going to do and ensure they don’t let go of the lines until you say to do so.