As far as summer activities are concerned, boating is the best. Nothing beats the pleasures a boat can offer – floating on the lake under the hot summer sun with a cold beer is a massive improvement over fighting crowds at the nearest beach. So if you’re lucky enough to mooch off a buddy’s boat without taking on the burden and expense of owning one yourself, don’t squander it!
Stick to these six rules to ensure you ace your boating day and get repeat invitations to embark on a boating day, long into the future.
Accept the invitation
I grew up on a lake, and frequently heard from excited friends who begged me to call the next time I ventured out on the boat. But when I extended the invitation, they always had an excuse. So if you get invited to a day on the boat, do your best to take advantage of it. If it means skipping the gym or rescheduling other plans, just do it. Boating won’t always be convenient for you, but you won’t regret making time for it.
Bring beer and snacks
A case of chilled beer and a treat to munch on (I love snacking on Goldfish, pistachios, and fresh cherries on the water) goes a long way in building goodwill with your boating friend. So bring plenty to share!
Leave your purse behind
When boarding the boat, you should carry with you ONLY THE ESSENTIALS. Leave your purse, cell phone, sundress, flip flops, and car keys on shore and bring only what you’ll need to enjoy the water. Meaning, arrive wearing your swimsuit and sunblock, and bring only refreshments, sunglasses, and a beach towel. If there’s no safe place to store your valuables before you board, lock them in your trunk and put your car key in the boat’s glovebox. Remember, space on the boat is limited, and anything you bring could easily end up in the water.
Don’t make demands
Treat the boat’s owner as you would if you were spending time in their home: don’t nag him or her to let you drive the boat, pull you on the tube, teach you how to ski, or go ashore in a particular spot. It never hurts to ask any of these favors, but if they decline, don’t make it awkward. You’re a guest, after all.
Help carry the load
Whether it’s hauling the cooler down to the dock, or carrying wet towels back from the boat, always offer to help haul things. Guests who scurry away from the boat the moment it docks, leaving the owner to collect their garbage, will surely not be invited back out.
Don’t complain about getting wet
If staying dry is your objective, stay off the boat. No matter the condition of the water, the speed of the boat, or the weather, you WILL get wet, and there’s nothing the boat’s driver can do to stop it. So refrain from shrieking or complaining when the spray ruins your makeup.
Are you a professional guest on the boat? What are your pet peeves? Tweet me or tell me in the comments!