Weekends on the water

The weekend is your chance to get out on the water with friends and family, relax after a hard or stressful week and just unwind, whether that means towing the kids on an inflatable, carving up the water on a pair of skis or a wakeboard, spending a quiet morning fishing, or just hanging out on the sandbar with your friends.

It doesn’t matter if you didn’t grow up with boating. The draw of the water is still just as strong. And boating ticks off all the boxes that make those weekends memorable. It’s the activity that lets your family bond and enjoy quality time together with no distractions, building memories that often last a lifetime. It’s the way to spend the weekend with like-minded friends, meeting up at the favorite local party spot or perhaps cruising to that popular waterfront restaurant.

You’re not afraid to make the plans. In fact, you’re used to organizing many of these get-togethers already. The goal is simply to have fun—and make the next weekend the best one yet.

Making It Real

Wondering about all the things you need to do besides sign on the dotted line? Get the lowdown on insurance, safety gear and accessories.

Buoyant, foam mats are an inexpensive way to create your own floating island. Inflatable “tubes” appeal to all ages, require little skill or practice and are virtually guaranteed to produce plenty of smiles. Prefer a bit more challenge? Skiing, wakeboarding, or even wakesurfing get your crew out behind the boat to strut their skills. Or, find that perfect spot and cast a line—you might even catch dinner. Whatever the case, the necessary gear to get you started can be found at your local dealer or numerous online retailers.

The goal is simply to have fun—and make the next weekend the best one yet.
Watersport towboats now prove incredibly versatile for an abundance of activities, from skiing, wakeboarding and wakesurfing to comfortable family cruising.
Boaters frequently nose in to sandbars to raft up side by side with other boaters, cranking up the music and enjoying the company.

Many boat designs now take into account the social aspects of boating with seating facing the swim platform, plus sound system controls and cup holders just a short reach away.

If your ticket to this weekend wonderland often requires a rental, take a moment to consider the benefits of owning your own boat. You can use it whenever you want, keep it out as long as you want, and customize it to fit your needs, not the limits of a generic rental operation. Attractive financing plans are available to keep the payments well within your budget. Renters might also be surprised just how affordable some new models are.

Friends often use their boat as a staging area to float, swim or relax. Many runabout and deck boat designs now feature seating adjacent to the swim platform, keeping you at the water’s edge.

Tired of kids immersed in their various electronic devices? Take them offshore and replace that latest gadget with something old-school—a fishing pole. It’s a great way to bond, encourage conversation … and maybe even catch dinner.

What you should know

Looking for advice? The answers are as close as your keyboard. The internet is awash with forums, clubs, instructional videos and websites frequented by both current owners and industry experts.

Keep it flexible

Look for versatility. Runabouts, deck boats and jet boats are all great choices for those looking for a quick weekend escape, with the ability to cruise, fish, ski or wake, and offer plenty of room for family and friends.

Launch with ease

Loading and unloading a boat from the trailer is often the biggest challenge for new boaters. Avoid the stress by practicing your backing-up skills in an empty parking lot before you take things to the launch ramp.

Everything you need

Wondering about all the things you need to do besides sign on the dotted line? here.