Does your competitive streak run high? If you are looking for a way to spice up your boating experience, there are many boating-related competitions you can enter. Events range from creative, e.g., designing, building, spiffing up and showing boats, to performance, e.g., fishing, racing and other water sports that test the skill and performance of the persons at the helm or riding behind the boat.
Boat Design Competitions
Environmentally friendly boat design competitions have cropped up all over the world. Engineers and boaters alike are trying their hands at creating more environmentally friendly boats as a way to protect the domain that provides the fun and excitement of boating. If you seek a brainy challenge, and you have the time to participate, look for local solar and electric boating design contests. Most of these competitions don’t require an engineering degree, and the tasks can range from modifying to a current engine, to designing an entirely new boat with solar panels, and increasing efficiency and aerodynamics.
This is particularly exciting for students who have the opportunity to design boats for the future, as teams in high school competitions. The process goes from design, to build, to testing on the water! It’s a great program for future engineers and designers!
While engineers may know how to design boats in theory, boaters know what boats need most in practice. If you’re an “idea person” you’ll love competitions like this, which allow you to take your product idea from concept and design, to fruition. Can you think of a way to improve the safety of boats? What about providing a new waterproof earpiece with longer battery power, or a solar-powered depth finder? Perhaps even the boat’s fridge or restroom space has not escaped your keen eye, and desire to improve everything around you. Looking for ideas? Keep a notepad handy whenever you are boating; the next time you complain, write it down, and find a way to fix it!
Water Sports Competitions
“Danger, danger, Will Robinson!” If living on the edge is part of your everyday life, or you are looking to move out of a boating rut, water skiing and wakeboarding competitions are for you. There is so much information and variation in these sports that they literally deserve their own book. Speed racing, personal performance, and captain’s performance are all part of the competition. With so many ways to win, combined with the phenomenal rush of adrenaline involved while flying behind a boat on a wakeboard, or water skis, it is no wonder that these competitions grow year after year. I’ve had the chance to watch the Million Dollar Speed Boat race in Grand Cayman— it’s a lot of fun, especially watching the helicopter chase them! Here’s the link for the speed boat race on YouTube.
Boat Photography Competitions
Tired of the daily grind? Relaxed boating more your style? Try boating photography contests. Any type of camera will do, although the avid photographer may prefer a digital SLR for capturing high-resolution shots of flying birds, speeding boats, and the perfect morning sunrise. Experiment with different angles, shutter speeds, and lighting. Early morning, late afternoon, and overcast light provides for the best shots. Once you have mastered photography above the water, consider photographing underwater wildlife. When purchasing a camera, look for one that offers multiple automatic settings such as mountains, landscape, wildlife, portrait, or group shots. These options make it easy for you to switch back and forth action between scenes without having to adjust aperture or shutter speed, ensuring that you do not miss that perfect winning shot. When not in use, keep your camera in a simple waterproof professional camera case on the boat. Entering photos contests is simple. Just sign up at any of the boating photography competition websites, upload your photos, and keep an eye on your email box for that winning response.
If the thought of participating in any of these boating competitions exhausts you, consider napping on your boat. However, for napping to be considered competition, you must bring your fishing gear, set it up, and enter a fishing contest. Make sure that the fishing pole is visible, otherwise, heaven forbid, others will just think that you are taking a nap on your boat!
About the Author
Jane Warren enjoys swimming, scuba diving, boating, tubing, and just about anything else related to outdoor water sports. Because of her love of water sports, Jane manages a website that provides the best towable tubes reviews. And yes, she does like competition!