Boating is in my blood. As I was growing up, I took advantage of any chance I could to spend time on the water with my friends and family. In fact, I represent the fifth generation of my family to spend time at our rustic cabin on the St. Lawrence River. But I got away from boating as a young adult, and I might not have returned if it weren’t for the birth of my two sons.
Here are the reasons I would recommend the boating lifestyle to ANY family, whether boating is in your blood or not.
1. Fun for all. Do you and your kids love sports like swimming, fishing, tubing, waterskiing and wakeboarding? Great! But there are plenty of other ways to have fun on a boat. Just think of the art, science or music projects you can conduct on the water! The important part is that boating gets you out on the water together where there is no schedule, few distractions, just a focus on family time.
2. A chance to unplug. If there’s one thing that thrills me about boating with the kids, it’s that our boat doesn’t have a screen. It’s our opportunity to unplug as a family and focus on having fun outside together in the natural world.
3. Get away without going far. You hear a lot these days about the benefits of the "stay-cation," especially how easy it is on the wallet. A great way to take a break without going far is to get out on a boat. No matter where you boat, there’s something about being on the water that provides that much needed escape from the day-to-day routine, whether it’s for an hour, an afternoon or an entire week.
4. A healthy choice. As a mom, I’m always looking for family fun that I can feel good about, and boating definitely fits the bill. When we’re looking for a fun day away from it all, we’ll pick a park we can boat to and bring along a picnic lunch, a soccer ball and our bathing suits. It’s a great formula for bringing the family together, having fun, staying active and eating healthy.
5. A boat for every income. There are some people out there that are convinced that boating is a luxury that only rich people can afford. But it’s simply not true. Many entry-level boats can be purchased for a monthly payment of around $200. That’s how much many of us spend per month on things like dinners out, movies and video games. I like those as much as the next person, but in today’s economy, sometimes we have to choose. And as a mom, the choice is clear to me. When I think about the kind of life I want my kids to live and the memories I want them to have, a boat wins out, hands down.
P.S. Does your kids’ world revolve around their friends? Boating is a golden opportunity for any parent to keep their teen or pre-teen close while getting to know their friends. We all want to be the "cool" parents, don’t we? Trust me: A boat will add to your cool factor.
By Liz Walz