Day Cruising

Day cruising is about enjoying one day or part of a day on the water without necessarily having a destination or a specific goal/activity in mind. That said, fishing, waterskiing, sailing, gunkholing (like a Sunday drive exploring coves and beaches) and picnicking are perfect ways to cruise on a boat and they are fairly specific adventures. Are you hoping to go day cruising on a boat? Here’s what to expect, what to bring and what kind of boats are perfect for a great getaway on the water.

What to Bring Aboard for Day Cruising

Your preparation for a day on the water will depend on many factors including the size and type of boat, the anticipated activity if any, the weather and the length of your outing. Every boat needs the minimum safety items including appropriately sized PFDs (lifejackets) for everyone aboard, a signaling device, an anchor, a throwable flotation device and fire extinguishers. Other safety regulations depend on the size/type of vessel and location (lakes/rivers/ocean, etc.).

If you’ll be in the water, bring water toys, skis or boards. Make sure the boat has a ladder so you can get back aboard easily. For fishing, bring rods, tackle, bait and a cooler with ice to keep your catch. Bring your smartphone to connect your music with the onboard stereo or record the outing on video or in photos but bring a dry bag to keep electronics and your car keys dry. For open boat cruising of more than a couple hours, snacks are good and you should always have plenty of drinking water and sunscreen. Bring timed personal medications and seasickness medicine if you suspect you may be susceptible.

Day Cruising Boats

Day Cruising FAQs

What is the difference between a cruising boat and a day cruising boat?

The definitions blur since you can day cruise on any kind of vessel but usually cruising implies longer outings (often overnight) on larger, more comprehensively outfitted yachts. Day cruising is typically a few hours to a day spent on simple open boats.

What if something goes wrong on a day cruise?

That depends on the nature of the emergency. If someone becomes ill, it’s imperative to get to shore immediately. If there’s a fire you should have fire extinguishers and if someone goes overboard unexpectedly, they should be wearing a PFD. Communication should be done via cell phone or VHF radio to reach help quickly. Bring a flashlight in case you end up staying out after dark and bring appropriate clothing for a change of weather.

What does it mean to “cruise” on a boat?

For many, cruising implies longer-term explorations of a week to many years on boats that are specifically outfitted for that purpose. However, a different definition of a cruise may include a weekend getaway to an island, a harbor happy hour outing, or a day sail with lunch.

Boating Stories

If you want to know how to buy a fishing boat, we’ve got all the angles—and anglers—covered. From saltwater and freshwater fishing boats, to specialized models like bass boats, bay boats, and sportfishing yachts, our guide will help you narrow down your options.

Outboard engines have become increasingly popular in today's market and are a great power option for many boat owners. Learning how to properly flush your outboard motor after use is an important and basic maintenance task you'll want to master in order to properly care for your engine.

If you're a lake boater looking for the perfect boat for your local waterways, you've come to the right place. From pontoon boats to deck boats and even fish-and-skis, we've narrowed down our top five choices for your lake-boating adventures.