Anyone who spends significant time at a marina has noticed the sad reality.
Boats that never move.
Big boats. Sporty boats. Clean, sleek boats, all ready to go. But sitting idle.
Such a waste.
I can’t provide specific numbers, but I am dumbstruck by the significant amount of boats that I have never seen away from the dock, or only out a couple times a year. What gives?
Boating is not an inexpensive hobby. Why would anyone go to the trouble of buying a boat, outfitting it with gear, paying monthly fees at a marina, and NOT use the boat? Certainly, that could not have been the plan: Let’s buy a boat and never use it!
It can be easy for long-time boaters to take the sport for granted and lose the sense of excitement and freedom of getting out on the water. The simple joy of a sunset cruise or a mid-afternoon swim might not seem as special after you have done it dozens or hundreds of times.
So, your boat just sits there, idle.
I have a solution, a win-win of sorts. For those of you who rarely, if ever, take out your boat, I want to encourage you to invite a friend, neighbor, or family member for an outing. They will be thrilled that you did, and it will likely remind you of why you fell in love with boating in the first place. Don’t you remember who invited you out on your first boat trip? Who taught you how to ski? Who took you fishing? Don’t miss the opportunity to share the joy of boating.
Here is the key: You need to be intentional.
Through the years, I can’t tell you how often I have mentioned to someone that I needed to get them out on my boat. But it didn’t happen – not because they weren’t interested in going — because I never made any specific plans.
Getting out on a boat, experiencing the wind, spray, and freedom, is a special event that people don’t forget. But when I make a casual invitation, and don’t follow up, people won’t push it. And it doesn’t happen.
It is a safe bet that most people you know would be thrilled to have a day
out on the water. You can meet someone for lunch, coffee, or an evening cocktail, but none of that is as special or memorable as a day out on the water.
The picture attached here, are my friends Dawn, and Carter, (and of course—Matey).
We had been talking for over a year that I needed to take them and their children out. We finally set the date, and we all had a BLAST. We created such great memories for all of us. Lots of laughs, and great fellowship.
So, here is my suggestion for how to create a great memory for someone else while putting your boat to use.
1). Sit down a write up a list of people who you would like to take out on your boat.
2). Determine whether the people on your list prefer to go tubing, skiing, swimming, going to a water-side restaurant, or a quiet sunset cruise?
3). Call each person, couple or group, and firm up a date. Put it on your calendar and make it happen.
How many people could you bless this year with an outing on your boat?
Don’t let your boat sit idle. When you use it to share the joys of boating with others you are likely to rediscover it yourself.