With the gorgeous weather that’s currently happening (81 degrees and sunny!), boating season has officially kicked off! Here are a few tips to remember as you prep for your boat’s first departure of the season – the “Four F’s” – Flotation, Fashion, Food and Florida!
If it has been a few months since you’ve been out on the boat, make sure that you have enough life jackets for the amount of people you are going to have on the boat. Also, make sure that the life jackets still fit – especially if you are boating with kids. Have your little ones step on the scale to ensure that their personal flotation devices (PDF) from the previous year are still the correct size. Remember – all children under the age of six must always wear a PDF while the boat (under 26′) is underway. Make sure to review the Florida Boating Regulations, just to refresh your memory on what’s right and what’s not.
Make sure your swim shirts and swim suits are still in good condition. Chlorine can really eat through your swimwear, so take a look at your swim trunks and confirm that they aren’t see through (unless you are into that sort of thing…) New sun protection items are also key. New shades, hats, coverups for the ladies and a fresh Columbia fishing shirt for the guys. Check out the St. Armand’s classic Island Pursuit – this store has stylish boating wear for him and her.
Before you head out on the boat, you always have to plan for drinks and eats. Will it be a picnic lunch or would you rather cruise up to one of our fantastic boat-up restaurants? Grabbing sandwiches at Jimmy John’s before you head out is clutch (they ARE freaky fast), but we have found another great food option on Anna Maria Island that offers yummy take-out, perfect for boating! The Wicked Taco on Bradenton Beach has a “Family Pack” that includes 1 lb of seasoned ground beef or shredded chicken with 12 tortillas, rice, beans, lettuce, tomatoes and chips & salsa. Bring your own Coronas and you’ve got a floating fiesta!
Florida is a major essential for boating this time of year. It’s 81 degrees and sunny in MARCH! This is why we live here people, so get out in the boat and ENJOY! (And make sure to post pics on your boating adventure on Facebook to make all of your northern friends jealous.) Have fun and be safe!