South Africa

How To Get A Start In Recreational Boating

No matter the time of the year, the coast is always a great trip idea. If you and your family are planning on hitting the open waters for some downtime and are looking for the perfect boating experience, then read on. In this article, we will look at different types of boating for you to try out as a beginner and how you can finance your new water machine.

Be Legal Wise

Like with every vehicle in this country, owning and driving a boat will require a license. The boat has to be surveyed by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) to ensure that it is well equipped for sea. Upon completion, your boat will receive a Certificate of Fitness (CoF). The purpose of this survey is to ensure that your boat has all the necessary pieces of safety needed on a boat of its kind, and it is usually your authorised boat dealership that arranges for this survey to be done for you. That takes care of the boat. Now, you need to complete a Certificate of Competence (CoC), which is much like a drivers license. This test usually happens on the weekend, with the participant writing an exam the same day or the next weekend followed by a practical exam. This gives you vital information regarding rules at sea, basic boating and navigation, and general information for you to stay safe when cruising these waves. To operate a smaller machine, like a jet ski, on a dam, sea, river or harbour, you will need a skippers license as there are heavy penalties for not having one. The requirements for that are almost like any license application in South Africa:

  • Copy of ID document (must be 16 years or older)
  • Four passport/id photos
  • Medical certificate
  • Log of a minimum of 25 hours on dams or rivers to be signed by the applicant/student
  • Pass the exam

Next, Water Wisdom

Now that you have gotten the legal side of things rolling, it’s time for you to decide the kind of boating experience you are going for. You might have been thinking about this for a while, and depending on the size of your family or boating crew, you have different options for how you and your loved ones can enjoy the beautiful rivers, dams, seas and harbours. There is:

  • Paddling:

If you and your family/friends are into something less sporty and more relaxing with light cardio, then a paddle boat is just the thing for you. Always remember; posture is important. Think of your body, hips and rear-end as blocks that need to be stacked properly. If they ‘come out of alignment’, then your boat runs a risk of toppling over. And since you use a lot of shoulder movements, always make sure your shoulders are rotating properly to avoid injuries.

  • Sailing:

This is for when you are looking to have the old school experience and take in the views. It is important to go sailing with someone who is experienced if you are a beginner, as there is a bit more attention and concentration needed to avoid hitting booms. Also, remember, choose to go on days when the weather’s nice and warm with little to no chance of precipitation.

  • Fishing:

Are you considering taking up fishing as a hobby? Well, consider getting a fishing boat and be the captain of dinner too. With fishing, it’s pretty simple; just treat it like a picnic at the water. Pack snacks and proper clothes because the water is usually cooler as you go deeper. Don’t forget to pack ice for your catch too.

  • Water Skiing & Boat Racing:

This is for the sporty and adrenaline-seeking people. You can enjoy the water with your racing boat and take on new waves every time. When it comes to skiing, experts say you should wait for the boat to place you above the water and then SLOWLY get up to start enjoying your skiing experience and the amazing waves you’ll conquer. And when it comes to racing, teamwork, teamwork and more teamwork. Like paddling, boat racing requires a lot of shoulder movement and quick rotations, so ensure that you rotate properly and avoid hurting yourself.

By now, you must be seeing those waves close by. An overall tip when it comes to being on the water is to consider a couple of arm exercises, especially if you will be paddling a lot.

Now, Money Matters

Purchasing a new boat can be an exciting experience, especially now that there are a lot of opportunities for us to be outdoors and enjoy the beautiful South African views. Don’t let the price tag deter you from having the best experiences at sea; consider leisure finance to help you get that dream boat. With leisure finance, you can finance your new baby and work out your monthly premiums. Leisure finance finances various kinds of boats, such as speedboats, sailboats and yachts. See, the only thing you will have to worry about is naming your new boat.

In Closing, Sail On

Being in the open water can be a fun and memorable experience. It is possible to give yourself and your loved ones the gift of beautiful and unforgettable memories with a boat cruise or three with the right information and backing on your side.


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