Living in San Diego, chances are the thought of owning your own boat has crossed your mind more than a few times, but until you heard about the options offered by the Carefree Boat Club, you may have thought it was a dream that was way out of reach! Fortunately, our unique club is about to make your dream come true, as you have use of a variety of different boats without the stress of dock fees, maintenance, or insurance costs.
But what if you have never stepped foot on a boat before? What if your experience with boating is limited to sailing paper boats down the streams that lead to the gutters in your childhood neighborhood during the rainy season? Does this mean you should step back from your dream and resign yourself to riding the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland? Of course not! All that means is that you need a little help getting started. Our Beginner’s San Diego Boating Guide can answer all your questions and keep your boating dreams very much alive!
The Best Boats for Beginners
The secret is starting within your comfort zone, and although you may have visions of sailing off into the sunset with the love of your life, novice boaters should probably avoid sailboats and start off with a pontoon boat! Offering a steadiness you may not find in a smaller boat, it also offers the advantage of keeping relatively slow speeds; there’s not too much fear of whiskey throttle on these mammoth vessels! Take it slow and easy as you skim along the waters, seeking out secluded coves when all the open space gets to be a little overwhelming. If the pontoon boat seems a little tame, a ski boat offers adventures that are exciting while still being simple to operate. Turn the key to start the engine, ask a family member to untie you from the dock, open the kill switch, pull back on the throttle to back away from the deck (gently!), and let your day on the seas begin! Also, it’s important to remember that if your throttle is not in neutral, you may not be able to start the boat. Our selection of boats is guaranteed to be in ship shape condition, so your biggest fears should only be about not wearing enough sunscreen!
Learn the Boating Rules
As with any new endeavor, there are rules for boating, starting with the mandatory boating safety course that needs to be taken before hitting the water. The Carefree Boat Club includes the course as part of your membership, earning you the necessary California Boater Card that never expires. Safety equipment that include throwable floatation devices and wearable floatation devices are included with your membership, as are fire extinguishers, sound producing devices, visual distress signals, and all registration cards, numbers, and stickers. We do a 50-point safety inspection weekly on every boat we offer, but if you want to double check for yourself, having the knowledge is important.
Follow posted speeds on the water, just as you do on land, and although it would be an adventure of a lifetime to let your children pilot the boat, the rules state that no person under 12 years of age can operate a boat that has more than 15 horsepower—which is pretty much every boat we offer! There are certain areas where beaching your boat is allowed (including Mission Bay) but many more where it’s not; if you’re unsure, you can always contact us and ask. Never go more than 5 miles per hour within 100 feet of a swimmer or 200 feet of a swimming beach, and always pay attention to no wake zones. There are legitimate reasons you can’t go fast in these areas! Most of this will be covered in the boat safety class, but the importance of these regulations means it won’t hurt if they are repeated multiple times!
The Most Important Rule of All
Remember those dreams you had about being the captain of your own vessel, standing tall at the helm while you sailed into the sunset? We know that rules, regulations, and safety instructions weren’t ever included in the visions you saw, but we at the Carefree Boat Club want you to be safe and to remember this one last rule: Have fun! The world is filled with negativity and unhappiness, and for a few hours or longer, you are going to be on the water making your dreams come true. Beginning any new venture can always be scary, but that’s ok; before long you will be the experienced sailor, perhaps passing on words of wisdom to the new novice boaters you come across in your lifetime. Fill out the form today and lets work together to make your dreams come true!