I grew up in Chicago in an apartment with a small backyard. When I was about 6 we moved to a house with a decent backyard but still in Chicago. I never really knew any different until I was about 12 and went to my friend’s cottage in Wisconsin for the first time. I was amazed that her family had a summer home on the lake with not one but two boats! The small city girl I was couldn’t take it all in fast enough. We had a blast that weekend and I couldn’t wait to go back. I went back to her summer home and then other friend’s summer homes and I always thought how one day I wanted a boat for my family. I thought the coolest thing would be to have somewhere to escape to with my family enjoying a boat.
As someone who is clueless about boats, I had to wonder where would one find information about boats and boating? Well then I heard about Discover Boating, a nonprofit profit program supported by the U.S. recreational boating industry that helps people learn about the fun of boating! Since the are nonprofit they are an unbiased online resource which is perfect for those getting started.
Here are some Boating Fast Facts from Discover Boating:
- Boating is a vacation close to home – 90 percent of Americans live within an hour’s drive of a navigable body of water.
- Eighty-three million Americans went boating in 2011, an increase of ten percent from 2010 and the largest proportion of adults boating since 1997!
- Boaters bond over memories on the water –69 percent of boaters say boating brings their families closer together, according to a Discover Boating survey.
- American boaters are largely ‘middle-class’ as 73 percent of U.S. boat owners have an annual household income less than $100,000 and 95 percent of boats in the U.S. are less than 26 feet—small boats taken by trailer to local bodies of water.
- More than eight out of ten boaters (77 percent) boated as a child.
And here are some tools available on Discover Boating:
- Boat Selector Tool: Learn what type of boat fits your family, budget and lifestyle. A great way to understand the different types and sizes of boats available. http://www.discoverboating.com/buying/boatselector.aspx
- Try Before You Buy: Research ways to get out on the water without owning– from renting, chartering, fractional ownership, local boat clubs and more. http://www.discoverboating.com/boating/rentaboat.aspx
- Cost Comparison Tool: Compare costs of other recreational activities’ with boating. http://www.discoverboating.com/buying/budgetplanner.aspx
- Just for Kids: Fun games and activities for kids to learn more about boating, as well as information on youth boating organizations for parents. http://www.discoverboating.com/kids.aspx
- Marina and Ramp Locator: Find a local marina or boat ramp close to your home. http://www.discoverboating.com/boating/marinas.aspx
- Facebook Movie Maker App: Bring boating to life through personal photos made into your very own short movie. Add a few of your favorite boating photos, choose different backgrounds and music, add your own captions and share with Facebook friends. http://www.facebook.com/#!/discoverboating/app_308699565882004
After perusing the site I have learned so much, including that we are probably not ready right now for a boat. There is a lot to think about and consider, not to mention the financial costs. I love though that there is an unbiased website full of great tools and resources I can check out. There is no pressure from them or only certain products pushed, just great information to check out on my leisure and explore. Maybe someday we’ll become a boating family and join the 83 million Americans that went boating last year!
Mom and More Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Discover Boating and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate. Please see my Disclosure Policy.