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Boating - Getting Started

Basic information for people beginning boating and for families taking their children out in the ocean, river or lake in a boat for the first time.


The feeling of freedom and being on a boat is a great way to experience our marine environment and enjoy activities like snorkelling, fishing, water skiing or even sightseeing. If you are thinking about purchasing a boat or if you have one and want to get your family out, then here are some ideas on how to have a fun, safe time on the water.

Having children is life changing in many ways but it doesn’t mean you need to leave your family at home to go boating or let your vessel accumulate cobwebs, it just requires a more organised and flexible approach. Life is busy and sometimes it can be difficult to find family time but boating provides the ideal opportunity to spend quality time together out on the water

When I think of special family moments, many of these have been on our boat. Watching whales breach, having pods of dolphins play alongside our boat, seeing the kids land their first fish, snorkelling over spectacular coral reefs, interacting with sea lions and squashing all five of us in the front cabin for an overnight adventure.


Check the weather prior to going fishing and if you are taking your children with you, make sure you only go when it is calm and safe to take them. Don’t take chances as children can be easily scared and you don’t want them to be worried about going out on the boat again.

If you have older kids, get them involved in the decision making process. Find out what activity they would like to do such as sightseeing, snorkelling or fishing and get them to help pack gear and research topics such as weather conditions, activities or where the fish are biting.