So you have your new boat and have decided to take a trip! Good for you! What good is a boat if you don't get the fun of a nice trip anyway? It doesn't have to be a 500 mile trek, but a nice 6 hour cruise could be just what the doctor ordered. Before you hop in your boat and hit the open water, take a couple of hours to do some good planning so you can ensure you will have a great day that will be remembered for a long time.
Before you go, it's great to get a map of the area and plot your course thoroughly and set an itinerary. This way, you will know where you are going to be and at what time.
This will let you plan events or activities along the way that could be a lot of fun. If it's 30 minutes to a great fishing spot, mark that on the map and allot a certain amount of time for fishing. When the time is up travel to your next spot. Maybe this is the place to have some lunch. What you actually do is up to you. You don't even have to actually stop anywhere to have a great trip.
Figure out who is going with you so you know many supplies to bring along. A 12 pack of beer and some Pringles aren't going to be sufficient for more than 2 people right? Make sure you have enough food and water for everyone or even better, have everyone bring something along. Check your stock of flares, life-jackets, and other safety equipment as well. You don't want to have an accident and be missing life-jackets.
Another important part of planning is giving your boat a good inspection. Check and make sure everything is in working condition. Check your radio and GPS as well as anything with moving parts. This includes doors, hatches, zippers, and buttons. Also make sure your windshield is clean. They get dirty very easily. If everything is in working order, you should be ready to hit the water.
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