7 Days to Boat Ownership
Before You Begin
Before you begin your seven day quest to boat ownership, take an opportunity to go out on a friend's boat with a few people including your Significant Other (S.O.). This will give your S.O. a taste of the boating lifestyle and peak their interest in the bonding benefits of owning a boat.
Change your computer's homepage to www.DiscoverBoating.com. The next time your S.O. logs onto the internet, they will be inspired by the beautiful boating images on Discover Boating's website. Then, you'll have your chance to educate your S.O. on the top five things you learned by browsing DiscoverBoating.com:
How to choose the right boat for your family
Boat dealers and manufacturers in your area
Where the closest marinas and boat ramps are located
Boating activities for the whole family
The basics to owning and operating a boat
Night Activity - After browsing the web site, order the Discover Boating DVD together so that your S.O. will be excited to watch the DVD when it arrives as well.
Day 2-Accessibility (It's so easy...)
Educate Significant Other (S.O.) on how accessible the boating lifestyle is by pointing out that 90 percent of Americans live within an hour drive of a body of water they can boat on.
Note that you live only one hour from somewhere you can enjoy boating
Night Activity - Call a friend that owns a boat and arrange for a dinner with the couple. Discuss the key benefits to the boating lifestyle that you would like your friend to include during dinner discussions.
Day 3 Dinner with Friends (Everyone's doing it...)
Plan for your dinner date with friends to be close to a boat dealership. Make sure that you pass the dealership both on the way to dinner and going home. On the way to dinner, subtly point out the dealership and the beautiful boats on display.
During dinner, make sure your friend brings up the boating topic so you don't sound like a broken record and your S.O. does not catch on to your ulterior motives.
After dinner, drive by the boat dealership again and casually suggest that the two of you make an appointment to see what types of boats they offer (leave message at dealership immediately when you get home).
Day 4- Affordability (We can afford to own too...)
Visit Discover Boating's Budget Planner to print out information that shows how the costs of boat ownership are compared to the costs of other family leisure activities. This is a great opportunity for you to personalize the expense of boat ownership.
For example, compare the cost of buying a boat to your last family vacation to Disney World. Or, by not eating out at a local restaurant once a week, you could save enough money for your monthly boat payment
Create your own family budget that includes your monthly boat-related payments to show that you really can afford a boat.
Day 5- Experience The Boating Lifestyle (The breeze in your hair...)
Get your S.O. in the mood for boating by purchasing them a captain's hat for the ride along. Present the gift to them when you pick them up. Repeat the following statements on the way to your ride along:
"We're just looking today to get an idea of what would be right for our family and our boating needs."
"I'm excited to get out on the water today. It's kind of like an afternoon vacation."
"(Boat Dealer) seemed really nice on the phone and seemed to understand what we're looking for - (Boat Dealer) is bringing two types of boats for us to cruise in today."
Take pictures during ride along. You will use these later.
Night Activity - Rent a movie that includes beautiful images of boating and the boating lifestyle, and watch with your S.O.
Boating movie suggestions include: On Golden Pond, Message in a Bottle, Captain, One Crazy Summer, Summer Rental, Miami Vice.
Day 6- Fun For The Family (The whole family...)
From DiscoverBoating.com, email video testimonies of consumers who have already purchased a boat to your S.O.
Videos of families enjoying the boating lifestyle and real people telling their story of boat ownership will help your S.O. visualize how boat ownership could change your lives too.
Include pictures from the previous day's ride along. Make sure you include a picture of the two of you enjoying the boating lifestyle and one of your S.O. driving the boat.
Night Activity - Bring home dinner and dessert "just because" and watch Discover Boating DVD after dinner while enjoying your
Day 7-Making Waves
You have covered all of the bases except one - together time. Talk to your S.O. about not only all of family time you'll be able to spend together on the boat, but couple time as well. Boating, with the stars bouncing off the water and the cool night breeze flowing through your hair, can be a romantic night for two any night of the week.
Also, let your S.O. know that your first duty off business is to teach them how to drive and dock the boat so they can enjoy the boat with their friends as well.
Quick Tips from Other Boating Families
Tip 1- Attend a Boat Show or Demo Day Event Boat shows and demo days are perfect places to introduce a spouse to boating. Go aboard as many boats as you want, compare them in person, discuss your needs with the manufacturerís representatives. Attending boat shows can be a family activity with seminars and classes given by the experts to answer many of your spouseís questions about boating and owning a boat.
Boat shows are also a great way to keep up with the current trends and preview the latest gear. Many shows focus on a specific region by emphasizing the tools and tackle best used in that area. The selection of fishing accoutrements can be diverse with many exotic, foreign, custom and hard to find items. Many boat shows and demo days are held on the water. Some offer free boat rides so that you and your spouse can experience the boating lifestyle firsthand.
Tip 2-Book a Dinner or Cocktail Cruise
Few things are more romantic than dining aboard a boat. Most dinner cruises are designed to be indulgent, featuring fine food, courteous, friendly service, and even live entertainment. The type of cruise boat can go a long way to determining the ambiance: Maybe itís ragtime banjoes on a converted steamboat, a classical quartet aboard a luxury yacht, or simply the sound of the wind filling the sails of a tall schooner. Cocktail and dinner cruises often add a brilliant sunset to the mix.
A dinner or cocktail cruise is a good way to get the feel of a boat underway. Beginners can try out their "sea legs" in a relatively benign environment that has lots to see and serves a good meal. Try a couple of cruises on different types of boats. The boatís crew handles all the hard work, and even does the dishes. You and your spouse get to enjoy the adventure, watch the scenery, and find out how you react to being on the water.
Tip 3-Enjoy a Nature Cruise Experience Natureís wonders from the deck of a boat. Everyone loves seeing the creatures that live above, alongside, and beneath the water. Seeing them from a boat offers a whole new close-up perspective. Whether itís a glass bottom cruise over a coral reef, whale watching along a glacier-riven coast, or a silent kayak stalk through lush wetlands , waterborne nature-watching extends your reach and adds new horizons to explore.
A well-conducted nature cruise can simply be a lot of fun, but they are also a good opportunity to learn about the creatures that share the watery world. Led by a knowledgeable guide, a nature cruise can orient you and your spouse, point out the local denizens, and alert you to any that you should avoid. Your guide can also explain how we fit into the local environment and how to best get along with the neighboring species.
Tip 4- Family Picnic on a Boat Even the most modest runabout has room for some kind of nautical cuisine. Many new boats come with built-in coolers, ice chests, refrigeration systems, or even full galleys. Few craft are so small that you canít spread some kind of maritime feast. A crusty bread, sharp cheese, and smoky salami or five-course haute cuisine; both are banquets when served on a boat
Some people make dining afloat an integral part of their boating experience. Like tailgaters at a football game, nautical chefs swap recipes that are generally tried and found useful. Some folks enjoy cooking local fish or seafood while others enjoy catching their own meals. Boat and equipment manufacturers offer an ever expanding range of cooking tools and techniques fine tuned for life afloat. So, you can have that simple picnic, or you can serve a maritime repast suitable for a commodore.
Tip 5- Have a Party Afloat Birthday celebrations, surprise parties, and neighborhood parties held on a boat wonít soon be forgotten. Quite often, the same commercial cruise boats that carry dinner, cocktail, or nature cruises, will also charter for parties. Some offer catering, on board music, private spaces, and other services to enhance the maritime festivity. Annual meetings, award banquets, and fund raisers can all be more successful when held against a backdrop of the open water or passing shoreline. A picnic spread on a bench aboard the local ferry can be as memorable as grand feast on a luxury yacht. The common element is boating.