All manner of hobbies and activities were ironically given a new lease of life during the pandemic. As people found themselves housebound with nowhere to go, and much less to do than normal, new hobbies became of interest.
Although there are not too many statistics to back this up, the lockdowns likely saw more people trying new activities than ever before. Individuals decided to try and learn a new language, vegetable plots were created, millions of cakes were baked, and ukuleles were snapped up by keen new musicians.
Now that movement is no longer restricted in the way it was, there are many more outdoor hobbies being added to people’s leisure time activities. One of these is boating and watersports in general.
How to get into boating
Although the term boating may lead you to think more of powered vessels, it can be used to cover in a broader sense of the word.
There are many ways to get into boating, and depending on your personal circumstances, you might choose something casual, or something more serious.
For instance, a person with a casual interest might opt for a runabout boat. These entry-level boats actually cover a wide range of uses. They are also quite an easy way to get in, and secondhand options are available.
Someone looking for more adrenaline might opt for a kayak and choose to take on some serious rapids. This could be achieved through local kayak groups. While others may prefer sailing and look to yacht clubs.
One way to get into boating is to look for a used small boat and search for a suitable outboard engine for sale from a reputable supplier. This would be a good way to get a runabout boat out on the water with a small budget.
However you choose to get into boating, there are a number of reasons why it will be booming in the new year, and here are seven of the best.
1. Travel restrictions have disappeared
The most obvious one may be simply the added freedoms that many people are now enjoying. After being cooped up and restricted with travel for nearly two years, things are finally opening up again.
Although the lockdowns were temporary, and millions of people have been able to enjoy the outside, traveling distances have still been problematic for many. Now though people can embrace the outdoors more than they have for some time.
This is being reflected in some interesting statistics including the surge in bicycle sales as people are keen to enjoy more leisure time and exercise outdoors. Boat sales have also gone up.
CNBC has reported that boat sales in the US went up by 9 percent in 2020 reflecting a thirteen-year high for the industry. Boat sales across the country were worth $47 billion last year.
2. They can be used for fishing
Another reason that boating is going to be popular is because of its versatility. All manner of boats can be used for one very popular activity; fishing.
During 2020, there was an increase in popularity for this outdoor activity with 55 million people involved at least once during the year. Combine this with the possibility of taking a vessel out and it is easy to see angling enthusiasts looking to try out ocean fishing or on a lake.
3. They can also be used for sports
Boating covers a whole range of options, and a lot of these are used in the sporting arena.
As mentioned above, kayaking is a sporting and recreational activity that is easily accessible. In 2019, more than 16.6 million people were kayaking in the states according to Statista.
Other sporting activities that come under the term of boating can be sailing, rowing, and speedboat racing. Speedboats themselves can cost vast amounts of money, but even small runabout boats with a good outboard can be used to race.
Many colleges and schools have rowing teams, and this is a very healthy water-based activity to get involved in if motorsports don’t appeal.
4. They are great for exploring
Boats can be used to idly paddle across a lake, or they can be used to explore oceans. Sailboats can even be taken around the world, should you have the experience and the proper equipment.
Motor boats are an accessible way to get further into boating and take longer trips. A good outboard Yamaha from a supplier fitted to a cuddy cabin would allow you to get out on the sea and explore nearby islands and reefs.
5. Boating is sociable
While you may not think of a solitary kayaker paddling down the river as being particularly sociable, boating as a whole is.
There are numerous clubs based around different types of boating and the activities, including sports, involved within. Boating means that you will meet like-minded people, and of course, you can involve your friends.
The majority of boats are designed to hold more than one person. It is very common to see boats on lakes, rivers, and the seas, with groups of friends and family.
Some boats are built to take small or large groups out. Depending on what type of boat you can pilot you could be hosting a barbecue or even a good-sized party onboard.
As for kayaking, they come in different sizes that are capable of taking one, two, or even three people at a time.
6. And boating can be easily accessible
Lastly, boating is accessible to most people. It is easy to see yachting and rowing as something exclusive and only available to a minority, but this isn’t completely true.
Many river towns will have a rowing club, and these are largely interested in enthusiasm and talent, rather than which school an individual has attended.
There are many other ways to enjoy the water though. Tour agencies are commonplace in holiday areas, and they will offer kayaking trips and boat rides to nearby beaches and islands.
You can rent a boat for a few hours instead of buying one, which makes the activity far more affordable. Then there is the option of chartering. As a first-timer, you will want a guide on chartering a boat, but it isn’t as daunting as you may imagine.
If your budget, and interest in boating, are sufficient, you can, of course, go down the route of making a purchase. This doesn’t need to be as expensive as it sounds.
There are so many options for purchasing boats, from small dinghies or rowboats up to yachts, that you may be surprised to find you are capable of buying one. A small boat with an outboard motor needn’t cost the earth.
Boating is going to be bigger than ever in 2022, and you may find yourself looking for a way to join in. Look at all the options and decide which is the best fit for you.
Perhaps a yacht charter in Turkey might end up your new favorite holiday, or you may end up purchasing a motor boat of your own and being king of the waves.
You might even decide that sailing is the way to go and gain a time-consuming but rather healthy hobby. Boating may help you to discover a whole new way of life in 2022, along with many other people.