(BPT) - Want to get away this summer? Skip the plane ride or long car trip and get out on the water. Whether it's an hour after work cruising, a morning of fishing or a weekend of watersports, boating provides all the benefits of vacation at your convenience, close to home.
In a recent study by Discover Boating, four out of five Americans said being around water relaxes them, and 72 percent feel healthier after spending time on the water. With Americans working longer hours, the need to take vacation time is greater than ever. According to the U.S. Travel Association, four in 10 Americans are not using all their paid time off.
Boating benefits a person's overall well-being and can be more accessible than many think. In fact, millions of Americans go boating each year on more than 15 million boats in the U.S., according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
"Boating offers the opportunity to get away from it all without going very far from home, allowing you to disconnect from stress on land, enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, and have fun with your friends and family,' says Carl Blackwell, president of Discover Boating. "Vacation time doesn't need to be reserved for long trips - you can enjoy all the benefits of vacation more frequently and close to home when you go boating.'
Want to go fishing, sailing, wakesurfing, cruising or ride a personal watercraft? Whether on vacation or staycation, these insider tips provide fun, stress-free ways to get on the water this summer.
Take a class.Sign up for a boating lesson to hone your powerboating, sailing or watersports skills by mastering the basics while having fun along the way. Popular options around the U.S. include boating classes, on-water training courses, watersports camps, youth boating programs and more.
Rent a boat.Rental options are available on most waterways and provide hourly or daily access to a variety of boat types. Rental outfitters should provide tutorials on operating a boat, share safety instructions and offer suggestions on destinations. New to the mix are peer-to-peer rentals, allowing you to rent someone else's boat, which usually includes insurance coverage and captains for hire.
Share the fun.You don't need to own a boat to join a boat club. Clubs and shared ownership programs allow you to share a boat with others, split the costs and book your time on the boat online. These clubs and programs also maintain, clean, insure and store the boats and many provide on-water training.
Float your own boat.There are no limits to going on vacation when you own a boat. Chart your own course to boat ownership by visiting DiscoverBoating.com, where you'll find a boat selector and loan calculator to help you determine your budget and identify the different types of boats that fit your lifestyle and interests. Once you've narrowed down your search, the site can connect you with manufacturers whose boats best fit your needs and wants.
Find ways to get on the water by using Discover Boating's Go Boating Today tool. Just enter your zip code to find rentals, classes, boat clubs and more close to home.