Early each year, ideally in January, I make plans and look for events and activities to add to my calendar. During the winter months, when the weather might not be ideal for boating, you can still find boating-related activities. Here are a few suggestions from my list to get the year off to a great start.
Boat Shows – I’m in Seattle, where the 2015 Boat Show took place in late January. I spent nearly an entire day there, and could easily have stayed longer. Boat Shows are held early in the year in many locations. You can check for schedules online. Did you know you can also find Boat Show discounts online? I was surprised to see that during certain days and times, women, job hunters, and those who are “boatless” could get free admission to the Seattle Boat Show. Even if you have no immediate plans to buy a new boat, Boat Shows provide a great opportunity to learn about new boating products and technologies, take seminars and classes, attend job fairs, and meet others who share your interests – and of course, explore some amazing boats.
Worldcup Regattas — The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) competitions also got underway in January. Here’s the full year’s schedule of race events, which includes the Star Western Hemisphere Championship in Miami this week.
Lifejacket Design Contest — Do you have ideas for creating a better mousetrap Personal Flotation Device (PFD)? Are you looking for additional income to spend on that boat of your dreams? If your answer to either of these questions is YES, you have a few days remaining to enter the Innovations in Life Jacket Design Competition. The deadline is April 15th.
Boating Safety Classes — Now is the perfect time to learn and practice essential safety skills, before you need them. New to boating? Start with this online boating safety course adopted by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Prefer a classroom course? Just type in your zip code for customized results. You’ll find many additional training opportunities, for advanced boaters as well as beginners, online — just search based on your interests and location. As I noted earlier, Boat Shows also provide great opportunities to learn about boating-related topics; many of the sessions and seminars are free with admission to the show.
Opening Day of Boating Season – Seattle celebrates boating in a big way each year; I’ll grudgingly admit that other places do as well…but if your location of choice is not among them, you’re welcome to come here on May 2nd! We also have a fabulous Seafair Festival in July and early August. Highlights include a Parade of Ships, a Fleet Week – Boeing Maritime Celebration, a milk carton boat derby, and unlimited hydroplane races.
Super Boat Races – Speaking of incredibly powerful, fast boats, the Super Boat races will be held from May through November at locations in Florida and Indiana.
Dragonboat Races – Human-powered boat races are also amazing. Have you ever seen Dragonboat racing? It integrates precision, teamwork, music, artistry, and culture. The International Dragonboat Federation has a year-long schedule of US and worldwide races, and you can find out more about US Dragon boat events here.
Wooden Boat Events – Do you love wooden boats? DIY Wood Boat has compiled a comprehensive 2015 calendar of worldwide regattas, races, parades, antique boat shows, sail-in’s, festivals, and other events that feature classic and modern wooden boats.
Industry-Related Events – This early part of the year is a great time to catch up on industry-related information. The American Boating Congress conference will be held May 11-13.
What’s On Your Calendar? What Would You Add? These are just a few ideas and possibilities to consider as this first half of the year unfolds.