Getting Started in Boating

Dipping your toe in the water

Never been boating before? Thinking of buying a boat? But not sure if it is for you? In that case, we have two useful suggestions to help you get started:

  • Try an on-board experience for a short period
  • Get independent, professional advice on what sort of boat would best suit you

Try before you buy – onboard experiences

white wooden boat near trees


There are numerous options you can try at a relatively modest cost. Go Earth offers the following ‘on-boat experiences’.

The lowest cost is simply to stay on a 34 foot sports cruiser that we have moored in a beautiful part of north Wales. The boat will sleep up to 4 people in 2 cabins, each with a comfortable double bed. In effect you are using the boat as a small apartment and can stay from 2 days upwards and use it as a base for a different type of holiday experience. Note that driving the boat is not included in this package.

At a slightly higher cost a 43 flybridge sports cruiser is available, with a skippered short trip up a beautiful part of the Thames is available. Again you can stay on the boat for 2 or more nights; with plenty of space for up to 4 people to stay overnight.

Moving up the cost scale, but still reasonably economical, we offer a great charter in a power catamaran from the south of France – Cannes or St Tropez. This has 4 cabins, sleeping up to 8 people; and a skipper is included. In this option, the skipper stays with you all the time. The skipper knows the area very well, and can take you to some really great restaurants around the Nice/ Cannes / St Tropez area. This option is certainly much cheaper than many other commercial charters.

We can also offer a bespoke service – if you discuss your requirements with us, we can design a cost-effective package to suit you.

Any of the above will give you a real – and a pleasant – experience, and provide a strong foundation for ‘next steps’ . At a minimum you should have a nice short break – so think of it as a holiday.

Introductory training

If you want to regard this as a real learning exercise, and if your current knowledge of boating is limited, each of the above can be combined with our day’s course – Introduction to Boating.

This is a combination we really recommend if you are new to boating. It is a good and sensible investment of your time and money to ensure that you make the best decisions and help you avoid any expensive mistakes. If your ‘crew’ (such as a partner) is also new, then maybe this is a great opportunity for both of you to discover boating, so this becomes a shared experience.
Of course, if you are really new to boating, you will not be ready yet (or safe enough) to take a boat out by yourself. So, following one of the on-board experiences, you should take one of the many training courses available.

Go Earth, as part of its course, can provide you with a training plan to ensure that you get the required level of future training.


Refining your thinking

The advantage of getting some actual experience on a boat is that it helps you think about all sorts of things that you might not have considered before. Below is a small random selection illustrating the sorts of things you might need to think about.

Beds. Yes, beds. If you are going to stay on a boat overnight or longer, does the cabin layout and the bed suit you? For example:-

Do you want to be able to get out of the bed either side? The smaller boats may have one side of the bed against the bow or a bulkhead, so the person sleeping that side has to climb over the other if, for example, they want to go to the loo in the middle of the night.

Do you read in bed at night? If so, is there enough space above the bed for you to sit up in bed. In cabins in the bow, on smaller boats, there might not be enough room to sit up. On the smaller aft cabin boats, the cabin may be spacious, but the headroom above the bed may be limited. Check this before you buy.

Friends staying? If you plan to have friends staying, you may want cabins that provide a degree of privacy. Do all the cabins have doors? On smaller sports boats, there may only be a curtain.

Some smaller sports cruisers have the mattress on the floor (aka deck!). Not a problem at all if you are fairly agile; but it could be an issue if you are not.

Ease of crewing. On motor boats, the main activities you may need the crew (such as your partner) to perform are putting the fenders out, and getting them back in. For this you need at least one good side deck or (on smaller sports boats) an easy to climb through opening front window. Check this out before you buy. Also, you ideally want somewhere to easily store the fenders – or at least somewhere to mount fender baskets that you may want to buy.

There are many, many other practical things that you will learn about boating by having these on-board experiences coupled with suitable training. Go Earth will help you all along the way.

Getting advice

We recommend getting advice from a variety of sources. However, at Go Earth, we are the only professional and independent company dedicated to providing professional advisory and procurement advice to the boat buyer. A chat with us is free of cost, hassle or commitment.


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