Women at the Helm: Tips From our Female Captains
More women than ever before have discovered the boating lifestyle. Whether at the helm or as a valued second mate, they are enjoying the benefits of boating. Here are some great tips from some seasoned female skippers who train hundreds of women each year as part of the Freedom Boat Club DIVA program.
Tip #1 – Get Out on the Water Sooner than Later
Don’t keep putting it off!
Training Manager Marti Wagley of Freedom Boat Club says, “If you want to become a knowledgeable boater, there is no better time than now to start learning. Take a boating safety course, familiarize yourself with the local boating laws and basic boat-handling procedures.”
One of the benefits of being a Freedom Boat Club member is that you have unlimited FREE training conducted by the club’s U.S. Coast Guard licensed captains … take advantage of it!
Tip #2 – Practice. Practice. And More Practice!
All aspects of boating are gender-neutral so once you have learned the basics, it’s all about practice from there. Find what makes you the most uncomfortable and practice that skill over and over again. Let’s say, for example, you really want to get better at docking. Go out on the water early in the morning and find a quiet dock where you can practice. You can practice over and over without another soul around! Our female captains highly recommend getting out on the water at least once a week to practice your skills.
Tip #3 – Share the Helm When Out With Other Boaters
If your significant other usually always captains the boat, let him know you want some time at the helm. The more time you get at the helm, the more comfortable you will become. However, we suggest you take the 1:1 training so you are taught by a knowledgeable instructor before taking the wheel.
Tip #4 – Call Your Girlfriends & Practice Together
Make it fun! Call your friends and schedule a day to go out on the water together. This reduces the pressure and creates a great spirit of teamwork for all involved. You might even learn a new way to do something by seeing how someone else does it! Do this often and try new locations. Dock and dine somewhere for lunch…make a whole day of it. Who says you can’t have fun while improving your skills? The Freedom Boat Club DIVAS organization (female members of the club) offer training programs just for women and many have developed friendships based on shared boating activities.
Tip #5 – Stay Current
Always look for new ways to improve your skills. Read a boating book, subscribe to a popular boating magazine,learn how to tie knots, take advanced training courses. There are many online resources and apps you can download to help expand your knowledge. Challenge yourself to continually learn more!
There is nothing stopping you from being the best boater you can be!
The more you practice and get comfortable on the water, the more fun, confident and relaxed you will be, and the more you will enjoy your time on the water.