Boat Owners Association of The United States suggests these top ten New Year's Resolutions that will make your boating better and more rewarding for everyone aboard in 2007:
1. Introduce one new friend to boating this year. And with your supervision, volunteer to let them sit behind the wheel for a little bit (You remember that feeling?).
2. Inventory your safety gear and ensure it's in good condition. The last thing you need is to have injury or loss of life because you failed to carry or adequately maintain safety gear.
3. A resolution from the BoatU.S. Trailering Club: ensure your boat trailer has tires with an "ST" designation (has stronger sidewalls), are inflated properly, and free of sun rot.
4. Take one educational course or on-the-water class to improve your boating. You can start for free, online, at BoatUS.com/Foundation - click on "educational programs."
5. "Nature deficit" disorder, a combination of over-programmed lifestyles and plugged-in playtime, is conspiring to leave kids no time with nature. Get your kids or grandkids outdoors by taking them boating.
6. A resolution from TowBoatU.S. and Vessel Assist Captains across the country: have an anchor aboard - it could be your best friend if your boat is disabled.
7. Make boating fun for your spouse and family. Give clear direction and don't bark orders or eventually you will be a solo boater.
8. Spend at least one night on the hook in a quiet gunkhole. An overnight adventure with the family away from the slip will give you a new perspective on boating.
9. Try a different kind of boating: if you're a sailor, go powerboating; if you powerboat, go sailing; or, rent or borrow a kayak, canoe or PWC. Learning about those with whom we share the waterways will allow you to appreciate the challenges and pleasures of operating different watercraft.
10. Thank your marina owner for not going condo. Many boating facilities face great pressure to sell out to real estate developers that is leading to a loss of access. Declining waterway access can only be reversed if marina operators and boaters work together to find solutions.