Creating the Ultimate Boater’s Bucket List

Anyone who’s ever had the privilege of being out on the open waters knows that boating offers us an escape from the day-to-day life that’s unmatched by any other feeling in the world. 

Regardless of whether you’re a thrill seeker, looking for some family fun out under the sun, or in need of some peace and quiet that only the water can bring, there’s something for everyone.

Let’s build your ultimate boating bucket list — and see how many you can check off the list over the next boating season!

boat pulling away from dock at little creek

Holidays on Deck

Now that you’ve got somewhere to entertain during the holidays, why not host on the boat? Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day all make for great excuses to spend the day away from dry land, celebrating in a whole new way!

Try Transient Boating 

Did you know that October and November are the perfect time to start a new adventure? Once hurricane season is no longer a threat, many avid boaters will start moving south for the winter months ahead. But it’s more than just trying to get from Point A to Point B: for some, this is a long, luxurious venture with lots of stops along the coast. 

Not sure how to even start planning such an expedition? Here’s a guide to get you started.

Start a Sandbar Party

Create a giant floating party by dropping anchor and syncing up with fellow boaters in a specific area. One of the best places to do this is at the sandbar! It’s also a great opportunity to get to know other locals in the boating community. 

Join a Poker Run

Here’s how it works: race around from checkpoint to checkpoint to collect enough playing cards to complete a hand. It’s a mix of a scavenger hunt and a high-stakes poker game, all in one!

Hook a Big Fish

What goes hand-in-hand with cruising around the lake, river, or ocean? Fishing of course! Once you’re comfortable with all of the ins and outs of fishing (which will vary depending on your location, type of water, time of year, etc.), it’s time to enroll in a tournament! Look for a few beginner-friendly tournaments near you to get started. 

Take a Night Cruise

Boating takes on a whole new shape and form when it comes to nighttime cruising! Navigating after dark does require some real boating knowledge, so don’t forget to brush up on the rules and safety considerations. Never be afraid to ask for help from an experienced boater — especially for your first moonlight cruise!

Step Out From Behind the Wheel

If you’re traditionally the captain of the vessel, why not enjoy some of the other activities the boat has to offer? Bring along a second set of experienced hands to maneuver the boat, and try tubing, wakeboarding, surfing, or even waterskiing! You’ll find that each of these activities definitely requires a little practice but offers a whole lot of fun!

Join the Holiday Boat Parade

If you’ve ever decorated a Christmas tree or around your home, then you’ve already got what it takes to go a step further and bring some holiday cheer out to the lake! Dress your boat up for the season and join in on a lighted boat parade to see who’s the most creative and festive with holiday cheer! 

Learn more about the Lake Norman Holiday Boat Parade for 2022!

Improve Your Docking Skills

When in doubt, it’s time to go back to the basics. Sticking the landing at the dock makes you look like a real pro to anyone who’s around to see — but more importantly, it keeps you, your boat, your passengers, and the dock all safe! 

Do you know what to do when the wind turns against you and is pushing you away from the dock — or quickly towards it? Or what to do if you’re experiencing a mechanical issue that forces you to manually maneuver into your space? 

Here are some top tips to brush up on your docking skills so you can navigate in and out of the marina like a boss. 

Sleep Aboard Your Boat

If you’ve never slept aboard your boat for a night, what are you waiting for? Boat camping can be a fun adventure to do with family or friends, depending on the type of boat you own and the sites you’re looking to camp out at for the night. 

Add sleeping aboard your vessel overnight to your bucket list, while anchored up in a safe location near shore (either in a dock or a little cove out of the way of the current). Still not sure? Morningstar Marinas made this handy “how-to” guide to get you ready to spend your first night on the boat. 

Attend a Boat Show

While this one won’t necessarily take you out on the water, exploring the world of boating can take many different shapes and sizes. It’s a great way to see all different types of boats in one central location, and get a closer look at the latest technology and gadgets available on the market! 

This is an especially good idea if you’re considering upgrading your boat or purchasing a new vessel. The Miami International Boat Show is one of the best to attend because it’s perhaps the largest boat show to date, but if that’s too far of a journey, Google local boat shows in your area to find one that will work for you and your schedule. 

About Morningstar Marinas

At Morningstar Marinas, we pride ourselves on the community of boaters we’ve created across the Southeast’s top boating destinations. Our facilities and services paired with our friendly and knowledgeable team members will help you quickly and efficiently get out there on the water, so you can start having fun! Morningstar Marinas is more than just a place to store your boat — we’re here to offer you an unforgettable boating experience, every time.

Got more great ideas for boating must-dos and can’t-misses? Send them our way or tag us in your latest adventures @morningstar_marinas on Instagram.