Life in the USA
Health and Fitness
This section was contributed by Craig Banks at www.albemarleboatowners.com.
Boating is likely to interest both visitors as well as residents of the USA. Here in the USA, boating is a very popular pastime and the boating industry has become a multi-billion dollar endeavor.
I grew up and still live around the Chesapeake Bay and coastal waters of Maryland and Virginia in the USA. Boating here is some mix of fun, business and essential transportation.
Technological changes in the field of boating have had a tremendous effect on its popularity. The boat construction industry has gone from simple wooden construction to a vast array of production methods and materials.
Now people of nearly all income levels have a chance to boat in some form. There are kayaks, canoes, small freshwater boats, personal watercraft, ski-boats, fishing boats, racing boats, pontoon boats, sail boats and more of every size, shape and configuration imaginable. People that donít want to own a boat can utilize rentals, guides, charter boats, head boats and commercial cruises.
Boat owners find that the initial purchase price is just one expense of boat ownership. Maintenance, marina costs, trailers, storage, fuel costs, insurance, taxes, electronics upgrades and other expenses shock the new boater rather quickly.
Boats are powered in a variety of ways. Sailboats make use of wind to propel them during much of their trip. Small boats can be paddled, rowed or pedaled by a human engine. Other boats use small electric motors as propulsion or to maneuver in tight places. Larger boats use outboard, inboard-outboard or inboard engines. Many modern boats have more than one engine or propulsion types.
Weather is a major factor in boating. Wind, temperature, precipitation and lightening all hamper boating. The local weather is often unpredictable and conditions can go from pristine to life threatening in minutes.
Using boats can be simple or incredibly complex depending on the size and technology involved. The first step of any boater is to learn and adhere to the safety requirements of the vessel. In the USA, the United States Coast Guard and other groups hold boating safety training programs.
Boaters learn to use a variety of resources to deal with all the facets of the sport. Among the computer resources are boating forums where boater can discuss their problems and learn how others have perhaps solved a similar problem.
People boat for a variety of reasons. Many just enjoy being on the water. Some boaters are involved in sports, skiing, racing and others. Other boaters fish and maintain a boat just for that reason. Many people are attracted to boats to see nature or enjoy a relaxing day in solitude. Some people get involved with boats for one reason or another initially, then get addicted to boating itself and the culture of friends that is an integral part of the sport.
It is often said that the two happiest days in a boaterís life are the day the boat is purchased and the day it is sold. Most boaters agree but many of us find that all the struggles are outweighed by the smiles of kids catching their first fish or the sight of pelicans cruising gracefully by on a warm spring day.
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